City of Subiaco - Energy and water efficiency standards
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Energy and water efficiency standards

This page contains information on energy and water efficiency standards and sustainability for your property within the City of Subiaco.

The National Construction Code incorporates energy and water efficiency provisions for the design and construction of new buildings and additions and alterations to existing buildings. Please visit the Australian Building Codes Board to obtain a copy of this code or please visit the City of Subiaco library to view a copy.

Six star energy efficiency

The six star requirements came into effect in Western Australia from 1 May 2012. 

The energy efficiency of houses is measured through a star rating system, with the worst performing buildings achieving a zero rating through to a ten star rating for a building that needs no artificial heating or cooling.
The BCA has a set of deemed-to-satisfy solutions that are considered equivalent to a six star rating. In addition to the six star rating for heating and cooling, the BCA requires all houses to meet new lighting efficiency standards.

These requirements also apply to any renovations or extensions that require a building license as is the case for the current energy efficiency requirements.

How do I achieve six stars?

Firstly, align your house to allow your living areas to face north. With appropriate shading, this will allow winter sun to warm your house, but blocks the heat from the summer sun. Getting this right can add up to one star to the rating on its own.

Once you have this foundation to work from, your architect, building designer or builder can help you through the rest of the design to ensure it reaches the six star standard. Some elements that may be considered include:

  • insulation
  • draught-proofing and sealing of the building's envelope
  • better window design (including size, location, quality thermal performance of frames and glazing) 
  • shading
  • building fabric (including selection of cladding materials, flooring).

Is six star only required in new homes?

Yes. These new requirements are only for new residential buildings. This is because achieving this higher standard is much easier and cheaper when building new homes. For instance, the orientation is a key component of a high performance house and can only be implemented at the design stage of a new build.

For further information on the introduction of 6 star energy ratings and sustainability in Western Australia please visit the Building Commission.