The Commercial Building Disclosure Scheme
For a while it was called the Mandatory Disclosure of Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings Scheme. But that was a mouth full. So now it is the Commercial Buildings Disclosure Scheme; which can be conveniently shortened to CBD. As many readers will know, Section J (of the BCA) has been in force for some time but only affects new buildings or new work on existing buildings. In the public policy debate the argument was that relying on improving new buildings would take 20 years to have a wide spread effect.
To push the energy efficiency objective into the existing building stock, the CBD scheme was devised. Briefly the CBD scheme is designed to provide potential purchasers or lessees of larger commercial buildings with information on the energy efficiency of the building. The intent of the scheme is to harness market forces to gradually improve the energy performance of the existing commercial building stock through out Australia. We can expect over time that the threshold for inclusion in the scheme will widen.
The scheme is based on a NABERS energy star rating for the building. After the first 12 months of the scheme’s operation the information disclosure requirements will be expanded. A Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) will then be required which will be made up of the NABERS Office Energy Base Building rating, tenancy lighting information and generic energy efficiency guidance.
You can find out more about the scheme at www.cbd.gov.au .
The new CBD laws come into effect on 1 November 2010.
There are a surprising range of issues that crop up for building owners attempting to comply with the new laws. Some of the technical issues to be addressed in reaching compliance can have very serious flow-on risks.