Gerard Smith – “Panorama House”

Come Join Us!

The Building Designers Association of Australia strongly welcomes and invites your application for BDAA membership. And we want to assure you that, even as the world changes quickly around us, the BDAA stands strong and active, proceeding and progressing through online chapter meetings and major events to serve our membership, the building industry as a whole, and the Australian built environment.

We need your voice, skills and ideas now more than ever, and are prepared to help you advance your own building industry business and to honour and facilitate your amazing designs.

BDAA welcomes your participation in an association built to thrive and survive through the toughest times.

Join today, and let’s work together to build a better, more sustainable, more beautiful future here in Australia.

Member Fees

Individual Member


Student Member


Member Behaviour

ABSA expects its members, individual and corporate, to maintain a high standard of integrity and to apply honesty and fair dealing in all aspects of their operations.

ABSA members must:

  • Carry out their professional and commercial duties with care and diligence
  • Conduct themselves in a manner that is neither derogatory to their colleagues and the industry, nor likely to lessen the confidence of the public in building sustainability or ABSA

ABSA encourages its members to seek opportunities to be of service to their community in matters relating to building sustainability by:

  • Having a clear and highly visible (to clients) commitment to sustainability
  • Being transparent about their actions, processes and messages
  • Developing emotional relationships with clients not just transactional ones
  • Being charitable with their resources and taking pride in giving back to their local communities
  • Helping build client communities that encourage positive and open communication
  • Having clients who are proud of the services they have purchased and who tell their friends and family of the benefits of the services they have received
  • Having embedded sustainability into core business operations and so they can ‘walk the talk’ with clients
  • Having supply chain providers that are also committed to sustainability and working collaboratively to seek solutions to improve environmental and community outcomes
  • ABSA expects members to behave professionally

All of our members are bound by our Constitution and many are also accredited to work under a building sustainability scheme that is governed by a Code of Practice and/or government regulation.

Disciplining of Members and Accredited Assessors

Complaints about our members or accredited assessors may require disciplinary action for Unsatisfactory Member Conduct, Member Misconduct, Unsatisfactory Accredited Assessor Conduct or Accredited Assessor Misconduct. Therefore we have a complaints procedure and Disciplinary Policy, which recognises the various courses of action available under our Constitution and scheme Codes.

How to Lodge a Complaint Against a Member or Accredited Assessor

There is a 3-step process to lodging a complaint correctly. To help you establish the context and nature of your complaint and the process you need to follow, we have outlined the requirements.

If the 3-step process to lodging a complaint requires you to complete the ABSA Complaint Proforma, please download one of the two versions below, complete and return (according to the instructions on the proforma).

Cancellations & Transfers of Membership

Membership (Individual, Student and Corporate) and accreditation with ABSA is on a recurring 12-monthly basis and all fees are non-refundable after 28 days of the initial purchase date.

A refund for membership or accreditation will only be granted if a written request is received by ABSA within 28 days of the initial membership/accreditation application.

An administration fee of $165 (GST inclusive) will be charged for refund processing.

Further details on this policy

Member Insurance

ABSA Group HERS Assessors Professional Indemnity Insurance

The cost for this insurance is $280.00 (incl. GST) and provides annual cover for all your work as defined below.

It is a mandatory requirement that all ABSA accredited Thermal Performance Assessors must maintain adequate insurance to indemnify themselves for their role as an Accredited Assessor*. This requirement provides assessor’s clients with the knowledge and confidence of suitable insurance protection for their work. It also protects assessors in the event of errors. To make it easy for assessors to secure the right cover at a low price, ABSA has negotiated a very competitive professional indemnity insurance program that covers their thermal performance assessment services. This insurance is provided by our broker Insurance Advisory Services (NSW) Pty Ltd.

The program ABSA has negotiated offers a shared limit of $20 million worth of cover for ABSA Accredited Assessors (with 2 reinstatements – $60 million in the aggregate). There is
a sublimit per member of $5 million, and a $1000 excess. Retroactive cover is unlimited as long as your accreditation remains current.

