Back to Blog
Leveraging Energy Advisors for South Australian Builders: A Strategic Approach to Meeting 7-Star Home Requirements
Get your free white paper and ensure you are one of the builders or architects who are ahead of the game and come out of the changes more profitable, not less profitable.
Sign up for our NCC 2022 newsletter and get the white paper.
Back to Blog
Back to Blog
I am disappointed to learn of further delays in the introduction of 7 star homes to South Australia announced on 24/3/2023. While it is good to have a confirmed date for the implementation of the National Construction Code (NCC 2022) requirements, it is disheartening to hear that we will have to wait until 1 October 2024 before these standards become mandatory. This means that an additional 12,000 South Australian homes will be constructed without the cost-effective improvements that 7 star homes offer, making it difficult to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these homes.
The building industry has argued that they cannot afford to make the necessary changes at this time, but I believe that these claims are unfounded. The cost increase is less than 1% for a conventional home, and the energy cost savings gained from the changes are greater than the extra cost of the loan. Furthermore, these supply chain disruptions and cost increases are temporary and are expected to dissipate by October 2023, when most other states will begin implementing the changes.
While some argue that the industry is not ready for the changes, the fact remains that the deadline was originally set for 1st September 2022, and even those states that are sticking to the agreed timelines will have had 13 months to prepare (longer if you take into account that it was widely disseminated early 2022 that 7 star homes were going to be a requirement). Much of the building industry has spent more time delaying the introduction of these requirements than working on how to implement them. I believe that they will not start seriously addressing the changes needed until a few months before the deadline (for some probably after the deadline), regardless of when it is set.
I believe that there is a significant portion of the public who are prepared to build 7 star homes now, given the concerns about rising energy costs. This is an opportunity for progressive builders to get ahead of the curve and start designing and marketing 7 star homes now.
Improving home energy efficiency is crucial, as most Australians use more energy for heating than cooling. The peak load in summer may only be for a few hours each day, but in winter, the heating demand is constant and generally consumes more energy. As there is less solar available in winter, unless we can reduce winter energy costs, electricity costs will be driven by winter demand and remain high. Therefore, it is imperative that we act quickly to improve home energy efficiency.
To find out how to cost effectively achieve a 7 star energy rating go to Architect and Builder Services.
Back to Blog
Imagine it is September 2023 and you are about to submit a building consent approval, but the client suddenly wants a change, so you won’t be able to submit until October. Not only are you going to have to make the client’s requested change, but you are also going to have to redesign to the new 7-Star NatHERS requirements. If you haven’t already worked out your strategy to achieve economical 7-Star homes, you are likely to be forced to add higher performing windows and additional insulation as they are quick (but expensive) fixes to boost the rating.
We all know that in design, low cost is best achieved at the concept phase when you are talking to the client. If you know what your strategy is going to be, you can ensure that houses you design now, are 7-Star ready.
Depending on your target market and the normal standard of construction your clients expect, with a well thought out strategy, the marginal cost can be reduced to a few thousand dollars or even in some cases cost neutral or a saving.
To achieve this it is necessary to start from scratch, with a focus on 7-Star construction, rather than taking a six star design and tweaking it. This requires a full understanding of the drivers of 7-Star homes and understand the potential performance solution options.
Some additional issues like acoustic requirements (backing on to a noisy road), may mean that both requirements can be achieved for the cost of the acoustic requirements.
Start thinking about this now, as October 2023 is only just around the corner. If you are too busy to do the research, contact us to discuss how we can help you develop a cost-effective strategy to give you a marketing advantage.
We can also help you develop a list of additional advantages that clients can get from your proposed changes to help with your marketing efforts.
To move forward, contact us.