What is a NABERS rating?

NABERS stands for National Australian Built Environment Rating System. It’s Australia’s benchmark for measuring how sustainable – how environmentally-friendly – a property is. 

NABERS was founded in 1998 as a government tool to measure the environmental performance of Australian buildings. Given a rating between 1 and 6 stars (1 being poor; 6 being market-leading), the system is now the industry-standard for investors and commercial property owners across the nation. Industry players nickname the sustainable rating a property’s “green credentials”. 

Beyond just being a great indicator for commercial property investors, the government requires particular tenants. Government tenants require a minimum 4.5-star rating before they will occupy a commercial property.

How are properties rated? 

A property’s NABERS rating is judged by four rateable elements:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Indoor Environment

The system looks closely at these elements, measuring water usage, energy efficiency, air and lighting quality, and even how well a building manages waste. 

Not every building type is measured by NABERS. The four building types which NABERS measures are office properties, hotels, shopping centres, and data centres. 

One point for the environment, another point for investors

With energy costs and greenhouse emissions rising, the rating system considers the future performance of a building as early as its design phase. 

In commercial real estate, it’s well-known that a high NABERS rating gives both tenant and landlord something to boast about. Both owner and occupier are doing their part for the environment by purchasing and using sustainable properties, and this puts them in good stead among the community. 

But a huge benefit to both landlords’ and tenants’ bottom line is the savings on energy costs. High NABERS rated properties can save between 30% to 40% on energy costs. 

Buildings are responsible for 40% of the earth’s carbon emissions and use almost half the world’s energy. So, with the sustainable properties becoming more relevant in the commercial property industry, it’s only smart to invest in real estate with glowing “green credentials”. 

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