In order to combat climate change and global warming, the
Victorian Government has announced five star standards for home
renovations and relocations. These changes came into effect on
1 May 2008. The changes have brought Victoria in line with
national standards in the Building Code of Australia.
Since June 2005, new homes in Victoria must achieve a five
star energy rating for the building fabric, water efficient
taps and fittings, plus either a rainwater tank for toilet
flushing, or a solar hot water system. Now renovations and
relocated homes will be subject to similar requirements.
What are the new requirements?
The requirements for alterations or relocated homes are not
as extensive as those prescribed for new homes and only apply
to renovation work that requires a building permit. Therefore
simple renovation work is excluded. The requirements only apply
to the thermal performance of a home and do not require a solar
hot water system or rainwater tank for toilet flushing.
Essentially that means homeowners only need to ensure that they
comply with a five star building fabric.
When do the new requirements apply to renovations or
If the type of renovation work undertaken exceeds 50 per
cent of the original volume of the building (including any
alterations carried out in the previous three years) the
existing building must be brought up to the same standard as
The new regulations also apply to any extension greater than
25 per cent of floor area of the existing building or 1,000
square metres (whichever is the lesser). There are
circumstances where the building surveyor has discretion to
allow partial compliance. Relevant factors include where the
compliance would be overly onerous, technically impractical or
would not provide a level of benefit proportionate with
Before building, renovating or relocating your home it is
important to speak to your local council, developer or building
surveyor to see whether the works must comply with the five
star energy efficiency standard and if so, how this affects
The content of this article is intended to provide a
general guide to the subject matter. Specialised advice should
be sought about your specific circumstances.
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