The cover extends to professional services where ABSA accredited members are providing:

  • Thermal Performance Assessments (TPA) as per the guidelines set by ABSA, statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • Commercial Energy Rating Assessments (Section J) as per the guidelines set by ABSA, statutory and regulatory requirements excluding drafting, designing and/or drawing services.
  • Undertaking energy efficiency assessments for the purpose of Building Code of Australia, Deemed to Satisfy (DTS) assessments.
  • NatHERS reports as per the guidelines set by the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) even where such report is issued solely under the BDAV logo, so long as at the time of issuing such NatHERS report, such Accredited Member held dual Accreditation with ABSA and BDAV.
  • Professional advice related to the above assessments.
  • Quality Assurance Audits related to the above assessments for Australian Buildings only.
  • BASIX certification undertaken by an ABSA accredited assessor.
  • Professional Advice in relation to NABERS & Commercial Building Disclosure as at 2/3/2020
  • Professional Advice in relation to Victorian Residential Energy Efficiency Score Card as at 2/3/2020

To apply for this insurance please read the following Special Notices and select Professional Indemnity Insurance when joining or renewing your ABSA membership.

Purchase now

Special notices

The following memorandum of Insurance (and any amendments) is only prepared as a summary of your insurance policy. It is not a complete description of all your policy terms,
conditions and exclusions which are attached thereto.

In case of a claim under this policy, or questions with regard thereto, the provisions of the policy will prevail and the claims contact details may be utilised accordingly.

Your duty of disclosure

Before you enter into a contract of general insurance with an insurer you have a duty under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984, to disclose to the insurer every matter that you know, or
could reasonably be expected to know, is relevant to the insurers decision whether to accept the risk of the insurance and, if so, on what terms.

You have the same duty to disclose those matters to the insurer before you renew, extend, vary or reinstate a contract of general insurance.

Your duty, however, does not require disclosure of any matter:

  • That is common knowledge
  • That diminishes the risk to be undertaken by the insurer
  • That your insurer knows or, in the ordinary course of business, ought to know
  • As to which, compliance with your duty is waived by the insurer.

If you fail to comply with your duty of disclosure, the insurer may be entitled to reduce his liability under the contact in respect of a claim or may cancel the contract. If however, your
non-disclosure is fraudulent, the insurer may also have the option of voiding the contract.

Subrogation (recovery) agreements

Before you enter into a contract of general insurance with any insurer, the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 stipulates that the insurer must advise you of any provisions in your policy affecting the preservation of their rights of subrogation. As your insurer has given us such advice, your policy of insurance provides that you will not be able to recover under it if you enter into or have entered into any agreement which excludes or limits your rights of recovery from other parties. Therefore, you must not have agreed to and must not agree to give away any of your rights which may affect your insurer’s right to recover under subrogation from other parties.

Average / Co-Insurance companies

Most policies covering property contain an Average or Co-Insurance provision whereby the liability of the Insurer may be reduced where the sum insured is less than the actual or
replacement value of the property / interest insured by the policy. Also, most policies of a Consequential Loss nature contain an Average provision of a similar reducing effect should the sum insured be less than appropriate to the basis or settlement applicable to the policy. It is essential therefore that you ensure that full and correct amounts of cover are established at the time you enter into the contract of insurance.

Third party

The policy covers only the interest of the Insured, and does not extend to include the interest of the third party in the contract.

Utmost good faith

Insurance contracts are subject to the doctrine of utmost good faith, and this is embodied in the Act. Utmost good faith must be strictly adhered to by both parties – Insured and Insurer –
and failure by the Insured to do so may prejudice any claim.

Insurance brokers dispute facility

ABSA does not act as Agent and or Broker for the Insurer. Insurance Advisory Service (NSW) Pty Ltd (IAS) as Broker act on behalf of ABSA. Clients who are not fully satisfied with our service should contact IAS customer relations / complaints officer on (02) 8268 2900. Insurance Advisory Service (NSW) Pty Ltd also subscribe to the Insurance Brokers Dispute
Facility (IBDF), a free customer service, and the General Insurance Brokers Code of Practice. Further information is available from the IAS office.

