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How The New NSW Basix Changes Can Affect Your Home Build

Building a new home is an exciting venture, but there are a lot of things to consider before you can break ground. One of the most important factors to consider when building a new home is the NSW Basix changes that are coming into effect on 1 October 2023. These changes will have a significant impact on the design and construction of new homes in Sydney, and it is important to understand them before starting your build.

What is BASIX?

Basix (Building Sustainability Index) is a sustainability assessment tool that has been in place in NSW since 2004. It sets minimum standards for energy and water efficiency, thermal comfort, and other sustainability features that new homes must meet before they can be approved for construction. The aim of Basix is to reduce the environmental impact of new homes and improve the health and comfort of their occupants.

The NSW Government has recently announced changes to the Basix requirements, which will come into effect on 1 October 2023. These changes are designed to further improve the sustainability and energy efficiency of new homes, and they will impact a range of design and construction elements.

What is changing?

One of the key changes to Basix is the introduction of new energy efficiency standards. From 1 October 2023, new homes will need to meet higher energy efficiency targets than ever before. This will include stricter requirements for insulation, glazing, and ventilation, as well as the installation of energy-efficient appliances and lighting.

Another important change is the introduction of a water conservation target. From 1 October 2023, new homes will need to meet a minimum target for water conservation. This will include the installation of water-efficient fixtures and fittings, such as low-flow showerheads and taps, as well as the use of rainwater tanks and other water-saving measures.

In addition to these changes, the NSW Government has also announced new requirements for thermal comfort and indoor air quality. From 1 October 2023, new homes will need to meet minimum standards for indoor temperature and air quality, to ensure that they are comfortable and healthy for occupants.

The key changes which will apply and affect most new home builds are as follows:

  • Increasing roof insulation from R3.0 to R6.0
  • Double glazed windows throughout excluding wet areas
  • External wall insulation changing from R1.5 to a minimum of R2.5
  • Use of light roof colours

So, what do these changes mean for anyone building a new home in NSW? Firstly, it means that you will need to work closely with your architect or builder to ensure that your design meets the new Basix requirements. This may involve making changes to your plans, or selecting different materials and fixtures that meet the new standards.

How will this affect build price?

Building a home under the new BASIX standards will unavoidably increase the total build cost of new homes in order to implement the new standards and ensure the new home meets or exceeds the BASIX standard. The increase of costs will depend on the type and size of your home and our team can discuss options with you in more detail.

Additional Read: Questions to consider before selecting a Builder

My home is about to commence construction, will this affect me?

If your CDC or DA application has been lodged with a valid BASIX certificate prior to 1 October 2023, then the current BASIX standards will apply. If you lodge a CDC or DA application on or post 1 October 2023, then the new BASIX standards will apply.

I have existing plans, but I don’t want to lodge prior to 1 October 2023. Will this affect me?

Your existing plans may need to be modified to comply with the increased BASIX standard and be issued a valid BASIX certificate and in particular the windows included in the home design. This will likely also increase the cost of your new home build.

How can I beat the BASIX price rise?

In order to build a new home under the current BASIX standards, you must start the process in engaging a builder as soon as possible to ensure your CDC or DA application is lodged with a valid BASIX certificate prior to 1 October 2023. The planning and pre-construction stages of a new home build have many steps which must be followed and therefore it is recommended you do not delay starting the process.

In addition, local councils will no doubt now be inundated with applications being rushed in before 1 October 2023, so we do anticipate additional delays in the approval process. Our experienced team is here to guide you every step of the way and can assist with any questions you may have.

Despite the challenges, the new Basix requirements are an important step forward for sustainable building in NSW. By setting higher standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor comfort, these changes will help to reduce the environmental impact of new homes and improve the health and wellbeing of their occupants.

As a homeowner, it is important to embrace these changes and work with your architect or builder to create a sustainable and comfortable home that meets the new Basix requirements.


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