Fyffe Design Services and Basix

What is basix?

img_basix1Introduced by the NSW Government, BASIX, the Building Sustainability Index, ensures homes are designed to use less potable water and be responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions by setting energy and water reduction targets for houses and units. BASIX is one of the most robust sustainable planning measures in Australia, delivering equitable and effective water and greenhouse gas reductions across NSW.

BASIX is an on-line program that assesses a house or unit design, and compares it against energy and water reduction targets. The design must meet these targets before a BASIX Certificate can be printed. Every development application for a new home and for renovations over $50 000.00 must be submitted to Council with a BASIX Certificate.

BASIX uses information such as site location, house size, type of building materials and fittings for hot water, cooling and heating.

By combining the expertise of our accredited ABSA Assessor, and 25 years of design experience, Fyffe Design Services can produce an energy efficient home for your comfort, eliminating the need to adjust the design to meet the Basix requirements prior to submitting your plans to Council.

What is a Thermal Performance assessment?

img_basix2Plans of all new homes (and significant renovations) built in Australia are required to meet minimum energy efficiency standards, as outlined in the Building Code of Australia (BCA). At present, plans of all new homes must achieve a minimum of 5-stars (on a scale of 1 to 10) and by the end of 2012, most States and Territories will require plans to show 6-stars or above. A number of states already require 6 star minimum energy ratings.

In NSW Thermal assessments are required as part of the regulatory process at Development Application stage as part of the Basix. A Thermal Performance Certificate can only be produced by an accredited ABSA assessor using sophisticated and accredited 2nd Generation software (Bers 4.2). We will calculate the heating and cooling loads for your new home and an overall rating. If your home does not meet the minimum annual energy allowance, we will advise you as to ways you could improve or maximise the thermal efficiency of your home. We will always try and provide various economical options without impacting the overall design of your house.

Requirements to produce a Basix Certificate:

If Fyffe Design has produced you plans, we will work from these. If your house has been designed elsewhere we require the following:

A full set of plans showing clearly:

  • Site plan – site area and orientation (north point)
  • Dimensions
  • Walls and roof – proposed construction type
  • Ceilings – proposed construction type.
  • Window schedule or codes (including any skylights).
  • Room names – e.g. bedroom/bathroom etc.
  • Fixed shading such as Pergola or verandahs – location and dimensions.
  • Eave widths and offsets if not shown on plans

All clients will be required to supply the following:

  • Hot Water system – type and Star rating
  • Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Rating ( EER)
  • Oven/cooktop type – gas/electric?
  • Use of Photovoltaic solar cells – yes/no
  • Any other energy saving systems that are to be used such as water diversion or greywater use.
  • Use of indigenous garden species
  • Preference for using performance glazing to windows
  • Preference for using energy efficient lighting.

What you will receive from us:

  • a written quote – upon receipt of your approval we will commence the assessment
  • a draft Thermal Performance (Energy Rating) and/or BASIX report for your approval
  • amendments/modifications to the draft BASIX report (if required)
  • Basix and Thermal Performance Certificates
  • Stamped plans for lodgement to Council with your D.A. application.


The time to do a BASIX assessment varies depending on the complexity of the design and the choices desired by a client. Please contact the office for a quote.
You can fax or email plans to the office for a firm quote. Faxed plans will typically not be to scale but that is OK for a quote. Plans to scale will be required if you choose to proceed.