GST charges

As the service of providing general insurance services falls under the umbrella of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), we are required to charge you on a proportional basis for any
insurance services provided by or via us after 30 June 2000.

*Please note that while professional indemnity insurance is mandatory for ABSA accreditation, making use of the ABSA insurance program is optional.

ABSA Certificates Prices

With the closure of the RCS on 15 March 2018 you will know longer be required to pre-purchase Certificates. Using the HERS/FR5 portals ABSA will draw data on the number of Certificates you have issued and an invoice forwarded to you for payment.

If you have Certificates in credit at the closure of the RCS, those credits will be recognised in the invoice and your invoice amount reduced accordingly.

Cost of Certificates

Class 1 –  $7 + GST

Class 2 –  $5 + GST

For Assessors wishing to claim for reissued certificates the following procedure applies:

Should you wish to claim for re-issued or cancelled certificates the request needs to be received the same month as the reissued / cancelled certificates.

The following information must be provided on the Claim Form, so we can accurately reconcile your monthly statement and invoice:

  1. The original date the certificate was issued.
  2. The address (including the number of units if applicable) of the project the certificate was issued for.
  3. The date the certificate was updated or cancelled in the month of claim.

Only once all this data is provided, can we then adjust that Months invoice before issuing.

PLEASE NOTE. For accounting purposes, we cannot back date claims to past months as the credits have to go against the same property address so must be claimed in the month of reissue.

Become a Member

The Building Designers Association of Australia strongly welcomes and invites your application for BDAA membership. We will review your submitted application as soon as possible; please be aware, however, that due to the global health crisis affecting businesses and associations around the world we are experiencing a slight delay in processing applications at this time. We appreciate your patience as we experience a temporary change in working conditions while we adapt in turn to shifting global conditions. Please be assured, though, that the BDAA welcomes your participation in an association built to thrive and survive through the toughest times. 

Building Designers Association of Australia is a true member-based association, developed to serve as the peak professional body representing the interests of Building Designers and their clients.

Prospective members are required to apply and pay online. Membership of Association is renewed annually on the anniversary of membership approval.

Please select from one of the five levels of membership available below.

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Please fill in any Application Form using correct punctuation to assist in processing speed. Please do not complete name in all capitals or all lower case, and also provide full address details and not abbreviated, eg st – please type Street. 

This will assist our office in processing your application as quickly as possible.

Payment Processing:  upon receipt of a complete online Application for Membership by BDAA Head Office, a Tax Invoice to will be sent to an Applicant for payment. Processing of Application for Membership will not be completed until full payment has been received.

Any Application for Membership that is received without all required documentation is unable to be processed. An email will be forwarded to the Applicant requesting any outstanding or incorrect information. This may delay the Application being approved.

Support Documents:

CLICK HERE for Full Membership Declaration of Authorship.

CLICK HERE for an Associate Membership Declaration Form.

Membership Options

Individual members have voting rights at Annual and Special General Meetings, and can participate in member surveys but cannot use the ABSA logo or their membership number on websites, social media, promotional items or stationery. Benefits of individual membership include:

  • Full access to live and recorded training/information events, at lower rates than those paid by non-members
  • Receiving the ABSA monthly e-newsletter Sustainably Speaking free of charge
  • Full access to all items contained in the member area of this website, except those specifically related to accreditation

To become an Individual Member of ABSA simply follow the easy steps below.

  1. Read the objectives and rules of the ABSA Constitution and commit to complying with them
  2. Fill out your details using the online registration form and pay the recurring annual membership fee
  3. If you would also like to apply for Assessor Accreditation with ABSA, please also complete this “Become a Thermal Comfort Assessor Application Form”

About ABSA Accreditation

The national ABSA Accreditation Scheme has been developed to comply with the Nationwide Housing Energy Rating Scheme Protocol for Assessor Accrediting Organisations (NatHERS AAO Protocol) to determine proficiency for individuals wishing to undertake residential building thermal performance assessments (also known as House Energy Ratings) under the following assessment schemes:

  • The National Construction Code (NCC) – under the NCC, a building thermal performance assessment must be undertaken by a suitably qualified person. ABSA accreditation is the predominant requirement to satisfy this condition
  • The NSW Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) Thermal Comfort Certificate (or Simulation Method), which is applicable across NSW. The use of an ABSA Accredited Assessor to carry out this work is a mandatory BASIX requirement

To apply for ABSA Accreditation, the following steps are required:

To submit your application for ABSA Accreditation, Please complete the Thermal Performance Asessor Application Form and return to along with your NatHERS Cert IV documentation and your signed ABSA Code of Practice and pay the necessary fees.

