The Building Inspection in ACT and Canberra has it mandatory that the inspection package includes the Energy Efficiency Rating of the home when it is sold. This is another building inspection. For this we simply measure the efficiency of the home to stay warm in winter or cool in summer.
There are multiple software packages that do this. When you get a house built you use modern software, known as fifth generation. But for used houses of any age the energy rating is worked out on a computer using software that originated in Melbourne, known as First Rate, many years ago. There is First Rate 4 and First Rate 5 that are permitted in Canberra today. First Rate 4 (pictured above) is used in used homes.
How It Works
The algorithm of the computer program takes into consideration the wall types, and if they retain insulation or allow thermal passage. This will include what insulation is in the wall cavity. There may be – for example, aluminium backed blankets. There may also be 125 mm batts in the ceiling, or the ceiling may have blown-in insulation that has reduced in thickness over the years.
The batts may have been thrown about by trades people, leaving the bare ceiling patches exposed up there in the roof. The insulation sarking under the tiles may be torn. These all have to be checked and put into the computer. There may be insulation under the floor.
The windows sizes will be taken into account. Are they single glazed? What are their frames made from? Are they treated, or double glazed? Is there a wall protecting the window from the sun? What are the eave sizes and how far above the windows are the eave linings? What are the external walls made from? How big are the bathrooms, toilets and laundry?
This blown-in insulation has shrunk over time.
Are there curtains, and if so, what type? Does the curtain have a lining? Or are there blinds, and again, what type? Are there pelmets? Is there an overshadow of the building next door? Does the existing building overshadow itself?
All this counts to stop warm air leaving the house. It should also be noted that the same EER report is needed for apartments and townhouses regardless of if they need a building inspection.
Are there shutters outside? Is the sun obstructed in the winter but exposed in the summer? What is the floor area compared to the wall area? The ratio makes a difference. What about the floor coverings? Carpet is more thermal resistant than ceramic tiles, and what are the area sizes of each?
Are there ceiling vents? Are there skylights? Gaps in the windows, walls? Are the external doors weather stripped? Is there internal brickwork acting as thermal mass? How much? And so it goes on. There is a lot more.
The licensed Building Accessor, puts all this in the program. He does not have a choice, or a way to evaluate what he sees. Simply, what is there goes into the program, and your figures comes out at the end.
The purpose of all this is relevant. It leads to a bettering of building standards and a higher awareness of the need to be aware of wasted energy. And our inspector, Nick, is happy to explain how to change your energy rating. When it is below zero outside, yes, you can be warm inside, without extravagant cost and environmental damage. The report also shows how.
But all homes need a new Energy Efficiency Rating inspection. The law on this was revised in 2019. Download that new law by clicking here: Civil Law (Sale of Residential Property) ACT 2003. Pages 31 to 34 apply. Please also check with your conveyancer.
Every ACT home MUST have an Energy Efficiency Rating before it goes on the market. It accompanies the Building Inspection, Termite and Timber Pest Inspection, and the Compliance reports.
A house, and most town houses are what we can Class B residences in ACT. They need all the reports. But what is termed a Class A residence, would be a flat, and they only need Energy Efficiency Rating. So, if you have a flat that you want to get on the market, then you just need the EER. The person to call in this case is Mark Devries. Call him direct on 0419 249 643. Tell him what you need. He will arrange it for you.
Garbage bags of beer cans. A new insulation?
Sample copy of an EER report style:
Written by Nick Broadhurst, our inspector. For more information on Nick, his background and experience: SEE HERE
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