NABERS Rating: A Complete Guide

Spread the love

Have you ever wondered how environmentally friendly your commercial project truly is? In Australia, you can use the NABERS rating to get a clear answer.

NABERS rating works like star ratings on appliances. NABERS assigns a score (from 1 to 6 stars) to commercial buildings. These ratings are based on their sustainability performance.

Think of NABERS as a national report card for buildings.

  • One star represents the least sustainable building design.
  • While six stars signify a “market-leading” building with exceptional environmental efficiency.

The difference between a 5-star and a 6-star building is significant. A 6-star building can cut down greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half!

A 3-star rating is considered “average.” This serves as a solid foundation for

  • building owners and
  • managers

They can use their existing NABERS rating to strive for further improvements.

Who Can Use NABERS Rating?

With NABERS ratings, everyone related to the building project can make informed choices.

Developers can use this rating system to:

  • Understanding the sustainability score of their new project
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Create and market sustainable projects for enhanced brand value.

Building owners can use them to

  • identify areas for improvement and
  • reduce operational costs.

Tenants can

  • seek out spaces that align with their environmental values.
  • Work in a healthy environment.

Ultimately, the NABERS rating plays a crucial role in promoting a more sustainable built environment for Australia.

What are the four pillars of NABERS rating?

The four key areas of NABERS ratings help you assess a building’s environmental performance. These include

Energy Rating

This category measures your building’s energy efficiency. These include accessing energy consumption for tasks like

  • lighting,
  • heating,
  • cooling, and

NABERS assessors will evaluate various aspects. These include

  • lighting systems,
  • elevator usage patterns, and
  • air conditioning controls.


In this NABERS rating, you get a rating based on how effectively your building manages its water consumption. NABERS Water assesses water usage for various activities. These activities can include:

  • sanitation,
  • irrigation,
  • cooling towers and
  • water recycling practices.


This category looks at how well your building handles waste generation. NABERS evaluates

  • the amount of waste produced and
  • the effectiveness of recycling programs.

It also includes considerations related to waste management practices within the building’s supply chain.

Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)

This aspect goes beyond just energy use. NABERS IEQ assesses factors that directly impact

  • occupant comfort and
  • well-being within the building.

These include

  • air quality,
  • lighting levels,
  • temperature control, and
  • even acoustics.

All these factors create a healthier and more productive work environment. Like NABERS, Australia also measures the sustainability of residential buildings using BASIX reports and certificates.

BASIX measures energy efficiency, water usage, and thermal comfort.

Why are NABERS Ratings Important?

NABERS ratings offer several benefits for:

  • developers,
  • building owners,
  • tenants, and
  • the environment as a whole.

Following are the key reasons why NABERS ratings are essential:

Reduced Environmental Impact

Buildings are significant contributors to

  • greenhouse gas emissions and
  • resource consumption.

A high NABERS rating signifies a building’s commitment to sustainability. You can use it to minimize your building’s environmental footprint.

Financial Savings

Building with high NABERS ratings are

  • Energy-efficient
  • Have lower water usage and
  • Practice effective waste management

This can translate into considerable cost savings on

  • utility bills and
  • waste disposal fees.

Increased Property Value

Buildings with high NABERS ratings are generally more attractive to tenants. It is especially valuable for high-paying tenants seeking sustainable workplaces.

This can translate to:

  • higher rental rates and
  • increased property value.

Improved Occupant Comfort and Well-being

Buildings with good indoor environment quality ratings boast optimal

  • temperature,
  • air quality, and

This leads to increased

  • occupant comfort,
  • productivity, and
  • overall well-being.

Compliance with Legislation

Several Australian states and territories have introduced stringent sustainability regulations. These regulations mandate NABERS assessments for commercial buildings.

Obtaining a NABERS rating can help ensure compliance with these regulations.

Enhanced Brand Reputation

High NABERS ratings demonstrate a company’s commitment to environmental responsibility, boosting its brand image and reputation among environmentally conscious consumers and investors.

How Does a Building Get a NABERS Rating?

The process of obtaining a NABERS rating involves several steps:

Choosing a NABERS Assessor

You need to work with a qualified NABERS assessor. The acessor should be accredited by the NABERS scheme. You should also hire a building consultant to make the process easier.

Data Collection

The assessor works with the building owner to gather relevant data. These include data on

  • energy,
  • water, and
  • waste consumption.

The data is collected through

  • utility bills,
  • metering systems, and
  • waste disposal records.

Benchmarking and Analysis

The assessor uses the collected data to benchmark the building’s performance. It is compared to similar buildings in the same category (e.g., office buildings, shopping centres).

Rating Determination

Based on the benchmarking analysis, the assessor assigns a NABERS rating. This rating can be anywhere from 1 to 6 stars for each of the four key areas.

Report Generation

A comprehensive NABERS report is generated. This report highlights the building’s

  • performance,
  • energy consumption breakdown,
  • water usage patterns, and
  • waste generation data.

The report also

  • identifies potential areas for improvement and
  • provides recommendations to achieve better environmental performance

Using this report, you can achieve a higher NABERS rating.

Just like NABERS, for residential buildings, you get a BASIX report and certificate (legally valid). This report shows your commitment towards sustainability.

Beyond the Stars: Additional NABERS Considerations

The NABERS star rating system is a valuable tool. But NABERS also offers additional features to enhance its value:

NABERS for tenancies

With this rating, individual tenancies within a larger building can obtain their own ratings. This can:

  • Encourage healthy competition and
  • Improve sustainability practices within the building.

NABERS Energy Commitment

With this NABERS tool, building owners can set ambitious energy reduction targets. You can track your progress through this program.

NABERS Water Commitment

This NABERS rating system is similar to the energy commitment. This initiative focuses on setting and achieving water conservation goals.

With these additional features, you can:

  • go beyond the base level assessment and
  • drive continuous improvement in your building’s environmental performance.

Embrace NABERS for a Greener Tomorrow

NABERS ratings is a great tool to attain building sustainability. Consult building consultants to rate your building quickly and correctly.

Spread the love
Scroll to Top