The Australian Government has announced further changes to the
Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program in
relation to the mandatory disclosure threshold and tenancy lighting
Building managers and owners are urged to determine if their
building falls under the requirements of the CBD Program.
The change will start from 1 July 2017 and reduces the mandatory
disclosure threshold for commercial office buildings from 2,000 to
1,000 square metres in net lettable area (NLA).
This means that buildings once immune to the CBD Program will need
to reassess their disclosure policies.
As a result of this change, a building will now be a disclosure
affected building if:
at least 75% of the space by NLA is used for office space (for
administrative, clerical, professional or similar information-based
activities including any support for those activities);
the building's net lettable area is greater than 1,000
square metres; and
no exemptions apply.
A disclosure affected building must obtain a Building Energy
Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) before the building
may be offered on the market for sale, lease or sublease. A BEEC
involves obtaining both:
National Australian Built Environment Rating System
(NABERS) rating in the form of energy star
a Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA) being an
assessment of the energy efficiency of the tenancy lighting of the
building or premises being leased.
Penalties may be imposed of up to $170,000 for the first
of non-compliance and up to $17,000 for each subsequent day of
In addition to the above, the new changes to the CBD Program
also proposes changes to the Tenancy Lighting Assessment.
Currently, a lighting assessment is valid for 12 months, but from 1
September 2016, a TLA will be valid for 5 years. This change has
been introduced in the hopes of making compliance with the new
Actions to be taken now
If a building will be affected from 2017, building managers and
owners will need to accumulate data over the next 12 months for a
NABERS energy rating to be assessed in order to obtain a BEEC.
Unless this data is collected and the NABERS rating is obtained,
stakeholders may find it difficult to obtain the BEEC and comply
with the new requirements of the regime.
The Move towards Greener Buildings
These changes are part of a greater policy, to improve energy
productivity and is in line with other government policies
regarding environmental sustainable property development. It is,
therefore, expected that there might be further regulatory changes
the energy efficiency requirements in the construction of
the energy efficiency disclosure of residential buildings.
This ultimately means that the lessor and lessee relationship
will need to adapt to the shift towards greener buildings. Lawyers
must also ensure that leases are structured properly so that the
rights and obligations of both parties are uniform with the
requirements for energy efficiency.
If stakeholders are unsure of their obligations under these new
changes, it is recommended that they act quickly to seek legal
advice in order to avoid the consequences of non-compliance.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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