July 19, 2022
By Anthony Wright
COVID has been a constant challenge for the past six months and we have had the same issues as everyone in that regard. I hope that as the weather warms up we return to full capacity to deliver some major changes to the energy rating landscape over the next year.
The team has been working on a new version of the AccuRate benchmark tool, due to be released to coincide with the release of proposed revisions to the National Construction Code (NCC) energy efficiency provisions. At the time of writing we’re finalising the details of that tool while we wait to see the final wording of the NCC. Draft versions have been released under license to a number of parties, tested by the NatHERS administrator and compared against previous iterations of the tool and against rating files stored in the Australian Housing Data Portal. This development process has been the longest, largest, and best supported by data, that we’ve ever undertaken. It has been a huge effort over three years and we’re looking forward to releasing the finished tool as soon as we can.
We have also released a Beta version of AccuRate Enterprise, our cloud-based version of AccuRate. When the new benchmark tool is complete we will transfer the appliance modules to AccuRate Enterprise and release it commercially. We have already had a great deal of interest from new front end-developers wanting to take advantage of the simplified API-based front end development pathway that AccuRate Enterprise provides.
The team has also almost completed a version of AccuRate for existing homes. This will also be released as both desktop and cloud tools and the cloud version integrated with the MagicPlan app. We hope to provide API’s to further developers soon. In addition to these tools we have developed an Artificial Intelligence, RapidRate which can produce very good estimates of NatHERS ratings using very few data inputs. RapidRate has attracted a lot of attention from industry and we are working on licensing arrangements. I hope we will see a range of consumer and industry tools emerge from this development very soon.
The next 12 months should see us release all these tools commercially, and with some luck, some new software developers will take advantage of the new options for integration and try their hand at using our tools for various purposes. BIM integration? Digital twins? New AI’s? Simplified energy rating tools? If you’ve got a crazy idea and think we might be able to help with calculation tools or data you should get in touch.
I’m also incredibly proud of our social scientists (particularly Danie Nilsson) whose work led to a Banksia Award for the BlueTribe company for the Renovate or Rebuild television program. This is the first time (that we know of,) that reality TV has been used to inform consumers about energy ratings and other housing energy efficiency issues. Hopefully Renovate or Rebuild’s success will translate to the broader reality TV market and we’ll see contestants on these shows regularly competing for the best energy efficiency.