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March 2016 | EDG 85 AH

Non-Residential Building Environmental Rating Tools – A Review of the Australian Market

Ania Hampton and Lauren Clay

There are a number of environmental rating tools for non-residential buildings in the Australian market. Some rate a project based on its design features, whereas others focus purely on actual performance. Several tools are mandatory in Australia and others provide international marketing opportunity. Selecting the most suitable tool for any particular project can be a difficult exercise. This paper examines the most prevalent tools in the Australian market, summarising their application, method of rating, approximate costs and timing impacts. The tools are reviewed for their suitability for various project types and guidance is provided on selecting the most appropriate rating scheme.

Tools examined in this paper include: NABERS, Green Star, BREEAM, LEED, Living Building Challenge, One Planet Living, PassivHaus, WELL Building Standard, eTool and NCC Section J.

This paper updates information from 'Sustainability Rating Tools: A snapshot study', DES 70 (Iyer-Raniga and Wasiluk 2007) and can be read as a companion piece to EDG 80 UR ‘Residential Building Sustainability Rating Tools in Australia’, Aug 2014.

Click here to go to design note

Related EDG note: 'A summary of urban assessment tools for application in Australia' EDG 84 SJ | Feb 2016

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