Moving to a Net-Zero Housing Future


Moving to a Net-Zero Housing Future

Our team is honoured to be working on a project that will set a new benchmark for Sustainably sesigned Townhouses in Victoria, and to assist in Australia’s transition to acarbon free, Net-Zero future. 


Text by George Fortey

The National House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) is a government-run program that

assesses the energy efficiency of homes in Australia. It provides a rating, on a scale of zero
to 10, that reflects the expected thermal comfort of a home based on its design,
construction and location.

Incoming regulation, due in 2023, will set a new benchmark for new homes in Australia –
this new “net zero housing” benchmark will be to achieve 7 Stars in terms of a home’s
thermal rating and required energy use.

In assessing whether a new home, townhouse or apartment achieves the 7 Star NatHERS
rating, NTF Architecture collaborates with Environmental Consultants and Engineers who
simulate the performance of a home in terms of its heating and cooling requirements and
energy use.

This allows for an assessment of the homes overall energy efficiency by measuring aspects
such as insulation, airtightness, and glazing. The resulting NatHERS 7 Star rating is an
important tool for understanding how to improve the energy efficiency within our designs
and reduce their environmental impact.


Affordable Net-Zero Housing Designs

Moving beyond 7 Stars, NTF Architecture is now working on projects using the incoming
NatHERS Whole of Home Energy rating, which provides a more comprehensive assessment
of the energy efficiency of a home and measures it against what the software terms
“Societal Cost”.

The new assessment builds on the thermal performance assessment of 7 Stars by providing
information about the energy use of the following:

> Heating and cooling

> Hot water systems

> Lighting

> Pool/spa pumps

> Cooking and plug-in appliances

> On-site energy generation and storage.


The benefits of Net-Zero Affordable Housing

The benefits of a high NatHERS Whole of Home Energy rating go beyond financial savings. It
also provides a comfortable and healthy living environment, reduces greenhouse gas
emissions, and contributes to a sustainable future. Furthermore, a high NatHERS rating may
also increase the value of a home and make it more attractive to potential buyers,
particularly as the Nation transitions to a Net-Zero future.

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) has developed a NCC Whole-of-Home
Calculator (beta version) developed for the Deemed-To-Satisfy (DTS) elemental pathway
compliance option which, while still in its testing phase, is being used by NTF Architecture to
provide valuable feedback on our architectural design.

NTF Architecture uses the 7 Star rating as the benchmark for new projects; whether they be
new homes, townhouses or apartments. We’re also currently undertaking our first Net-Zero
Townhouse Community using the Whole of Home Beta software.

Our team is honoured to be working on a project that will set a new benchmark for
Sustainably Designed Townhouses in Victoria, and to assist in Australia’s transition to a
carbon free, Net-Zero future. Having recently received its planning approval, we look
forward to bringing this project to market in the coming months.


Stay Tuned for More.

For more information about our architectural services and the shift to net-zero, please don’t hesitate to get in touch here.

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