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7 Star NatHERS Ratings

7 Star NatHERS Ratings have been announced as the minimum requirement throughout Australia for meeting the energy efficiency requirements in part H6 of the 2022 edition of the National Construction Code. Let us take a closer look as to what this means.

Australia's National Construction Code (NCC) plays a crucial role in setting the standards for energy efficiency in the country's building industry. As part of the NCC's ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, changes are being made to the NatHERS rating system, which measures the energy efficiency of residential buildings. From October 2023, all new homes built in Australia will be required to achieve a minimum 7-star NatHERS rating, up from the current 6-star rating.

So, what do these changes mean for builders and homeowners, and how can they achieve a 7-star NatHERS rating?

First, let's take a closer look at the changes themselves. The NatHERS rating system uses computer simulations to measure the thermal performance of buildings, based on factors such as insulation, window placement, and shading. The system rates buildings on a scale of 0 to 10 stars, with higher ratings indicating greater energy efficiency. The current minimum requirement for new homes in Australia is a 6-star rating, but from October 2023, this will increase to 7 stars.

This might not sound like a big increase, but it represents a significant step forward in Australia's efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the NCC, a 7-star rated home can reduce energy bills by up to $1,000 per year, compared to a 6-star rated home. Over the lifetime of the building, this can add up to substantial savings, as well as reducing the environmental impact of the building.

So, how can builders and homeowners achieve a 7-star NatHERS rating? Firstly, it's important to understand that achieving a high rating requires careful consideration of a range of design factors. Some of the key factors that can help achieve a 7-star rating include:

- Good orientation: positioning the building to take advantage of natural light and shading from trees or other buildings

- High levels of insulation: using insulation in the walls, roof, and floor to reduce heat transfer

- Energy-efficient windows: using double-glazed windows with low-E coatings to reduce heat loss

In addition to these design factors, it's also important to consider the materials used in construction. For example, using materials that have a low embodied energy (the energy required to produce and transport the material) can help reduce the overall energy consumption of the building and lower the carbon footprint used to build the dwelling.

Of course, achieving a 7-star rating is not always easy, and there may be challenges for builders and homeowners. For example, achieving good orientation and shading can be difficult on sites with limited space or in areas with high levels of noise or pollution. Similarly, some energy-efficient systems and materials can be more expensive to install, which may deter some builders and homeowners.

However, there are many resources available to help builders and homeowners achieve a 7-star rating. The NCC provides detailed guidance on the design factors and materials needed to achieve a high NatHERS rating, and there are also a range of online tools and calculators available to help assess the energy performance of buildings.

In conclusion, the upcoming changes to the NatHERS rating system represent an important step forward in Australia's efforts. However, it is important to have a qualified accredited energy assessor to conduct your NatHERS assessments and to help guide you through the coming changes.

NatHERS 7 Star


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