As our collective focus on sustainability grows, designing and building homes that are smarter and better for the environment is becoming more important than ever.
Since they were introduced by the NSW Government in 2004, Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) requirements have set the standard minimum in sustainable planning measures for all new residential dwellings and renovations in NSW costing more than $50,000.
What is BASIX?
BASIX requirements were introduced to encourage sustainable residential development as part of the NSW Government’s Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The mandated BASIX certificate does three important things:
- ensures that NSW has more resilient and sustainable housing options.
- reduces greenhouse gases and water consumption in new and renovated homes.
- reduces the cost of living due to using less water and electricity.
Not only is a BASIX certificate part of the development application process in NSW, it is also one of the strongest sustainable planning measures for residential building in Australia.
BASIX’s mission is to reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources to make our homes comfortable. Targets were set at a 40% reduction in water usage and up to 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
Key BASIX focus areas
There are three areas that BASIX focuses on to meet the minimum requirements for delivering a sustainable home.
When submitting your BASIX application for building your new home, a target of 50% reduction in energy usage needs to be met. If a home has not yet been built, how is this determined? Targets vary but are based on assessing the type of home you are building, and which Energy Target Zone you are building in.
Australia is a country of extremes and water is one of the most valuable resources we have. The benchmark (maximum) set by the Department of Planning & Environment is 90,340 litres of water per person per year (or 247 litres per person per day), which was the average (medium) potable water consumption of a pre-BASIX home.
Depending on the Water Target Zone you are building in, your water reduction target can range from 40% to 0%. All new home builds with ANSA Homes have a water reduction target of 40%. Read more about BASIX water requirements.
Things to consider around BASIX and water usage include:
- Fittings and fixtures;
- Alternative water sources (and their uses); and
- Pools and outdoor spas.
Targets are based on data provided by state and federal water utilities, as well as data from the Bureau of Meteorology.
BASIX thermal comfort requirements define the level of comfort occupants can expect without the use of heating and cooling appliances. The aim is to reduce greenhouse emissions from artificial heating and cooling appliances through efficient building design and the use of appropriate construction materials.
To complete the thermal comfort portion of your BASIX, ANSA uses the Simulation Method . This is detailed method uses NatHERS accredited software and can simulate a wide range of construction methods and materials.
Beyond BASIX with ANSA Homes
With sustainability becoming more and more of a priority, in 2020 many homebuyers are moving beyond BASIX when thinking about what they want from their new home.
While BASIX sets the mandated minimum in sustainable planning measures, there are many other sustainable initiatives that you can invest in that will make your new home truly green. Your site conditions and the aspect of your new home have the biggest impact on the efficiency of your new home, so getting these two details right is essential.
ANSA Homes is the only builder who can deliver a Certified Future Friendly home for your family’s health, wellbeing and comfort for years to come. On average, our homes can reduce standard energy use by 83%, water usage by 22% and CO2 emissions by 34%. They truly are homes designed for you and built for the planet.
At ANSA Homes we can show you how your new green home will be future proofed in terms of acoustic comfort, thermal comfort, health, sustainability. So not only will you be able to cost-effectively live in comfort, you’ll be contributing to the wellbeing of our planet year after year after year while increasing the sale value of your new home.