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i've used BASIX for a dual occupancy rural dwelling, several residential renovations and the latest rural steel shed dwelling without any problem and i seem to remember that you can apply for special consideration for anything that doesn't suit the standard (although responses from BASIX staff was less than encouraging and i couldn't lie) but, for eg our new project doesn't have access to gas and we didn't want to use solar power and hot water so i've found that by upping the grade on the taps and testing the impact of the suggested space heaters or cookers and altering windows (size, shape orientation or style) this counteracts the lower rating for the water and space heating and i always aim for the lowest pass rating as that allows for more choices when final decisions have to be made.. but, luckily for us i like playing with the program to see what alternatives there are before finalising any plans... an option that takes a lot of time but would be very expensive to pay for professional BASIX calculations

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BP Architects

Basix is a software tool that provides some measurement of the sustainability of a building. There are a number of tools available such as AccuRate and First Rate. The NSW Dept. of Planning describe these tools as ‘simulation programs used to estimate the heating and cooling loads of a dwelling’. The regulations that they fall under in the Building Code of Australia / National Construction Code is the Energy Efficiency Regulations.

Although I understand your frustrations with these tools, it is worth noting that these tools are just that. Tools. They have a number of assumptions built into the program which may or may not rate the energy building efficiency of your dwelling. As bob marley found out, it did not allow for their home. Firstrate, for example, favours brick veneer construction on a concrete slab in its software.

The certificates and the rating that you obtain using these tools do not replace applying knowledge and energy efficiency principles in the design of a project. Get this right and you have a home that will be comfortable to live in all year round that doesn’t use a lot of energy.

For example, a home I designed has indoor air temperatures mostly between 20degC and 25degC all year round despite having outdoor air temperatures that fall to zero in winter and go up to 40degC. My Client said “So it seems a well-designed & well-built house does indeed provide good thermal performance without any further energy input than the sun, wind, & ceiling fans.”

Although it is compulsory to meet compliance with these house energy rating tools, And as oklouise said, these tools can be tweaked to get compliance.

The principles of best practice energy building efficiency will win hands down every time. For your benefit.

The benefit to you comes with an energy efficient home that has been designed to respond to your climate and the sun path and your surrounding environment. That's when you get a great outcome in a home that will be comfortable to live in with low energy bills.

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Roger Thompson Photography

I Love those large overhangs keeping the sun out. Must take some engineering :) . great in photos too of course!


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