NatHERS for residential dwellings- Building Approvals and construction certificates


Energy saved for a positive environmental outcome for us all. 


NatHERS for residential dwellings provides homes with a star rating out of ten which is based on an estimate of your home’s potential energy use.

Did you know that the most significant update to the National Construction Code in more than a decade will increase the required thermal performance of residential dwellings from the current level 6-stars NatHERS to the equivalent of 7 stars? So, what does NatHERS for residential dwellings mean for your new development?

Based on industry research, public feedback and government policy directions, the National Construction Code is updated every three years. These enhanced residential energy efficiency provisions aim to meet commitments made under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The federal and state building ministers directed the Australian Building Codes Board to develop

Along with the increase to 7-stars, these proposed changes are a whole-of-home approach, to include air conditioning, heated water, lighting, swimming pool and spa pump equipment in the house.

This approach enables trading between the efficiency of the equipment to achieve the annual energy use budget. On-site renewables may also be installed to offset the energy consumption of the equipment, but not the building fabric.

Responding to the proposed changes, Trivess Moore, a senior lecturer at RMIT University’s Sustainable Building Innovation Lab, said the likely increase from 6 to 7 stars was a critical step on the path towards “near zero carbon/energy housing.”

“An increase from 6 to 7 stars would result in an average reduction in energy for heating and cooling of 24 percent across Australia,” he said.

“The performance of new Australian housing is at least 40 percent worse than many other developed countries in similar climate zones. While the move to 7 star will close this gap, there is much more that we could be doing right now.”

“Research undertaken at RMIT University found that more than 80 percent of new housing in Australia is only built to the minimum 6 star standard, with less than 1.5 percent built to the optimal environmental and economic performance of 7.5 stars demonstrating the need to improve minimum regulatory requirements.

“Increasing the minimum star rating alone will not be enough. There is an issue across the industry with performance not matching design outcomes. Any changes to minimum performance requirements must be accompanied by greater accountability in the building industry to deliver improved outcomes.”

How to Achieve A Higher NatHERS Star Rating For Your Home?

Do you want to achieve the highest, cost-effective NatHERS Star Rating for your project?  Aiming to keep your family cool in summer and warm in winter while keeping energy bills down?

Here are four ways to save money on your energy compliance:
  • Design adequate roof ventilation to gain an extra 1/2 star rating
  • Choose a light-coloured roof for an extra 1/4 star
  • Source your windows from specific window manufacturers to earn an extra 1/2 star
  • Specify dynamic glazing to achieve an extra 1/2 star

The team at APA specialises in building approvals, Complying Development and Construction Certificates and Development Approvals from Council , as well as preparing your SoEE, planning reports and site surveys. We can assist you achieve the highest NatHERS for residential dwellings. Get in touch with us to find out the next steps to get your planning approvals here:

You can read the article in full here: National Construction Code