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A VURB (Verification Using a Reference Building) assessment is an alternative solution that can be used if compliance cannot be achieved using the NatHERS or DTS methods.
Verification Method V126.96.36.199 uses a theoretical reference building, which is a building modelled with the Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions, to determine an annual energy consumption as a benchmark.
The annual energy consumption for the proposed building (including client specifications) is then calculated using the same thermal modelling software along with a set of fixed parameters.
Compliance is verified if the proposed building has an annual energy consumption equal to or less than that of the reference building.
Due to its increased complexity, this assessment method does take longer, as we essentially need to conduct a DTS assessment and two software ratings.
The benefits though, include more flexibility with design specifications as well as lower construction costs.
Whilst this may be a more cost effective solution, the thermal performance of the building cannot be compared to that of a 6 star rated house.