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6 Star Rating Victoria

6 Star Rating for New Homes in Victoria

Feb 14, 2011 | Green Rate

All new homes, alterations and additions will need to comply with an increased 6 star energy rating in Victoria on 1 May 2011. This replaces a 5 star standard that has been in place since 2005. For designs which commenced prior to the changeover date, evidence can be provided to the Registered Building Surveyor and a 5 star rating can be deemed sufficient.

The star rating is a measure of efficiency of the building envelope, based on the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable temperature within the home year round. Zero stars means the building shell does almost nothing to reduce discomfort of hot and cold weather, whereas 10 stars would indicate that no artificial heating or cooling would be necessary.

Accredited Assessors, such as Melbourne’s Green Rate, use advanced second generation computer simulation software to calculate the star rating. In Victoria, FirstRate 5 is the software tool of choice. The Assessor replicates the floor plan in FirstRate 5 and enters in details, specifications and measurements of walls, roofs, floors, windows, doors, eaves, verandas and nearby shading trees and structures.

A 6 star home is estimated to use around 25% less energy for heating and cooling than a 5 star home. In order to comply with the new standard, good design which makes use of the suns solar energy in cooler months and provides adequate shading in summer will be more important than ever. Other things like insulation in the ceiling, walls and floors, efficient glazing, and sealing gaps around windows and doors can also be effective in improving the star rating.

In the case of alterations and additions to existing homes, the size and extent of the proposed works will dictate whether or not the entire house will need to be brought up to 6 stars. Where the proposed additions and/or alterations equates to less than 50% in volume of the existing home, then only the new works will need to comply with 6 star.

In addition to meeting the new efficiency rating, new builds will also require the installation of a solar hot water system or rainwater tank used for toilet flushing.

For more information, or for advice on 6 star energy ratings call Green Rate on (03) 9439 1167.