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BASIX or Building Sustainability Index

February 03, 2020

Water and energy use affects everyone which is why on July 1st, 2004 the New South Wales government introduced the BASIX or Building Sustainability Index scheme to regulate the energy efficiency of residential buildings.  With the aim being to reduce water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to pre-BASIX (2004) buildings, an online assessment tool was created which will rate the expected performance of any residential development in terms of:

  • 1. Water Efficiency
  • 2. Thermal Comfort
  • 3. Energy Usage

Many people install rainwater tanks and environmentally friendly, water saving spouts to meet these expectations. Before a Basix certificate can be generated minimum targets must be met, and then submitted as part of a development application or application for complying development.

In this article we hope to provide an overview of some of the questions you may have about this scheme.

What are the requirements?

Any person submitting a Building Application in NSW for a new house, alteration, addition, villa, townhouse, units, plus a swimming pool or outdoor spa is required to apply and hold a BASIX Certificate.

Do I need a BASIX certificate?

You are required to apply for a Basix certificate for the construction of the following:

    • A. new houses
    • B. new townhouses and villas
    • C. new dual occupancies
    • D. new granny flats
    • E. new flats and apartments
    • F. renovations of $50,000 or more to an existing home
    • G. swimming pools and/or spas larger than 40,000 litres
    • H. the conversion of an existing non-residential building to a residential building.

    Is Basix required for commercial?

    A Basix certificate is not required for:

    • 1. commercial or industrial building works
    • 2. minor residential building works that meet the criteria for exempt development, for which approvals are not needed.

    How long is a Basix certificate valid?

    Once you have lodged your application with the council or accredited certifier it is valid for the maximum life of the development application. Prior to submission to council or accredited certifier, a BASIX certificate is valid for 3 months

    How much does Basix cost?

    While access to the tool itself is free, at the time of writing this article the following figures as listed on the NSW government website outline the costs involved to submit your application.

    • A. A single dwelling costs $80,
    • B. Multi-dwelling costs $80 for the first two dwellings and $35 for each additional dwelling.

    Can I do my own Basix?

    Any single dwelling (detached, attached or granny flat) can be assessed using the DIY method. The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) method is a web-based Deemed-to-Satisfy method for completing the Thermal comfort section of BASIX.

    Where can I find out more?

    • Visit the BASIX website -
    • Call on 1300 650 908.
    • If you, or someone you know, needs the assistance of an interpreter, call 13 14 50. Ask for an interpreter in your language and say you would like to be connected to the1300 650 908 Basix Helpdesk.
    • Or send an email

     All information was sourced from


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