FR5 Software

FirstRate5® house energy rating software

FirstRate5® is an easy-to-use interactive tool with a graphic user interface that enables designers and thermal performance assessors to generate energy ratings for a home by tracing over floor plans. The software integrates the AccuRate calculation engine to estimate the annual heating and cooling energy and can be used to rate an existing design or as an interactive tool to optimise the design beyond compliance.
Latest News​

Release of FirstRate5 v5.3.1 (3.21)

by FR5 | Feb 24, 2021
Sustainability Victoria is pleased to announce the release of FirstRate5 v5.3.1 (3.21). This new version contains a number of major new features, enhancements and bug fixes.

Release of FR5 v5.3.1 (3.21)

FirstRate5 v5.3.1 (3.21) is now available as a free download from www.fr5.com.au.

The FR5 user manual and has been updated and three videos have been prepared to explain the new features contained in FR5 v5.3.1 (3.21). The first video provides a general overview of all the main features. The second video provides an example of using the Stacked Wall Builder. The third video explains in greater detail the use of the Heat Map tool.

Software users can find the release notes by clicking ‘Release Notes’ under the ‘Help’ menu.

Below is an outline of the main new features, enhancements and bug fixes included in FR5 v5.3.1 (3.21).

Heat Map Tool
The Heat Map tool has been introduced to allow users to visually display energy, temperature and insulation R-values data on the Plan tab. This feature can be used to quickly understand a project file in greater detail, identify poor performing areas/elements, and data entry errors.
 
Global Zoning Tab
The new Global Zoning tab allows users to open multiple projects files at once and apply the same functionality of the Zoning tab across all loaded files. Users can also use the Global Zoning tab to bulk upload files to the FR5 portal. It is expected that this new feature will significantly reduce the time required to update Class 2 files. 

Keyboard Shortcuts
An expanded range of keyboard shortcuts has been added that streamlines the workflow on the Plan tab. Users can customise, save, export and import their own combination of custom keyboard shortcuts.

Stacked Wall Builder
A Stacked Wall Builder has been introduced. Users can create custom stacked walls made up of two (or more) different wall constructions. This will significantly reduce the need to manually split walls and openings.

Display of ABCB and BASIX Heating and Cooling Load Limits
Functionality has been introduced to allow users to display ABCB and BASIX heating and cooling load limits. The specific load limits for a project will be displayed and FR5 will indicated when the relevant requirements have been met.

Detachable Plan and Zoning Tabs
Functionality has been added to allow users to detach the Plan and Zoning tabs. This will streamline data entry by allowing users to work across multiple screens.

Improved Windows Search Functionality
The windows search feature has been improved with the addition of frame, glazing and style based filtering options.

Improved Editing of Penetrations
In the Zoning tab users can now edit ceiling and ventilation penetrations across multiple zones in a single action.

Improved Add Penetrations Tool
After the 'Add Penetration' tool has been used to place penetration markers, a user can now simply left click on the drawing canvass to enter the selection. This eliminates the need to click on the Add Penetrations tool icon a second time to enter the selection.

Non-Regulation Mode Warning
A red border will be displayed to warn users when FirstRate5 is set to non-regulation mode.

Addition of New Roof Type
A new Green Roof option has been added to FR5. Two options are available: 1) GreenRoof Extensive - 100mm substrate; 2) GreenRoof Intensive - 500mm substrate.

Insulated Garage Door
The ability to add insulation to a garage door has been added.

Updated Custom Windows Library
The most recent AFRC custom windows and roof windows library has been included.

Bug fixes

  • Upon request from the NatHERS Administrator, the method used to calculate the 'Unconditioned' and 'Garage' areas displayed on the NatHERS Certificate has been updated. Users will note the following; 1) the 'Garage' area displayed now includes both conditioned and unconditioned garage areas, and; 2) the 'Unconditioned' area displayed now includes both unconditioned zones and unconditioned garages. 
  • Fixed the issue of FR5 not correctly calculating the right and left vertical offsets for wing walls attached to an opening located in a wall with a base height greater than zero.
  • Fixed the issue of openings in certain scenarios being linked to the wrong parent wall when internal walls with openings are copied in the Zoning tab.
  • Fixed the issue of openings in certain scenarios not being added/copied correctly in internal walls when using the Zoning tab;
  • Fixed the issue of FirstRate5 not correctly calculating the area of the Ground Zone when a dwelling located above a basement carpark includes zones that extend beyond the Basement Carpark Zone below.

Transition Arrangements for FR5 v5.3.0 (3.21)

Until 24 March 2021 (5pm), a transition period will be in place. During this period both v5.3.0 (3.21) files (i.e. v5.3.0 and v5.3.0a) and v5.3.1 (3.21) files will automatically calculate on the FirstRate5 website.

After 24 March 2021 (5pm), v5.3.1 (3.21) files will continue to automatically calculate on the FirstRate5 website, however v5.3.0 (3.21) files (i.e. v5.3.0 and v5.3.0a) will calculate by special request only.

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Note: It is the user’s responsibility to ensure certificates are produced with the appropriate version. If a user chooses to inappropriately use an earlier version of FR5 to produce a certificate, they run the risk that a Building Surveyor will reject the certificate leading to further certificate costs.

Note: Installation of minor releases involving a letter change, eg,  v5.2.10a to v5.2.10b, will by default overwrite the previous version, while major releases involving a number change, eg, v5.2.10 (3.13) to v5.2.11 (3.13), will by default install beside older versions.