The built environment is a significant contributor to anthropogenic climate change, primarily through the increasing demand for fossil fuel energy and increasing total number of buildings. In the context of moving towards a carbon-constrained future, building rating tools have emerged as a critical enabler for improving the environmental performance of the built environment. This paper examines current key residential rating tools relevant to the Australian context. It aims to provide design practitioners with some understanding of these tools, including considerations to identify the appropriate tools for various purposes. This paper updates information from its predecessor, 'Sustainability rating tools: a snapshot study', (Iyer-Raniga and Wasiluk 2007) and can be read as a companion piece to ‘Non-residential building environmental rating tools – a review of the Australian market’, Mar 2016.
Tools examined include: FirstRate 5, AccuRate Sustainability, BERS Pro Plus, BASIX, Green Star, NABERS, eTool, BREEAM, LEED and Passivhaus.