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What does a day in the life of a thermal performance assessor spend their day doing? Today I catch up with thermal performance assessor Tori Walker.

Tori Walker is principal at BERA, and is an active member in the Thermal Performance Assessment Facebook Group. So I thought it would be great to find out more about Tori and why she has taken up a career as a NatHERS Assessor.

Michael Young: Tell us about yourself?

Tori Walker: I live in Brisbane with my family and love going to the beach to swim, paddle, surf and read.

MY: What got you into thermal performance assessments?

TW: I had to get an Energy Efficiency Assessment for a major renovation we were doing on our own place, and it just struck me as a good business to fit in around looking after my kids if ever I wanted to do that. My current job doing bookkeeping for a Building Designer came to an end, and I decided to give Thermal Performance Assessment a go. I did all the research and completed the required qualifications, and started my own business.

MY: What is your main focus with your assessment work?

TW: We aim to provide timely, accurate, easy-to-read reports for my clients. I love collaborating with clients in order to find out what their priorities and parameters are, and give them the best result I can within their needs and the within the legislative requirements.

MY: What courses did you do to get to where you are?

TW: I’ve got a Bachelor of Commerce from a long time ago, I’ve done an Owner Builder course, and I also completed the Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment. Since gaining the Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment, I’ve been accredited with Design Matters (formerly BDAV), and have completed numerous CPD Courses through them.

MY: What does a typical day look like for you?

TW: Right now (Covid 19), not much is typical. But on days that I work, I’ll normally do a couple of NatHERS and DTS assessments, and liaise with new and existing clients via phone or email. I’ve just put on someone full-time to work on Section J Commercial Assessments, so I’m spending a bit of time with them developing our understanding and reporting clarity for those assessments.

MY: The best thing about working as a thermal performance assessor is…

TW: I love:

  • helping clients understand how building thermal performance works, and how they can improve the thermal performance of their build
  • that our work contributes to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions (and get slightly frustrated when people think the Australian government isn’t taking any steps to do this!)
  • giving my clients service that makes them smile
  • that I can fit my work around the rest of life – a typical day will often see me meeting someone for coffee, doing some exercise and keeping up with other commitments (like volunteering with my church)

MY: What are you currently working on?

TW: A BASIX in Port Macquarie, some DTS Additions on the Gold Coast, some apartments in Bracken Ridge and Understanding the intricacies of Section J NCC 2019.

MY: What are your plans for the future?

TW: I’m planning for continued business growth.

MY: If you could give someone who was thinking about working as a thermal performance assessor some advice – what would it be?

TW: If you love learning new things, there is a lot to learn. However, all the information is there for digesting.


You can contact Tori Walker at BERA, and you can ask her questions via the Thermal Performance Assessment Facebook Group.

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