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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

3 April 2006

New voluntary commercial building environmental rating system


Property owners and tenants of commercial buildings will be able to assess their energy and water consumption from today and can make changes to improve their environmental impact by using the new voluntary National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).

The new voluntary commercial building environmental rating system builds on the proven and respected Australian Building Greenhouse Rating for energy efficiency with the addition of the water efficiency module.

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today welcomed news that the water component of the system was now available for the commercial building sector.

“The Australian Government made a significant contribution to this system, providing funding of $600,000 to the research and early development of the NABERS tool for improving the environmental performance of existing building stock,” Senator Campbell said.

“Together with the NSW Government we contributed to the final testing of the tool.

NABERS uses a voluntary star rating system that will provide information on an existing commercial building or performance of a single dwelling home and identify areas that may be modified to reduce operational costs and create healthier environments. It aims to complement existing expert design tools and design-based ratings systems.

“Reducing energy consumption and water use are very important considerations for business and industry today. The more stars that buildings can achieve the better, both for the environment and the businesses bottom-line,” he said.

Developed by the Australian Government in collaboration with the NSW Government, NABERS will be an important resource to help property managers and tenants make informed business decisions to minimise their environmental impact and save money.

“Commercial buildings are significant energy and water users. Savings in water consumption can be dramatic. If every office building in Australia improved their water rating by just one star, the city’s overall annual water consumption would be cut by over 5,800 megalitres of water. This is enough to fill 2,300 Olympic swimming pools!

“The Australian Government is proud to have been involved with this project and we look forward to the expansion of the system to include waste, indoor environmental quality and site impacts in the near future,” Senator Campbell said.

For more information about NABERS office please visit www.nabers.com.au

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

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