Sustainability in the Australian Building Industry: Key Regulations and Codes Introduction

Rosa Yousefi
July 24, 2023

The Australian building industry plays a crucial role in shaping the country's environmental footprint and addressing the challenges of climate change. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important focus globally, Australia has recognised the need for comprehensive regulations and codes to guide the construction and operation of buildings in an environmentally responsible manner. This article provides an overview of key regulations and codes introduced in the Australian building industry to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact.

National Construction Code (NCC):

The National Construction Code, which comprises the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Plumbing Code of Australia (PCA), sets the minimum requirements for the design, construction, and performance of buildings across the country. The NCC incorporates sustainability provisions related to energy efficiency, water conservation, and environmental sustainability. It outlines specific requirements for building envelope design, insulation, glazing, lighting, and HVAC systems, aiming to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Visit the official website of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) at  to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information about the NCC 2022.

Green Star Rating System:

Developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), the Green Star Rating System is a voluntary sustainability rating scheme for buildings and communities. It evaluates the environmental performance of projects across nine categories, including energy, water, materials, indoor environment quality, and innovation. The Green Star rating system encourages industry professionals to incorporate sustainable design, construction, and operational practices, and rewards buildings that achieve high levels of sustainability.

To obtain the most up-to-date information about the Green Star rating system, visit the official website of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) at

NABERS Energy and Water Ratings: 

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) provides energy and water efficiency ratings for buildings. The NABERS Energy rating assesses the energy efficiency of commercial buildings, while the NABERS Water rating evaluates water usage and conservation measures. These ratings enable building owners, tenants, and potential buyers to make informed decisions and incentivise improvements in energy and water performance.

Visit the official website of NABERS at

Residential Efficiency Scorecard: 

The Residential Efficiency Scorecard is an initiative by the Victorian government that rates the energy efficiency of existing homes. It provides homeowners with an understanding of their home's energy performance and suggests cost-effective measures for improvement. The program promotes the uptake of sustainable building practices and encourages homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint.

Visit the official website at

Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC):

ASBEC is a peak body that brings together industry, government, and research organisations to advocate for sustainable built environments. ASBEC plays a significant role in influencing policy development and promoting best practices in sustainable building design, construction, and operation. The council provides recommendations on energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, and sustainable building materials, driving the industry toward a more sustainable future.

Visit the official website at

At SUHO, we are passionate about sustainability in the building industry. We understand that each project is unique, and we are here to provide detailed information tailored to your specific needs. Feel free to reach out to us for assistance with your projects, a tailored workshop presentation or any enquiries you may have.

Let's work together to create a greener and more sustainable future in the Australian building industry!

Get in contact with us today.
Rosa Yousefi