• 2023-08-16

BASIX Thermal 7 stars - Transforming Construction in New South Wales

  • by Admin

How to deal with the change


As the world grapples with climate change BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) has emerged as a pioneering initiative in Australia, pioneered in the state of New South Wales (NSW). BASIX aims to promote energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting thermal targets for buildings. This blog explores the implications of BASIX\'s decision to raise the thermal targets from around 5.4 stars to an ambitious 7 stars, and how it will transform construction practices in NSW.


Understanding BASIX and Thermal Targets:

BASIX is a mandatory planning requirement for all new residential dwellings in NSW. It sets out certain sustainability standards that must be met by builders and developers. One of the key aspects of BASIX is its thermal target, which measures the energy efficiency of a building. The thermal target is expressed in star ratings, with higher stars indicating greater energy efficiency.


The Need for Higher Thermal Targets:

To address the urgency of climate change, there is a growing recognition that higher thermal targets are necessary. By raising the bar from around 5.4 stars to 7 stars, BASIX aims to significantly reduce energy consumption in buildings, lower carbon emissions, and improve occupant comfort. This transition will lead to a more sustainable built environment in NSW.


Impact on Building Design and Materials:

Achieving higher thermal targets necessitates changes in building design and materials. Builders will need to focus on optimizing insulation, air sealing, and ventilation systems. This will require using advanced building materials and adopting construction techniques that prioritize energy efficiency. Architects and designers will play a crucial role in incorporating these principles into their plans.


Importance of BASIX assessors/consultants:

15 years ago when I was working on design of 4.5 star NABERS rated buildings the role of energy efficiency consultant was to help the design of the building with the use of energy modelling software tools. The role of energy efficiency consultant was to conduct energy modelling on the architectural design and later on services design.

Now with BASIX targets raised to 7 stars this has necessitated a similar approach to meet the targets.

This would mean that the BASIX/NatHERS assessors need to be onboard as BASIX consultants, not as mere assessors.

This would help the architects get the design input at the right stage of the project leading to positive outcomes.

At the end of the design everyone will know where the design measures up on the BASIX scale.


Embracing Renewable Energy Solutions:

To meet the elevated thermal targets, the integration of renewable energy solutions will become vital. Builders will need to explore options such as solar panels, geothermal systems, and efficient heating and cooling technologies. The increased use of renewable energy sources will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and enhance the overall sustainability of buildings.


Shifting Construction Practices and Standards:

Raising the thermal targets will necessitate a significant shift in construction practices. Builders and contractors will need to enhance their knowledge and skills related to sustainable building techniques. Compliance with the new standards will require updated training and certifications for construction professionals.

Until now if the single glazing was the norm then the new standard might be double glazing or at least low e glazing.


 Collaboration and Industry Adaptation:

The transition to higher thermal targets will require collaborative efforts from various stakeholders. BASIX consultants will need to work closely with builders, architects, engineers, and suppliers to ensure a smooth adaptation process. Industry bodies and organizations will also play a crucial role in disseminating knowledge and facilitating the adoption of sustainable construction practices.


Benefits for Homeowners and the Environment:

The implementation of higher thermal targets will benefit both homeowners and the environment. Homeowners will enjoy improved thermal comfort, reduced energy bills, and potentially increased property values. Additionally, the reduction in energy consumption will contribute to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a more sustainable and resilient future.



BASIX\'s decision to raise thermal targets from around 5.4 stars to 7 stars marks a significant step towards promoting sustainable construction practices in New South Wales. The transition will require a concerted effort from all stakeholders involved in the building industry. By embracing advanced building techniques, incorporating renewable energy solutions, and collaborating effectively, NSW can pave the way for a greener and more energy-efficient future. The ultimate goal is to create buildings that minimize their environmental impact, enhance occupant well-being, and contribute to a more sustainable planet. As your local Certified Energy Consultant Australia, we are more than happy to help you in this process and would be very happy to be your Certified Energy Consultant. We have been BASIX consultants for 7 years and counting, we can proudly say that we have been meeting our client’s expectations and exceeding in the role of BASIX assessor. We are an ABSA assessor, listed on ABSA website. Call us for any enquiries for Building energy consultants and we would be very happy to talk to you.