As defined by the NSW government, BASIX is one of the strongest sustainable planning measures to be undertaken in Australia. BASIX aims to make all residential dwelling types in NSW energy and water efficient.
The aim of BASIX is to reduce water and energy consumption in homes across NSW. Achieving this does not only benefit the environment, but also provide a long term financial saving for the homeowner and and to the sustainable future of local communities.
If you are building a new home, or undertaking renovations of $50,000 or more, you will need to submit a BASIX certificate with your building application.
A BASIX PDF certificate can be obtained electronically after completing the sustainability assessment for your project using the online BASIX assessment tool. Usually a building professional will complete this for you. If you need to get a certificate yourself, you can visit the BASIX Assessment Tool here. You will receive your certificate once the design of your project has met the BASIX requirements and the fee paid.
BASIX requires the applicant to enter in the rainwater tank size. It is recommended that the available rainwater storage is kept to a maximum by installing any drinking water supply top-up valves within 300mm from the base of the tank. If you require a greater top-up level, it is recommended that this volume is provided in addition to the size nominated in your BASIX commitments.
Local council authorities may require rainwater storage tanks for the sole purpose of fire fighting. This cannot be included in BASIX. The rainwater tank size nominated in BASIX must be in addition to this requirement.
When determining the size of a rainwater tank the following considerations should be made.
|What Needs To Be Considered||Appropriate Action|
|Available Land Size||Consideration should be made to the land size available and the potential position for a tank, keep in mind required setbacks from fencing and adjacent windows.|
Consider your total water demand based on the potential uses for the captured rainwater:
|Local Rainfall||Use local rainfall data to help determine the rainwater capture potential of your rainwater harvesting system.|
If you enter rainwater tank larger than a maximum allowable size, BASIX will advise you to consider the selection by not allowing certificates to be generated. Increasing the size of an already large tank may not result in proportionate improvements in potable water savings. It may be more cost effective to consider other water efficiency measures than increasing the rainwater tank indefinitely.
You can enter the maximum allowable size as advised by the BASIX tool, but still install a larger tank on site. Since the BASIX certificate states that “The applicant must install a rainwater tank of at least [number] litres on the site”, the larger tank is regarded as over-complying with the BASIX requirement.
There are a variety of rainwater tanks types available and due consideration should be made when selecting the appropriate tank type for each site.
If a rainwater tank will be located in a bushfire prone area, the tank should be fabricated from steel, concrete or other suitably protected material in accordance with NSW Rural Fire Service guidelines (http://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/building-in-a-bush-fire-area – NSW RFS website). Durability of other components should be confirmed with suppliers and appropriate warranties obtained for tanks and other system components.
You can refer to the Rainwater Harvesting System Guidelines document for detailed requirements.