The BASIX Building Sustainability Index is a statewide mandatory code for dwellings and mixed-use buildings. Energy performance criteria are outlined in an online index, which includes prescriptive and performance requirements of certain systems based on the location of the building. The tool assesses the anticipated GHG emissions, water consumption and thermal comfort of a proposed design, with points awarded according how the building would perform compared with a similar existing building. The index includes energy efficiency requirements for HVAC, hot water and lighting systems.
NSW is the first state to develop its own sustainability index for buildings, with the state government claiming it to be one of the most ‘robust sustainable planning measures in Australia.’ The index and points system encompasses a number of dynamic initiatives to improve energy efficiency including, performance targets that vary according to the location of the building, primary energy use and GHG emissions calculations, mandated heating and cooling loads through prescribed area adjusted loads, bio-climatic design and renewable energy systems are encouraged and monitoring of performance is being undertaken to ensure the BASIX policy achieves its long-term environmental objectives.
Full Title of Code
BASIX: Single Dwelling, Multi-Unit & Additions/Alterations.
Year of Adoption
Date of Enforcement
Saturday, July 1, 2006
Authority in Charge
Department of Planning & Infrastructure.
Link to Relevant Web Page
New South Wales
Code set at:
Coverage of Building Code:
- Residential buildings
- One family
- Multiple family buildings
- Commercial buildings
- Retail and wholesale
GBPN Climate Classification:
Mixed climate, (3 prescribed climate zones)
Type of Building Code:
- Model code, frame or actual code:
State of NSW code, BASIX is required for all developments which contain new residential dwellings or alterations and additions to a dwelling. . A dwelling is defined as 'a room or suite of rooms occupied or used or so constructed or adapted as to be capable of being occupied or used as a separate domicile'.
- Prescriptive Codes:
The index includes elements that become prescribed once chosen from the online index. A BASIX certificate must accompany any application for development approval, complying development certificate or construction certificate. The selections made by the applicant in the BASIX online assessment tool, shown as commitments on the BASIX certificate, become prescribed (regulatory) conditions with the granting of consent (building approval).
- Performance Codes for Refurbishments
- Performance Codes for New Builds:
The performance targets vary according to the location of the building. Primary energy use is calculated using software in KWh for electricity and Mj for gas, and then converted to CO2 emissions using NSW GHG intensity figures for the appropriate fuel source.
- Model / reference Building
Basis for Energy Requirements:
- Overall performance frame:
"The BASIX Energy performance target vary, depending on the type and location of the building. These variations ensure BASIX remains cost-effective and fair to everyone. Over 80% of all new homes will have to meet the maximum Energy targets. • The average greenhouse gas reduction for all building types across NSW will be 36%. The BASIX Energy section assesses these main energy uses, including the loads from Thermal Comfort, and is a more meaningful indicator of the dwelling’s overall energy performance."
- Primary Energy:
Primary energy use, in KWh for electricity and Mj for gas, are calculated in the software and then converted to CO2e using NSW GHG intensity figures for the appropriate fuel source.
- Life Cycle Assessment considered (embedded energy):
Research is been undertaken at this stage.
Energy Uses and Functions Covered by the Code:
- Thermal bridging
- Hot water
- Design, position & orientation of building
- Heat recovery
- Passive cooling
- Natural ventilation
- Solar protection
- Daylighting requirements
- Renewable Energy (solar, PV, others):
Rated electrical output of photovoltaic system (peak kW,) solar hot water system requirements. Rebate schemes available for solar and heat pump hot water systems.
Enforcement Status of Code:
Type of Enforcement:
- Local enforcement
- Post Occupancy control
On-site Inspections Occur
- During construction
- Post completion
Certification to Support Enforcement of Code:
- Energy Performance Certificate support BC
Penalties for Non-compliance:
- Refusal of permission to occupy
- Refusal of permission to construct
Measures Supporting Enforcement:
- Commissioning requirements
- Mandatory Computer Modeling
- Training of Inspectors
GBPN Climate Classification
Coefficient for Comparison of Climate Zones
Other Requirements Set for:
- Thermal bridge demands
The BASIX system encourages the use natural ventilation first and foremost, then most efficient systems are suggesed consecutively thereafter.
- Domestic Hot Water COP - Heat Pump:
The BASIX system encourages selecting efficient systems, most efficient individual hot water system to install is solar.
- Value for airtightness:
Only BCA requirements, air barrier/sealing etc. No ACH requirements or testing.
- Heat Recovery
- Technical HVAC systems
General Process in Setting Requirements:
- How far in advance are future targets set?:
Between 0- 20 years
Zero Energy Targets:
- All end uses are not included
- There is not a realistic roadmap in place:
No, this is a Federal Government issue.
- National Target date for nZEB:
The NSW State plan aims to protect the environment through cleaner air and progress on greenhouse gas reductions (Priority E3). This s includes a target to achieve a 60 percent cut in greenhouse emissions by 2050 and a return to year 2000 greenhouse gas emission levels by 2025.
- Special Requirements for public buildings:
Environmental performance and energy efficiency requirements for public buildings, including mandatory NABERS ratings.
Number of Earlier Codes
Multiple set of data:
- Levels beyond minimum:
Various discussions have been held in the past with industry groups regarding options to voluntarily promote ‘over-compliance.
- Year historic or aspirational codes (planned) :
- Baseline (actual code if nothing else):
- Actual level of energy consumption in target
No information available
- Primary Energy Performance Frame Residential:
Approx. 40% less CO2 emissions, targets are also been currently reviewed, 2013-14.
Incentives/Rewards to Encourage People to go beyond Minimum Level?
No such scheme presently in place, but could be introduced if supported by policy decision. This is a policy area for the 2013-14 review period.
Involvement of Stakeholders in the Development of Codes
BASIX is developed in close consultation with the building industry, non-government organisations and local government.
Level of Training Provided to Stakeholders Following Implementation of Code?
Significant industry training was provided through 2004-2006 as BASIX was rolled out. Further information is provided online through the BASIX help notes and for direct enquires through an email/phone help desk. Various professional bodies, including AIBS, AIA, PIA and ABSA conduct training/PDP sessions for their members.
Provision of Appropriate Information for General Public
BASIX eNews (to approx 6000 subscribers), online help notes and publications, other eNews publications by the Dept. of Planking and Building Professionals Board. The BASIX website, https://www.basix.nsw.gov.au/information/about.jsp
Education Systems to Ensure Capacity
Codes Free to Access?