Once you have decided to build a new home, there are some important considerations that you need to be aware of. One of those is ensuring that your house complies with the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX).
BASIX ensures that homes are built to be more energy and water efficient by setting clear sustainable housing targets for new homes developed in NSW. BASIX aims to deliver equitable, effective water and greenhouse gas reductions across the state.
BASIX applies to all residential dwelling types and is part of the development application process in NSW. It is an integrated part of the planning system, implemented under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. BASIX is assessed online using the BASIX Environmental Tool. The tool checks elements of a proposed design against sustainability targets. Its aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and set water reduction targets. It is a requirement of the NSW Government that all new housing developments submit a BASIX certificate, and it should be submitted to your local Council in the design phase of development.
The Energy section of BASIX aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of all new residential dwellings.
Energy consumption and savings will be assessed on:
- Hot water systems
- Heating and cooling
- Pools and spas
- Alternative energy sources
- Other energy uses
- Central systems
The Water section of BASIX aims to reduce the potable water consumption of all new residential developments.
Water consumption and savings will be assessed on:
- Fittings and fixtures
- Alternative water sources and how they are used (this includes rainwater tanks)
- Pools and outdoor spas
- Other energy uses
- Central systems and common areas.
As stated by BASIX, a residential development proposal is required to use up to 40% less potable water than the average home ‘pre-BASIX’ home benchmark of 90,340 litres of water per person per year or 247 litres per person per day. A key recommendation in helping to reach this target and obtain your BASIX certificate is installing a rainwater tank as an alternative rainwater supply for your garden and toilets.
How do you obtain a BASIX Certificate?
The BASIX online tool is simple to use and can be completed either by yourself or your builder. In order to obtain a BASIX certificate for your proposed development, you will need to complete the sustainability assessment using the BASIX assessment tool.
How the assessment tool works:
- The BASIX assessment tool analyses data relating to the design of your proposed house and determines how this scores against water and energy targets. The dwelling design must meet specific targets before the proposed development can be issued with a BASIX certificate.
- Once the design complies with BASIX, a BASIX certificate listing the sustainability commitments can be printed and submitted with the development application.
Installing a rainwater tank and complying with BASIX can benefit you and will kick start your dream home in the positive direction. By building a sustainable home, you’re helping the environment and your wallet by saving money through the reduced household energy and water bills.