Eco buildings program to create UK business opportunities

NSW is providing green leadership and sustainable innovation for Australia's commercial and public buildings by adapting the NABERS building rating system for use in the UK.

520kW of solar on the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour, Sydney

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) program will help the UK market boost their buildings' environmental sustainability.

The Office of Environment and Heritage's (OEH) NABERS Director, Carlos Flores, said the system is one of Australia's largest and most successful sustainability programs, which aims to reduce energy and water consumption and lessen the amount of waste sent to landfill.

"Buildings use 40% of the world's energy, produce 40% of the world's carbon emissions and use 20% of the world's available drinking water," Mr Flores said.

"NABERS can identify a building's environmental impact and help its owners and operators make the building more sustainable and contribute to a healthier environment.

"The NSW-led program has already saved more than $790 million in energy and water bills, while preventing the release of over 5.4 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

"In Australia more than 3160 office buildings have been certified since 2000 including, 16 6-star-rated buildings certified in FY2019, with 8 in Sydney.

"It's great news that OEH has signed a 3-year partnership with the UK's Better Building Partnership (BBP) to adapt NABERS ratings and the Commitment Agreement framework and make it applicable for the UK market.

"The OEH and BBP Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) enables work on adapting, trailing and implementing NABERS Energy for Offices program for buildings in the UK to be certified and develop plans for a longer-term licensing arrangement.

"Building sustainability companies will be able to export their skills in NABERS assessment and building management services to UK companies. Buildings certified in the UK will generate revenue for reinvestment in NABERS operations."

"This partnership highlights NABERS as an international best-practice example of how to deliver energy efficient buildings. Having worked with the BBP for many years we're thrilled to be supporting them in this first step in bringing our knowledge and expertise to the UK." Office of Environment and Heritage's NABERS director Carlos Flores said.

The BBP is a not-for-profit organisation, whose main goal is to improve the sustainability of existing building stock in the UK. The BBP will largely fund the development costs of NABERS UK. The BBP is a collaboration of 31 commercial property owner members with over £250 billion of assets under management.

Better Buildings Partnership CEO Sarah Ratcliffe said "the BBP is delighted to enter into this ground-breaking partnership which focuses on operational outcomes delivering better buildings and driving market transformation".

NABERS started in NSW in 1998, expanding under licence to the New Zealand government in 2012. Pilot ratings have also been performed in India, Hong Kong and Indonesia.