Commercial Building Disclosure

Important changes to the Commercial Building Disclosure Program

A view of Sydney's skyline from the Royal Botanical Garden. 30.07.12Following a comprehensive review of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program earlier this year, and public consultation on the proposed changes to the program, the Australian Government announced this week that the mandatory disclosure threshold on commercial office buildings will reduce from 2000 square metres to 1000 square metres starting 1st July 2017.

Importantly, this impending expansion of the regulatory requirements of the CBD program to include additional commercial office buildings, also comes with the announcement of reducing the regulatory requirements for the Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA) component by increasing the TLA validity period from 1 to 5 years from 1st September 2016. Continue reading

Energy efficiency disclosure scheme for buildings may expand

A federal scheme that requires commercial buildings to disclose their energy efficiency may be extended to more properties after proving its worth.  A review of the Commercial Building Disclosure program, which began in 2010, found the scheme generated benefits of $44 million more than costs.  The mandatory disclosure system encouraged behaviour change by owners, operators and tenants.

“This was particularly evident in buildings with relatively low initial levels of energy performance,” an ACIL Allen report found.

The report estimated large amounts of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced as a result.  The scheme covers about 5,000 buildings with 26 million square metres of space.  It applies to office floor spaces of 2,000 square metres or more at the time of sale, lease or sublease. Continue reading

CBD Review Released

Have your say on proposed changes to the CBD Program

On the 4th February 2016, The Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, released the report on the Commercial Buildings Disclosure (CBD) Program Review (
The independent review, produced by ACIL Allen Consulting, found the CBD Program to be a successful and effective way of delivering significant benefits at a minimal cost to industry and government. The review concluded the CBD Program has delivered $44 million in benefits over the last four years by assisting to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings. The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP agreed that the CBD Program will continue and consideration would be given to the recommended regulatory changes that are projected to deliver an additional $13 million in energy efficiency benefits by 2028 and streamline industry regulatory obligations. Continue reading

Are you managing your Energy Reporting Risk ? As come November the Penalties are harsh !

Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) is a national program designed to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings.

Transitional Provisions Ending this Year

The current transitional provisions of the CBD program that require only a NABERS base building energy rating to be disclosed will end on 31 October 2011, with full mandatory disclosure requirements commencing on 1 November 2011.

From 1 November 2011, the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 (BEED Act) requires corporations selling, leasing or subleasing certain large (>2000sqm) office spaces to register a full Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC), not just a NABERS rating.
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R & M Diminished

Is your ‘too good to be true’ property deal rally sustainable?
According to Napier & Blakeley managing director Alastair Walker, lack of capital post GFC has lead to a significant neglect of repair and maintenance (R&M) and Capex spend.  Having worked on property due diligence valued at plus $10B since the GFC, Napier & Blakeley has seen only nominal spend on upkeep compared with previous years.

Reduced Life Expectancy and Premature Capex
Recent technical due diligence and condition assessments have also found that the lack of R&M and Capex budgets for economic life driven plant and equipment overhauls and refurbishments has resulted in increased short and medium term Capex.

To put this in context, without appropriate R&M, major plant items may have an economic expected life of (say) 25 years, however the reduction of removal of maintenance can result in a major shortfall in expected life to around 15 years.

The Reaction
Astute purchasers have become aware of this risk and look for these patterns in their technical due diligence reporting to ensure that appropriate Capex costs are factored into the purchase price to account for a vendor’s R&M expenditure shortfalls. 

Condition assessments, maintenance reviews, energy assessments and risk weighted strategic Capex forecasts have become 2010’s essential tools for good asset and facility management and sustainable property solutions.  Continue reading

Tax Breaks for Green Buildings



Using depreciation as a way to encourage the greening of the build environment has been a hot topic for a number of years. During the recent federal election the Labor party announced policies that included the delivery of such incentives.

Last week via their web site Labor provided a little more flesh to their approach in this area.

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CBD Legislation Update – Exclusion for Mixed Use Buildings


Today the Australian government announced that mixed use buildings will be excluded from the CBD legislation for a period of twelve months and major new refurbishments will have a two year exclusion from date of refurbishment.

Following industry consultation the Australian Government Department of Energy Efficiency  and Climate Change set up an industry forum to review the implementation of the Commercial Building Disclosure legislation (mandatory rating legislation).

This group includes Roger Walker, Head of Sustainability at Napier &  Blakeley. We are pleased to advise that Roger’s advice that the legislation should exclude buildings which do not have a minimum of 75% office use has been accepted by the Hon Minister Combet.

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Future Proofing your Commercial Property

If you are contemplating an upgrade of your office, retail, hotel or industrial property, you may be left with a redundant building if you are not  considering a sustainable property solution.

Napier & Blakeley offer a wide range of consultancy services that will help you deliver  a more efficient and marketable solution for your property. Our services include:

  • Energy assessments      
  • Sustainable design advice
  • Government Funding advice
  • Project financing options
  • Cost Planning and Life Cycle analysis
  • Project Management
  • Property Tax profiling

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Recent Trends in Technical Due Diligence

Is your ‘too good to be true’ deal really sustainable ?

Lack of Capital post GFC has lead to a significant neglect of R&M and Capex spend.

Having worked on property due diligence valued over $10B since the GFC, Napier & Blakeley have seen only nominal spend on upkeep compared with previous years.

Risk of Non-Compliance (i)

During this period the increasing trend has been a notable reduction of Repair and Maintenance (R&M) and Capital Expenditure (Capex)  budgets. Whilst this strategy may have been necessary in some circumstances e.g. postponement of non-essential Capex, we have found too commonly evidence of non-compliance regarding statutory maintenance such as testing, auditing and reporting of essential safety measures and fire safety systems.

Reduced Life Expectancy and Premature Capex 

Recent technical due diligence and condition assessments have also found that the lack of R&M and Capex budgets for economic life driven plant and equipment overhauls and refurbishments has resulted in increased short and medium term Capex.

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Does the election outcome create further opportunity for greening your office building, retail centre or hotel ?


The short answer is yes it does, with direct financial support for improvements in emission reductions for commercial buildings.

Election promises impacting the commercial property industry were:

  • Green Building Fund extension (now office, retail and hotels that can be NABERS Energy rated) with $30Million dollars available for funding for new application rounds from now until July 2011.
  • Tax allowance bonus for Green building improvements, for office buildings, Retail Centres (over 10,000sqm) and Hotels. Conditions will apply, but if you meet them then this is a 14.5% reduction in project costs for improving energy efficiency.

With the details yet to be defined by the responsible departments we assume that the green building fund mark 2 will be delivered fairly quickly and with their previous rounds offering around $15million per round then another two rounds should be undertaken. Perhaps one for January and one for April 2011, which allows for time to set up and then for all funding agreements to be finalised before the tax allowance bonus commences in the following financial year.
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