CBD Assessments and Building Energy Efficiency Certificates

What are they?

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act (2010) lays out requirements that all office buildings offering a sale or leasing transaction of greater than 2000m² must have a Building Energy efficiency Certificate (BEEC).  The BEEC consists of a current NABERS Energy Base Building rating (or a whole building rating if this is not possible), a Commercial Building Disclosure Tenancy Lighting Assessment (often referred to as a CBD assessment or a TLA), and a generic statement of energy efficiency advice (which is the same for every building).

The Tenancy Lighting Assessment is an assessment of the nominal lighting power density of the tenancy lighting system and the degree of sophistication of the control of the tenancy lights.

Nominal Lighting Power density is Rated as Excellent, Good, Median or Poor across the range <7W/m² to >18W/m².  Control systems are categorised as Good (predominantly occupancy sensor controlled) through to poor (predominantly manual).

As the requirement for a BEEC is determined under the BEED Act, there are fines if buildings are advertised without a BEEC.

Why are they useful?

The BEEC generally provides a capture for the middle tier of the property market that had largely failed to adopt NABERS.  As a result, for significant transactions in these middle tier buildings, the BEEC provides a clear signal to owners and tenants as to the efficiency of the asset.

The TLA component of the BEEC addresses the efficiency of the space that a tenant might be considering moving in to.  By providing this information, the BEEC enables tenants to understand whether they are moving into a tenancy with good lighting efficiency potential or poor lighting energy efficiency potential.  It also provides a benchmark against which owners can measure their properties and strategically target upgrades.

Issues to be aware of

BEECs are not universally available:

  • BEECS are only required for buildings with transactions greater than 2000m², so small buildings are not covered.  Furthermore:
  • BEECS are currently not required for buildings with less than 75% office space
  • New buildings are exempt from the BEEC requirement until they have the operating data to undertake a NABERS rating
  • Police and government security operations are exempt from the requirement to undertake a TLA.  Essentially all other spaces are required to undertake an TLA unless they are technically unassessable for some reason.

Applicable buildings

Only office buildings undertaking transactions or advertising spaces over 2000m² are required to have a BEEC.

Questions to ask

  • Does the building have a current BEEC and if so what were the results of the NABERS rating and the TLA?
  • If the building does not have a current BEEC, what was the reason?

More information

CBD program: www.cbd.gov.au