- Owners and Builders
The NatHERS Administrator is aware many assessors are frustrated with the current situation regarding windows and have been actively working on improvements to address these concerns.
One of the complaints we hear regularly is that the custom windows library is not up-to-date and the window an assessor is looking for is not in the library. This has been caused by the process involved with transferring data from the Window Energy Rating Scheme (WERS) database to the Australian Fenestration Rating Council (AFRC) database (the database used by NatHERS software tools) being very time consuming to transfer. A diagram showing the process involved for custom windows can be viewed here on the NatHERS website.
To resolve this issue, the NatHERS Administrator has been working with the AFRC and CSIRO to overcome the technical issues to data transfer and establish processes that make the data transfer faster and easier for the AFRC to undertake. Recent improvements have made the process twice as fast. The AFRC anticipate the custom window library will be updated in August and we expect these AFRC updates to be incorporated in all NatHERS software tools in November as per the developers' regular update schedule. The NatHERS Administrator is also working with software tool providers to streamline the way windows libraries are updated in each of the tools.
Another complaint we receive is about the lack of clear guidance of substitution rules for custom windows. Resolving this issue is complicated, as any new rules need to be carefully investigated to ensure they are technically implementable, do not place unnecessary burden on stakeholders and any potential rating impacts are identified. As the majority of NatHERS ratings are done for regulatory purposes, changes that could have regulatory impacts also need to be supported by all states and territories. With all this considered, the NatHERS Administrator will be briefing the NatHERS Steering Committee this month about options for new substitution rules and looks forward to implementing the preferred option shortly.
Recognising windows are a source of frustration with assessors, the NatHERS Administrator has prioritised working on these issues in order to achieve the best possible solutions.