What services do you provide?

GreenForm provides a comprehensive range of energy efficient design and compliance services for all building classes and projects. We can consult in the early concept stages or later at compliance stages for planning and approvals. Our passion is with energy efficiency, sustainability, health, and providing a high level service to our clients. Whether you are looking for advice on compliance, off-grid housing, EMF radiation and shielding, residential or commercial buildings projects, ask about our services today and see how we can help you realise your project.

What type of compliance report do I need?

There are many different types of reports required for different project types. This will depend on the class of building, commercial or residential, new or existing building, and other details such as level of energy efficiency, etc. GreenForm is experienced with many and varied project types and can advise on the most suitable compliance pathway for your project.

What documentation do I need to provide for an assessment?

A standard full set of plans and specifications in pdf format will usually have all the details that are required, this will usually include;
  • Site plan
  • Floor plans
  • Elevations
  • Sections
  • Lighting/electrical plan
  • Window schedule
For further details please contact us and we’ll provide you with a full checklist of information required for the type of project, be that single residential, multi residential or a commercial project.

What’s the process?

The process is similar for most energy assessments and building certification report types. Generally when all the necessary plans and documentation has been received we will issue a quote. Once this is accepted work will begin on a draft report which is sent out for the client’s review and confirmation. With the requirements met the certified reports can then be issued to certify the project. 

Why do I need an Energy Assessment?

 The Building Code of Australia requires all new buildings in Australia to meet minimum levels of energy efficiency in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Residential dwellings in Australia must achieve a minimum of 6 stars (with some climate zone exceptions) and Commercial buildings must meet the minimum Section J standards. Planning authorities require these standards to be met in order for building approvals to be issued.

What is a NAtHERS energy rating?

A NatHERS Energy Rating is a calculation of how much energy a house uses in heating and cooling over a year to maintain a comfortable internal temperature. This is referred to as ‘thermal efficiency’ and is rated on a scale of 0-10 stars. A house with 0 stars offers no insulation from the outside temperature where as a 10 star house is able to maintain a comfortable temperature inside all year round. A higher star rating means it is more thermally efficient and uses less energy. It’s like an appliance energy rating sticker, except for your house.

What benefits does an energy rating give me?

The accuracy to which NatHERS calculates the thermal performance of an existing or planned dwelling allows an energy rating to deliver the following benefits:
  • Exact results
  • Reduced power bills
  • Reduced cost of complying with Basix
  • Increased property values
  • Healthier homes
  • Environmentally friendly buildings

Difference between BASIX and NatHERS?

BASIX is an intiative of the NSW government and sets minimum standards for 3 areas including water, thermal and energy. NatHERS is a national scheme and NatHERS energy ratings can be used for the thermal section of Basix by using the simulation method. Energy Ratings are much more thorough, accurate and flexible than the Basix thermal tool. For this reason, to achieve the best thermal outcome at the lowest cost we recommend combining Basix with NatHERS energy ratings.

What are the limitations of Basix?

There are many situations where Basix does not match the thermal modelling capabilities of NatHERS. Basix will specify each component of a house individually which can be undesirable if that means having shading devices impacting on aesthetics or expensive windows being mandated. For example, Basix may specify higher performance glazing for the south side of a house. All that can be done to avoid this is to reduce the area of glazing. NatHERS however, can compensate elsewhere- eg by boosting insulation to moderate the window performance values required.

What is a Section J Report?

A BCA Section J Report is required by local council as part of the approval process, and applies to all class 2-9 buildings including commercial, retail, apartments and industrial. A Section J Report demonstrates compliance with the energy efficiency provisions of the Building Code of Australia. Click for more on BCA Section J reports.

What is a Section J JV3 Assessment?

Verification Using a Reference Building (JV3) is an alternative method of demonstrating compliance with Section J of the BCA. This method models a “reference” building based on the BCA DTS requirements and compares it to the design “proposed” building to determine if the proposed building performs better. Building certification or compliance is achieved when the proposed building meets or exceeds the energy efficiency of the reference building. Click for more on BCA JV3 reports.

Selling/Leasing your property in the ACT?

Owners selling or leasing their residential property in the ACT are required to disclose to prospective purchasers the current energy performance of their dwelling. For information on this see our Mandatory Disclosure page.

Do items such as appliances, air-conditioners, etc affect star ratings?

Generally not, as NatHERS energy ratings are based on how well designed and built the permanent structure of a building will be. Systems and appliances that are added to a building and are likely to be changed over the lifespan of a building are not taken into consideration.