Home Design and BASIX

Home Design and BASIX

Getting it right usually requires more than one expert.

Architects and designers are the experts in ensuring their design meets their client’s design brief, while also attempting to deliver the design on a budget. However, trying to have the design meet the required targets for BASIX is not always an easy task, and this is why a reputable assessor such as Frys Energywise can help.

Reviewing the most suitable building products, optimising for the provision of low water usage, and energy efficiency are three vital components in helping ensure compliance to BASIX. Yet with expert assessors providing advice, it takes far less time to achieve as there are less issues to address. The end result is that the clients of architects and designers end up with a smarter and more livable home into the future.

The Principal of Frys Energywise, Ian Fry, is a renowned authority on energy assessment with many years of experience within the building industry. The company he founded has a team of highly trained assessors who can provide accurate software-based solutions to review plans that require compliance as part of the New South Wales government’s BASIX building sustainability index that regulates the energy efficiency of residential buildings.

The BASIX assessment is an analysis of the plans to build a new home with the aim of reducing water use and the carbon footprint, while optimising the thermal comfort of the property.

“In order to comply with BASIX, it’s really worthwhile to think about efficiency right from the start,” says Ian BASIX allows you to use the ‘Do it Yourself’ (DIY) Method, or the ‘Simulation Method’, and Ian Fry says “it’s crucial to know which method is more suitable to meet requirements for thermal comfort.”

Deciding which method is best for the home you’re intending to build is usually based on orientation of the house’s design, including the size of the house and the number of windows. The Fry’s Energywise team have experience in both forms of assessment and can help you with this choice. However, Ian advises that based on his years of experience, there is a preferred method.

“Compared to the DIY Method, the majority of cases using the Simulation Method tend to be more cost effective,” says Fry. “The BASIX Glazing calculator used in the DIY Method is quite a rigid tool, and typically asks for window glazing to be upgraded, this bumps up the cost quite a lot.” A cost of a thermal assessment by an accredited assessor usually works out less than the cost of one approved window. Not to mention the time spent trying to get the BASIX to pass through DIY.

The Simulation Method on the other hand involves software used by a trained thermal assessors, which provides many more options in regards to added insulation, ventilation and shading devices that are not usually not an option by the DIY Method.

Ian believes that “preparation is key in order to pass a BASIX assessment, and it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed with all of the information provided. That’s why our team is dedicated to helping builders and architects get your new-build plans compliant in the most cost-effective way.”

One way the company does this is offering opportunity to send through plans for an obligation-free quote. And with a growing number of building industry companies using his service, Frys Energywise seems to be an increasingly popular choice for BASIX assessments.

Frys Energywise can be contacted on (02) 9899 2825 for advice and to carry out a BASIX assessment within the greater Sydney area. The company can be emailed at comply@frysenergywise.com.au.

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