May 24, 2016

Commercial Building Disclosure Program


CBD accredited Assessors number: CBDA0320


The Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program requires energy efficiency information to be provided in most cases when commercial office space of 1,000 m2 or more is offered for sale or lease. The aim is to improve the energy efficiency of Australia’s large office buildings and to ensure prospective buyers and tenants are informed.

The CBD Program is an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). It was established by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 and is managed by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. It is part of the broader National Strategy on Energy Efficiency.

The commercial building sector is responsible for around 10% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions and this figure is rising. Improving building energy efficiency is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change.

Disclosing energy efficiency provides everyone with access to consistent and meaningful information about the building’s performance. This makes it easier for companies to buy or rent more energy efficient office space.

An informed market rewards better performing buildings. It creates a strong market-based incentive for owners to improve their properties with cost-effective energy efficient upgrades that are attractive to buyers and tenants and increase return on investment.

The CBD Program is helping to improve Australia’s building stock by encouraging all parties in a purchase or lease transaction to consider energy efficiency.


Building Energy Efficiency Certificates (BEEC)

The CBD Program requires most sellers and lessors of office space of 1,000 m2 or more to obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) before the building goes on the market for sale, lease or sublease.

BEECs are valid for up to 12 months and include:

  • the building’s National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy star rating
  • a tenancy lighting assessment of the relevant area of the building
  • general energy efficiency guidance.

Only CBD accredited assessors can apply for BEECs on behalf of building owners or lessors.

The Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act requires that:

  • BEECs must be provided to potential buyers or lessors when requested at the time of sale, lease or sublease
  • BEECs must also be publicly accessible on the Building Energy Efficiency Register
  • the building’s NABERS Energy star rating must also be included in any advertising material for the sale, lease or sublease.


Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA)

A tenancy lighting assessment is an important component of a BEEC. It is based on a methodical survey of the general lighting system reasonably expected to be left in place after the tenant leaves and the tenancy fit out is removed. Where appropriate, a tenancy lighting assessment may also cover proposed lighting systems.

It measures the power density of the installed general lighting system of affected buildings by working out the:

  • nominal Lighting Power Density of the relevant functional space in the building
  • capacity of installed lighting control systems.

It may also include a performance comment if appropriate.

A TLA is valid for 5 years.



The CBD Program requires a NABERS Energy rating for affected buildings. NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. The CBD Program integrates the NABERS Energy for Offices rating into the information disclosed to prospective buyers and tenants of large commercial office spaces. For more details click here.



Not all buildings are required to have a BEEC when they are sold or leased. For example, new buildings where there is a certificate of occupancy less than two years old, strata-titled buildings or buildings where ownership is transferred through the sale of shares do not require a BEEC. Also buildings occupied by security sensitive tenants, e.g. police, may be exempt. Exemptions must be obtained through an accredited CBD assessor.