Frequently Asked Questions

Our Frequently Asked Questions provide valuable insights into the importance and process of building sustainability assessments in Australia, helping you make informed decisions about your construction project’s environmental impact and energy efficiency.

If you can’t find an answer to your question or you would just like some assistance, please call us on 1300 475 475 or you can send an email to and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

A building sustainability assessment evaluates a structure’s compliance with sustainability standards and regulations, focusing on aspects like energy efficiency, water conservation, and environmental impact. You need one to ensure your building aligns with these standards, reduces operational costs, and contributes to a more sustainable future.

BASIX, or building sustainability index, is a mandatory NSW Government planning regulation for the design and construction of new and renovated residential developments in NSW. 

BASIX identifies the design features that will affect the likely level of thermal comfort and water and energy use per household such as location, building size, orientation and construction type, landscaping and fixtures. It sets minimum targets that must be achieved before a BASIX certificate can be generated, and then submitted as part of a development application or application for complying development. 

A BASIX certificate is a document customised to your individual development which lists the provisions and requirements of a residential development to comply BASIX regulations.

For any type of new residential development, boarding houses under 300 square meters and an alteration and addition to an existing dwelling over $50,000 in cost, you need to submit a valid certificate with your application.

A BASIX certificate is required for the construction of the following:

  • new houses
  • new townhouses and villas
  • new dual occupancies
  • new granny flats
  • new flats and apartments
  • renovations of $50,000 or more to an existing home
  • swimming pools and/or spas larger than 40,000 litres
  • the conversion of an existing non-residential building to a residential

A BASIX certificate is not required for:

  • commercial or industrial building works
  • minor residential building works that meet the criteria for exempt development, for which approvals are not needed. 

If you are unsure which category your proposed works fall under, give our team a call on 1300 475 475. 

The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is a star rating system (out of ten) that rates the energy efficiency of a home, based on its design. A certain NatHERS star rating is required according to the BCA to show compliance with the requirements of the code.

Builders use a NatHERS rating to show a new home or renovation meets the minimum energy efficiency requirements in your state or territory. Utilising a NatHERS assessor during the planning phase can give you expert advice on how to build or change your home to improve its energy use. 

A NatHERS Certificate is customised to your development requirements and provides a comprehensive and uniform approach to displaying important home energy rating assessment information. The certificate comes in two formats:

  1. A certificate that displays the NatHERS logo and can be printed in colour – produced by NatHERS accredited assessors
  2. A certificate without the NatHERS logo and only available in black and white – produced by non-accredited assessors. 

All certificates include information on the dwelling’s key design features, building materials and parameters used to generate its star rating. 

The NatHERS Certificate must be used when demonstrating compliance to the NCC NatHERS pathway. It allows builders, certifiers and regulatory authorities to confirm that the building has been built to the design on which the energy rating assessment is based. 

Qualified building sustainability assessors with expertise in BASIX and NatHERS perform building sustainability assessments. They work closely with homeowners, builders, and architects to ensure compliance with sustainability standards. 

Ecocert’s professional assessors are BASIX and NatHERS experts and we use industry leading tools and software to calculate energy ratings and environmental impacts. We provide recommendations to improve a building’s sustainability and ensure it meets legal requirements. 

Our assessors typically need architectural plans, construction details, and specifications for your building. We also consider factors like location, materials, and intended energy usage.

It is highly advisable to engage a sustainability assessor early in the design phase. This allows for optimal integration of sustainability measures into the building’s plans, avoiding costly modifications later.

The duration of the assessment varies based on the complexity of the project. However, assessments for smaller residential buildings usually take a few days to complete.

Assessments for commercial buildings can lead to lower operational costs through improved energy efficiency, reduced environmental impact, and enhanced occupant comfort, making the property more attractive to tenants and investors.

Yes, there are various financial incentives, including grants and tax benefits, for buildings that meet or exceed sustainability standards. These incentives can help offset the initial investment in sustainable building practices.

Absolutely. A sustainability assessment aims to enhance energy efficiency and resource conservation, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint and a more environmentally responsible building.

Yes, in many cases, compliance with sustainability standards, including BASIX and NatHERS, is a legal requirement for new constructions. Non-compliance may lead to fines and delays.