Sustainability (ESD) assessments are specifically tailored to meet the needs of a business owner, homeowner or renter. While there may be a shared desire to reduce their carbon footprint and/or costs, circumstances will vary considerably, therefore the scope of the assessment is determined in an initial consultation with the customer.

In the broadest terms, the scope of a Sustainability Assessment could include, in addition to energy usage, water usage and waste management, life cycle assessment (LCA) and indoor air quality (IEQ).

A typical business assessment will include:

  • Energy audit and report that includes spreadsheets indicating estimated costs and payback periods, return on investment and carbon reduction impacts of recommended options.
  • Water efficiency audit and report estimating water savings and carbon reduction impacts of recommended options
  • Waste audit based on inspection of current waste management and estimated volumes/weights based on invoices over a 12 month period

A typical residential assessment will include:

  • Thermal performance assessment of existing thermal envelope or structure
  • Energy audit
  • Water fixtures audit
  • Waste management assessment of current practices and suggestions for improved efficiency
  • Discussion of indoor environment quality (IEQ), with a specific emphasis on air quality

Scorecard Assessment

In 2021, the Scorecard assessment scheme (previously the Victorian Scorecard) was approved as an accredited nationwide scheme. The Scorecard assesses the thermal fabric of the building as well as the efficiency of fixed appliances and any onsite renewable energy. The resulting score is based on the cost of running the building. It uses the same calculator for the thermal fabric as for NatHERS assessments, (CSIRO’s Chenath engine) however, it has been designed to be much more appropriate for existing buildings. It is also designed to be very robust in its quality assurance, with the requirement of an assessor to upload evidence.

Other available options include:

  • Thermal imaging analysis of existing building
  • Computer modelling to simulate the thermal performance of building, using CSIRO’s AccuRate software
  • Simulation of different design options; used especially for new build and renovations
  • Embodied energy of materials in new build and renovation