Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Building a safe / sustainable home

Planning & Development / Construct / Building a safe/sustainable home

Building a safe / sustainable home

How much difference can good design make?

Energy efficient, smart designs are a way to save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and live more comfortably. Well-designed houses can also increase protection from bushfire.

You can make a difference with: 

  • The size of the house and its orientation
  • The building materials used
  • Installing a rainwater tank
  • The types of water fittings, including taps, toilets and showerheads
  • How many windows and where they are in relation to the sun
  • The type of hot water system
  • Well-placed insulation

Smart building ideas for the South East

The magazine Home Comforts, produced by the Sustaining Our Towns project, is available from Bega Valley Shire Council offices in Zingel Place, Bega, and also online. With South East conditions in mind the magazine looks at ways of achieving energy-efficient, as well as stylish, modern homes.

Home Comforts looks at what to consider when buying land and building a home, including BASIX Certificates, managing bushfire risk and council planning requirements and it explains the principles of passive solar design in easy terms.

Explaining BASIX

In New South Wales BASIX, or the BASIX Sustainability Index, calculates online the energy and water efficiency of your proposed home or building design. You need a BASIX Certificate to get planning approval and the Bega Valley Shire Council requires your Certificate to be presented when you submit your Development Application or Complying Development Certificate in the case where you may be constructing a dwelling over $50,000 in value.  In order to get a BASIX certificate your house must:

  • Score 25 or more for energy
  • Score 40 or more for water*
  • Achieve a pass for thermal comfort

* The BASIX water target varies across the state, depending on the climate. The eastern areas have a water target of 40. A BASIX certificate is required for all new residential buildings including multi-unit, residential developments such as villas, townhouses, low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise developments and also alterations and additions.

Choosing a builder – the golden rule

NSW Fair Trading has information about choosing builders and tradespeople. The golden rule is to make sure all builders and tradespeople have a valid licence. You can look up the licence details of any contractor you are thinking of using on the NSW Fair Trading home building online licence check or call 13 32 20 to talk to NSW Fair Trading customer service officers will help you.

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