Australia's Green Building Regulations Kick-In

REGULATIONS for Green Buildings in Australia become serious tomorrow - November 1 - with building owners and even tenants facing substantial fines if their commercial space falls short environmentally.

The Commercial Building Disclosure (CDB) programme requires a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) if more than 2000 square metres of office space is leased, sub-leased or sold, applying to both owners and tenants who sub-let space.

If commercial landlords fail to comply they could face a fine of up to AUS$110,000 for just the first day of non-compliance and a further AUS$11,000 for every day after that the non-compliance continues.

A BEEC includes:

  • A National Australian Built Environment Rating System energy star rating for the building (NABERS).
  • An assessment of tenancy lighting in the area that is being sold or leased.
  • General energy efficiency guidance.

The Sydney Morning Herald explains: “The NABERS criteria for BEEC includes an energy efficient rating with a scale of zero to six stars in half-star increments and a NABERS base building rating....The NABERS Energy star rating must also be included in any advertisement for the sale, lease or sublease of the office space.”

As far as the tenancy lighting assessment, this will provide a nominal lighting power density measurement in watts per square metre for the office space.

The Australian Government will be looking at expanding the CBD programme across other building types next year.

The CBD programme aims to reveal the energy efficiency of commercial property and provide buyers and tenants access to meaningful information about a building's performance, making it easier to buy or rent energy efficient office space, and create a market-based incentive for landlords to improve the energy efficiency of properties through upgrades.

Photo of Australia Melbourne Princes Bridge by FreeAussieStock reproduced under CCL.

Monday 31st October 2011

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