fbpx

Top Modelling Issues for Assessors with Matthew Graham

by | Jul 12, 2019 | NatHERS

We recently took the opportunity to have a chat about Top Modelling Issues for Assessors with NatHERS subject matter expert Matthew Graham. 

Matthew shares his insights around the best way for Assessors to learn and maintain their skills and knowledge and some of the top modelling issues for Assessors.

Let’s start with an introduction…

My name is Matthew Graham, and I’m the Principal of Graham Energy. We specialise in building thermal performance for medium to high-end projects. Over ten years,I’ve become recognised as a subject matter expert in the National House Energy Rating Scheme. I’m an ABSA and BDAV accredited Assessor in all three NatHERS software tools; AccuRate, BERS Pro and FirstRate5, a  trainer in the Certificate IV in NatHERS qualification, a recognised BDAV Mentor and currently sit on the NatHERS Technical Advisory Committee. I was also engaged by Sustainability Victoria as a Project Advisor to contribute to the development of FirstRate5, provide technical support to FirstRate5 users and co-authored the FirstRate5 and AccuRate user manuals.

So, what is the best way for an accredited Assessor to learn and improve their skills?

Mentoring is certainly one option because it is personal and one-on-one, however, participating in regular CPD is a minimum requirement for an accredited Assessor, so that would have to be at the top of my list. Engaging in CPD created, endorsed or promoted by an AAO or RTO can certainly help.

I’m proud to be an accredited member with both AAO’s and honoured to sit on their respective Technical Advisory Committees with fellow experienced peers. As a Trainer and Mentor, it allows me to more broadly share my knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the industry.

Alternatively talk to other Assessors through word of mouth, forums or the NatHERS Assessor Network Facebook page. Keep in mind with these sources that whilst Assessors can learn and improve their skills through these channels, answers may not have been rigorously checked and approved in the same way that an AAO or RTO would have done.

Do you have a top modelling tip for us based on your experience?

I’m not sure I could narrow it down to one, but earlier in the year I consulted with both ABSA and the BDAV to derive a top ten list of common modelling errors. Surprisingly most of the issues at the top of the list were common between both AAO.

That sounds interesting. Could you share a few of the top ten issues?

Sure, how about we start at the bottom of the list.It would likely take considerable time to cover the theory, practice and understand the consequences for each issue, so, for now, we could focus on current practice.

Ok, so, let’s start at the bottom of the list.

Interestingly the top ten ended up with one more. I felt the issue sitting just outside the top ten was still important for Assessors. So, effectively in 11thplace and where I’ll start is floor coverings. Floor coverings are often missing or incorrect. The reasons for this include user modelling error, possibly unclear documentation that hasn’t been clarified, or the incorrect application of the NatHERS Technical Note defaults or provisions.

Modelling errors can vary depending on the various NatHERS software tools. For AccuRate, a unique floor construction must be created for each specified floor coverings. Potentially, the user could assign the incorrect floor construction with respective floor covering to an area, and without any visual feedback, it is difficult to check.

For BERS Pro, users must separately select the floor covering and with multiple floor coverings, the percentage between the two.

For FirstRate5, the recent introduction of a Floor Builder provides greater flexibility, but users still need to separately select the floor covering and in case of a custom floor, be aware of potentially doubling up on a floor covering.

What about unclear documentation – how does that contribute to modelling errors with floor coverings?

If the floor finishes are unclear or not specified on the drawing set, you have two options; check with the client or, apply the NatHERS Technical Note defaults or provisions. My preference is to seek further clarification with the client and if they are not forthcoming, then apply the defaults or provisions.

Do you think Assessors are familiar enough with NatHERS Technical Note floor covering defaults?

They should be because they have not changed; however, the fact that floor covering related issues sit outside the top ten tends to suggest otherwise. There are more complicated modelling scenarios that Assessors could struggle with but I didn’t think floor coverings would be one of them.

For those who may need a refresher, could you briefly run through the floor covering defaults?

No problem. Floor coverings are now referenced in NatHERS Technical Note (June 2019) under Clause 6.3. The clauses have changed over several revisions. Where no floor covering has been specified; garages have a concrete floor or no floor covering, wet areas and kitchens have ceramic tiles and all other areas have carpet with a rubber underlay.

That’s great. Thank you for your time today, and we look forward to discovering more of the top ten in future posts.

You are welcome and thank you for the opportunity. I would also like to add that defining the top ten would not be possible without the assistance of ABSA and the BDAV for which I’m grateful.