To maintain continuing Accreditation, the following is required:

  • Payment of ABSA annual Accreditation Fees
  • Submission of assessments for Quality Assurance Auditing when requested
  • Completion of 12 points of Continuing Professional Development each year
  • Ongoing compliance with the current NatHERS Technical Note

Corporate membership is available to organisations who a have an association or alliance with the building sustainability industry, such as manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services, consulting practices (such as building, surveying, engineering, planning), tertiary institutions and registered training organisations (RTOs,) and not-for-profit organisations.

Corporate members have voting rights at Annual and Special General Meetings, can participate in member surveys, and can use the ABSA logo and their ABSA membership number on websites, social media, promotional items and stationery.

Our current packages are:

  • General Package – $1,100 per annum (GST inclusive): Receive monthly newsletter and normal member benefits (advocacy, policy input, networking etc.)
  • Sponsor Level 1 Package – $5,500 per annum (GST inclusive): General + (refer to Media Pack below for prices and details)
  • Sponsor Level 2 Package – $11,000 per annum (GST inclusive): General + (refer to Media Pack below for prices and details)

Please refer to our Media Pack for more details about each level.

The Value of Corporate Membership

  • Recognition on ABSA’s website
  • Opportunities to promote your ABSA membership by including our logo in your business communications and on your website
  • Free subscription to our monthly e-newsletter, Sustainably Speaking, featuring the latest ABSA and industry news
  • Advocacy benefits with ABSA acting as a respected and powerful voice within the industry interacting with all three levels of government. Our advocacy work has helped to influence government and public opinion while contributing to improvement in the residential housing stock in Australia and higher construction industry standards
  • Opportunities to advertise products and services in ABSA’s training seminars, brochures and sponsorship of CPD modules
  • Networking, including high-level networking activities for those with experience in the industry
  • Involvement in key industry programs and opportunities to contribute to the discussion and planning around programs dedicated to building sustainability
  • Access to a growing range of resources in the ABSA website member area
Student membership is available to full and part-time students who are undertaking studies related to building, construction, environment and property that further the science and technology and understanding of building sustainability in all its forms. Proof of enrolment in the course is required from the relevant educational institution.

Student members can:

  • Use the ABSA logo to promote their ABSA membership on their CV for the purpose of career development and any other uses approved by ABSA
  • Student members may hold student membership for up to three years, or until they complete the course, whichever comes first

Student members do not have voting rights

Benefits of student membership include:

  • Receiving the ABSA Member’s Only monthly e-newsletter Sustainably Speaking free of charge
  • Limited access to specific pages in the Member section of the website

To become a Student Member of ABSA simply follow the two easy steps below.

  1. Read the objectives and rules of the ABSA Constitution and commit to complying with them
  2. Fill out your details and pay the recurring annual membership fee of $44 (GST inclusive) using the button below

Join as a student member of ABSA here.

Special Offer for Transformed Students

ABSA Corporate sponsor, Transformed is currently offering to subsidise student membership of ABSA. This offer is available to students who enrol in the “premium” package for the following qualification:

* CPP41119 Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Thermal Performance Assessment) or

CPP41119 Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Home Sustainability Assessment and Thermal Performace Assessment).

Join ABSA as a Transformed Student Member

Member Fees

Associate Member


Practice Member


Full Member

  • Additional Application or Upgrade Fee $100

Chartered Member

  • Additional Application or Upgrade Fee $100

Student Member

For all MEMBERSHIP enquiries please use the online form or contact:

Executive Secretary
Building Designers Association of Australia

Head Office:
1300 669 854
PO Box 856
North Sydney NSW 2059

Contact Us online form