Sustainable living

Building for the future in the ACT

On the 1st of May 2023 a new update to the National Construction Code came into effect. This is a government requirement for all new homes to meet a minimum energy efficiency rating of 7 stars and meet the Livable access provisions. We know that changes can be daunting, but we’re here to help you understand the recent updates, and what they mean for you and your new home build.

What changes are happening, and why? 

The Australian Government has recently updated the National Construction Code, which will require all new homes in ACT to:

  • Meet a minimum energy efficiency rating of 7 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS)
  • Meet the Livable (accessible housing) provisions

These changes are being driven by the government to:

  • 7-star NatHERS: Reduce carbon emissions and make homes more sustainable for the future
  • Livable (accessible housing) provisions: make homes more accessible and comfortable for everyone, particularly those with disabilities or mobility challenges

Who will this change affect?

These changes will apply to all new home builds in the ACT, regardless of who you choose to build with. The changes came into effect from the 1st May 2023, and will be applied to all new home builds that have not been approved for a Development Application (DA) or a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) by the 15th January 2024.

What impact will this have on your new home build?

7-star NatHERS: 

At Rawson, we have tested our most popular designs to understand what changes are required to meet a 7-star rating. Double glazing to all windows contributes the most to reaching the star rating, which Rawson Homes already includes as standard on all builds in the ACT.

Some of the notable changes are:

  • 2.49kW solar power with every home
  • Increasing the insulation rating or extending insulation into new areas (e.g. slab edge, underneath the joists, garage walls, internal walls)
  • LED lights

On a positive note, these updates mean you’ll build a better-quality home while also contributing to a cleaner environment and more sustainable future. Your new home will:

  • Be more energy efficient, allowing you to enjoy savings on energy bills every year
  • Be able to maintain an even indoor temperature year-round due to an improved insulation avoiding heating and cooling leakages
  • Be less reliant on air-conditioners and heaters
  • Have a reduced environmental footprint due to the use of renewable energy

Livable (accessible housing) provisions: 

All home designs will be modified to include changes aimed at improving the quality of life and independence for people with disabilities, elderly people, or anyone who has difficulty with mobility.

At Rawson, the typical updates we will make to our home designs include:

  • A step-free path from the boundary to the front/entrance door
  • At least one step-free level entrance
  • Wider doorways and hallways
  • At least one toilet on the ground/entrance level
  • At least one shower that is step free and hobless

By making these updates, it means your new home will be safer, more comfortable, and easier to navigate and use. 

What you need to do

A member of the Rawson Homes team will assist you in meeting the necessary requirements for your home to gain approval.


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