There are currently three NatHERS software tools available for use in rating the thermal performance of homes in Australia which have been approved under the former Procedure for Accrediting Software under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme, 2011 (Procedure).
AccuRate is Australia's national benchmark software tool and was designed by the CSIRO based on decades of scientific research about the way buildings operate in Australian conditions. AccuRate is accredited for use in NatHERS.
The software tool BERS Professional (designed by Solar Logic) and the software tool FirstRate 5 (designed by Sustainability Victoria) both offer versions that are accredited for use in NatHERS.
All three software tools use the same underlying calculation engine (Chenath Engine) that was designed by the CSIRO. BERS Professional and FirstRate 5 provide building professionals with alternative user interfaces.
Accredited NatHERS software tools
- AccuRate (Version 220.127.116.11)
- AccuRate Sustainability Version 18.104.22.168x
- BERS Professional (Version 4.2.110811)
- FirstRate 5 v 5.1x
Updates to accredited software tools
Existing accredited NatHERS Software Tools approved under the former Procedure will need to comply with the new Software Acccreditation Protocol, June 2012 (as set out in section 3.2.6 - Process for upgrading software) when there are revisions, updates or new versions. These updated versions will be denoted by suffixes to the software tool version number identified above (for example: AccuRate Sustainability Version 22.214.171.124'x'; BERS Professional Version 4.2.110811'x' and First Rate 5 v 5.1'x'.
Validation of Benchmark Software
The current version of AccuRate was validated against the international standard ANSI/ASHRAE 140-2001 in 2004 (also known as BESTEST). This testing procedure involved comparing the results produced by AccuRate against the results from a set of international 'reference' programs. Generally AccuRate agreed very well with the reference programs and no major discrepancies were found.
Software Accreditation Protocol
The Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) - Software Accreditation Protocol, June 2012 (Protocol) was prepared by the NatHERS National Administrator with the assistance of the state and territory building energy efficiency policy agencies and the Australian Building Codes Board. It was approved by the NatHERS Steering Committee (Energy Efficiency Working Group, E2WG) of the Select Council on Climate Change and came into effect on 26 June 2012.
This single Protocol combines and replaces the Procedure for Accrediting Software under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (April 2007 and 2011) and the Australian Building Codes Board Protocol for House Energy Rating Software (Version 2005.1).
Existing accredited NatHERS Software Tools approved under the former Procedure will need to comply with this new Protocol (as set out in section 3.2.6 - Process for upgrading software) when there are revisions, updates or new versions.
- Download the Software Accreditation Protocol, June 2012
Archive - Procedure for Accrediting Software
Note - this Procedure has been replaced by the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) - Software Accreditation Protocol, June 2012 and has been retained for archival purposes.
- Download the Software Accreditation Procedure
The document is available for downloading as a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view these files.