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What exactly is commercial building disclosure?

By Greg Bell

Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) is a nationwide scheme to provide energy efficiency details to potential buyers or tenants. It currently applies to commercial offices, but the government is considering whether to expand the program to buildings such as hotels and retail centres.

What is the purpose of the Commercial Building Disclosure program?

There are two aims of the CBD program – to reduce the footprint left by some of Australia's biggest commercial office properties and to ensure tenants and buyers are adequately informed.

The former relies on how much the landlord or property owner is willing to do to improve energy efficiency. While we all know that energy efficient buildings result in fewer emissions and help to protect environment, they also cost less to run. As a result they're more appealing to tenants, which means that landlords have to consider how they can improve their energy efficiency if they're to remain competitive. 

For tenants and buyers, the CBD program provides an opportunity to properly compare the commercial properties available to them and make informed business decisions.  

What buildings does the scheme apply to?

At present, all commercial office spaces of 1000 square metres or more are included in the scheme. It means that whenever a property meeting these requirements is available for sale or lease, energy efficiency information must be provided by the building owner.

How to building owners and lessors meet the requirements?

Owners, lessors and property managers are entirely responsible for ensuring that tenants and buyers have energy efficiency as they arrive, if not before.

They can do this by obtaining a BEEC (Building Energy Efficiency Certificate). This certificate consists of a NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) energy star rating and a tenancy lighting assessment. 

It's also down to landlords and owners to determine whether or not their building needs a BEEC. A CBD assessor can confirm whether or not a property needs to comply.

What are the minimum standards?

Buildings do not have to reach a minimum standard of energy efficiency. The only legal requirement is for landlords to obtain a BEEC before they advertise the property and include the NABERS energy rating on the listing.

Penalties apply to property owners who do not meet these requirements. 

Finding out more about the CBD program

Whether you're a tenant looking for a new commercial property or a building owner looking to lease or sell, the team at Ray White Surfers Paradise are happy to help you learn more about CBD requirements. Get in touch with our friendly team today.

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