Mandatory disclosure and building energy efficiency

31 Jan 2012

The buildings we live and work in have a measurable impact on our environment. As of 1 November last year, mandatory disclosure of the environmental performance of commercial office buildings over 2,000 square meters came into effect.

The Commercial Buildings Disclosure (CBD) program is a national scheme administered by the Federal Government, based on the New South Wales National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). CBD is designed to improve the performance of Australia’s commercial building stock by helping tenants and purchasers of buildings understand, at the point of sale, the financial and environmental costs of running the building.
 
Under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010, there are mandatory obligations applicable to many commercial buildings. Most sellers or lessors of office space of 2,000 square metres or more are required to obtain and disclose a current Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC). A BEEC, valid for 12 months from date of creation, is comprised of:

  • a NABERS Energy star rating for the building
  • an assessment of tenancy lighting in the area of the building that is being sold or leased
  • general energy efficiency guidance.

 
Even for those not currently liable under the CBD program, understanding the energy efficiency of your building is vital for businesses looking to reduce operating costs, improve your environmental credentials and even boost employee satisfaction
 
Reduced operating costs and longer maintenance schedules are commonly known benefits of investing in greener technologies, but there are other dividends of green buildings that the market is starting to reveal. Improved staff morale, productivity and retention can be considerable benefits associated with a ‘greener’ building, and if incorporated into investment decisions, can provide very attractive returns on investment (ROI)1.

Owners of green buildings can also expect better rental occupancy rates and a price premium for high performing buildings. A 2011 study by the Australian Property Institute and Property Funds Association, Building Better Returns found that a 5 star NABERS energy rating delivered a 9 per cent premium in value, and a 3.5 – 4 star energy rating delivered a 2-3 per cent premium.

How does your building measure up? If you would like more information, please call a VECCI Sustainability Consultant on 03 8662 5196 or visit the websites below.
 
http://www.cbd.gov.au/
http://www.nabers.com.au/

 

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