Recent Blog Posts Testimonials

“I want to thank you for providing that encouragement and feed back at appropriate times. You make me and I’m sure all students, feel special and like we are getting personal assistance, which I have received. I don’t know how you manage all that you do but you do it well. Thank you”

Darrell
Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“Easy to deal with”

Laura Lace

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for offering such a great course, I have really enjoyed studying my Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability with Transformed”.

Melanie
Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021

“I also want to take the opportunity to thank you for all your help during my studies. I think your training company is very professional and I would endorse you and Transformed to anyone looking to study distance learning”

Doug Madarovski

“I engaged Michael Young from Transformed to assess me for the Australian Institute of Project Management Certified Practicing Project Manager. I wanted to be certified as I wanted to verify that the skills and knowledge was in line with industry best-practice. At first it seemed a bit daunting, however, Michael made the process very easy, providing templates for references and self-assessment as well as providing a list of the project management documents I would need to provide as evidence. The assessment interview was very relaxed and more like a conversation than an assessment, which brought out the best experiences to evidence my capabilities. Because of Michael’s current government security clearance, we were able to look at specific of particular projects, rather me than having to spend a heap of time sanitising documents. Since the assessment, I have been successful in gaining a promotion..”

Mike McCarthy

“The course is really well organised, your videos and zoom meetings were extremely helpful, the platform functions perfectly, your response time to queries and questions is always prompt and overall it is just been a wonderful experience”

Melanie
Cert IV in HEES student, July 2021.

“All round I’ve been really impressed with how professional everyone at Transformed has been”

Anna
Diploma of PM

“I am so appreciative of you and Transformed for your flexibility and support- THANK YOU”

Louise Anderson
Cert IV in P & C student - May 2020

“Thanks for your support over the years and I look forward to doing more courses at Transformed in the future”.

Gerard
Cert IV in HEES - March 2022

“Always good and prompt feedback from Michael”

John Logan
Draft Comps Services

“I’m extremely impressed by The Cert IV in HEES delivered by Transformed. It is a fantastic, relevant, and interesting course with great content. The study materials and assistance have been exceptional. Thanks again to Transformed for their support”.

Matt Wade
Cert IV in HEES Student – April 2022.

“Don has been a terrific teacher and very prompt with feedback throughout the whole diploma, which has been great!”

Anna
Diploma of PM

“Working at my own pace online and the response time to emails and responses were always great”

Ekaterina Sidorova
Lend Lease

“…I originally enrolled in Transformed’s Diploma of Project Management on the basis of their flexibility. ..As I subsequently discovered, Transformed’s approach extends even further to include ‘one on one’ coaching sessions… and adjusting the training to fit in with the client..”

Michael Irwin
Austrade

Completing my CPP41119Certificate Home Energy Efficiency & Sustainability course has been a significant step in my professional journey.
Thank you for your support and guidance and every single subject in this course you have taught me

Amir
Cert IV HEES student - April 2024

“Phenomenal course to understand contract management in the best way possible. I am working as a Procurement Manager and never understood contract part completely but this course helped me to understand key points of contract management. Thanks to author for creating this wonderful course. ”

Nitin
Student - Introduction to Contract Management - August 2021

“Just wanted to say thanks for putting up with me and getting me over the line!! Which I know was a bit difficult with no background in the industry!! Thanks very much and I look forward to starting my business and conquering the world as an Energy Rater!”

Laura Lace

“I think everything worked very smoothly”

Susan Mariott
Quality Home Design and Drafting Service

“The excellent and prompt communication from my assessor”

Cert IV in NatHERS Assessment student

“I found the course easy to follow and navigate through. I would recommend this course to others”

Ekan
August 2018

“Learning – I have now fine-tuned my existing skills”

Brian Peterson
Moreton Bay Regional Council

“Ease of delivery, completing from work”

Simone
Qld Health

“The most practical and well organised course I’ve been involved with, perfect for anyone with a demanding full time career and family commitments. My facilitator was extremely helpful and being part of the construction industry applied a very focused approach to the course content which assisted me in completing my studies, Would strongly and have already recommended Transformed to those looking to complete their Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction. Thanks for all your efforts and support.”

Aleks Petrovic
Cert IV and Diploma in Building and Construction Student

“The self-paced learning it allowed me to work whilst studying”

Haylea Edwards
Efficient Living

“I am very satisfy with the study”

Eric Lam

“My assessor was absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t have achieved this without her encouragement and guidance’.

Simone
Cert IV in Procurement & Contracting - March 2022
Archives