Building performance

The performance of the base building tenants rent from is a crucial factor in the overall comfort and efficiency of the space. There are a number of ways to measure and influence building performance, through its Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) and NABERS rating, Green Star rating and lighting power density. CitySwitch provides evidence of the benefits of high-performing buildings and sample calculations to assist with the business case for selecting a high-performing building. 

Key elements

  • Overview of the commercial building disclosure program

    The Commercial Building Disclosure program provides mandatory performance ratings for offices, in the form of BEECs (Building Energy Efficiency Certificates).


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  • Why choose a high-performing building

    An indicative estimate of the financial benefits of high-performing buildings, in terms of electricity saved, reduced absenteeism, retention and productivity.


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  • How to work with BEEC ratings

    If your building has a poor BEEC rating, a lighting upgrade is likely to provide substantial gains and a better work environment.


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  • Energy in Buildings: 50 Best Practice Initiatives

    The Clean Energy Finance Corporation's Energy in Buildings: 50 Best Practice Initiatives.




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Related resources

  • Commercial Building Improvement Guide

    Six step introductory guide to upgrading your building, from consideration and baseline assessment to financing, implementation and ongoing management. Compiled for building owners and facilities
    managers of B, C and D grade buildings, the guide also provides an extensive list of resources to assist with the upgrade process.




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  • BCO Guide to improving the environmental performance of offices

    A guide by the British Council for Offices providing methods to measure building performance, occupant satisfaction, case studies and more. The report says that high performance can create productivity improvements that swamp utilities costs.


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  • Energy efficiency certification scheme

    This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.


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  • Explainer: Green Star and NABERS Ratings

    How are Green Star, NABERS used in office tenancies? Currently these two voluntary national accreditation programs exist to measure and report on environmental performance of office tenancies and assist in guiding best practice office fit-outs, and they can be complementary.


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  • Claiming Energy Savings Certificates ('Eskis')'

    NSW businesses can improve the rate of return on investment for projects by claiming Energy Savings Certificates (aka 'Eskis') which are redeemable for cash based using NABERS ratings as evidence of savings.


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  • The Tenant & Landlords Guide to Happiness: ebook

    This e-book explores opportunities for improved collaboration and sustainable outcomes between commercial tenants and landlords. Produced by The Fifth Estate in partnership with Sydney's Better Buildings Partnership, it reveals opportunities for an improved leasing process.


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  • Fact Sheet: Why choose a high performing building

    A business case scenario showing how best practice indoor office environments can create savings above those from energy bills. A good building makes healthy and happy staff and improves their productivity.




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  • Green Lease Lifecycle Tool

    A comprehensive online tool which outlines each step of the leasing process, providing information on who to engage, when to engage them and importantly the key expectations, issues and resources to consider along the way. Produced by the Better Buildings Partnership.


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  • Green Lease Guides

    Tenants Guide to Green Leases (19 pages) and a Handbook for leasing advisors to incorporate green lease provisions (60 pages) created by the Australian government.




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Case studies

  • Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

    Case Study: Cameron Chisholm Nicol

    The Perth tenancy of architecture and interior design practice Cameron Chisholm Nicol is testimony to the organisation's energy efficiency and carbon neutral commitment. They have achieved energy cost savings of 30 per cent and a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating.




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  • Case Study: 135 on King

    Case Study: 135 on King

    135 on King, a Knight Frank Management office in Sydney, has improved its NABERS Energy Rating from 3 to 5 stars. Energy savings were achieved through low cost technical upgrades, staff behaviour change programs and by aligning energy-consuming operations with staff hours. 




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  • Case Study: Stockland

    Case Study: Stockland

    A move to a new Sydney office provided Stockland with a renewed focus on achieving 'best practice' operations. Their efforts paid off with a 5 star NABERS Energy rating achieved and the satisfaction of generating 49 per cent less CO₂ emissions than an average tenancy.




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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.