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.

Release of FirstRate5 v5.2.11 (3.13) - Undo returns and new Ceiling Penetration Tool

by FR5 | Oct 07, 2019

Release of FR5 v5.2.11 (3.13)

FirstRate5 v5.2.11 (3.13) is now available as a free download from Sustainability Victoria is pleased to announce that this new version includes an improved Undo function and also a new Ventilation and Ceiling Penetration tool.

The FR5 user manual and has been updated and two videos have been prepared to explain the new features contained in FR5 v5.2.11 (3.13). The first video provides a general overview. The second video explains in detail how to use the Ventilation and Ceiling Penetrations 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 v5.2.11 (3.13).

Reintroduction of the Undo function
In FR5 v5.2.10 the Undo function was removed because it came to our attention that it was not behaving in a reliable manner. The Undo function has been fixed up and enhanced and has been reintroduced.

Ventilation and Ceiling Penetration tool
A new tool has been added so users can now input ventilation and ceiling penetrations (e.g. downlights, exhaust fans) visually on the Plan tab instead of through a table on the Zoning tab. Users can now click on the Penetration Tool and then click on the drawing canvass to mark where penetrations are located.

Copy and split wall functionality
New ‘Split’ and ‘Copy’ buttons have been added to the been added to the Zoning tab for walls. These buttons will allow users to quickly split and copy walls when entering additional information on the Zoning tab.

Rectangular Drawing Tool
A rectangular drawing tool has introduced to allow users to draw elements on the Plan tab more quickly. When drawing an element (e.g. zone, area, skylight), the user can hold down the space bar and draw a rectangle by placing two points on the drawing canvass.

Skylight shaft insulation
A field has been introduced so users can now manually edit the insulation applied to the skylight shaft. In previous versions of FR5, the ceiling insulation level was automatically applied to the skylight shaft and could not be edited by the user.

Screen enhancements
Two enhancements have been made to screens. First, new fields have been added to allow users to specify the base height and winter/summer shading factors for screens. Second, the ability to attach a screen to multiple walls in a single action has been introduced.

Automatic area calculation for sloped ceilings
A tool has been added to FR5 which will automatically calculate the area for a sloped ceiling by entering the angle of the slope. 

Updated postcode/climate zone list
The postcode/climate zone list has been updated. New alternative climate zones have been added for the following nine postcodes - 3690, 3691, 4568, 4569, 4574, 4625, 4702, 4742 and 4820.

Visual indicators for floor covering
Visual indicators for different types of floor coverings have been added. When users specify a floor covering from the drop-down list, or concrete, particle board and fibre cement sheeting as the top layer, different visual floor finishes will be displayed on the drawing canvas.

Visual indicators for openings
Visual indicators for different types of openings (e.g. permanent opening, timber louvre etc.) has been added. When a user specifies an opening on the drawing canvas, different colours or patterns will be displayed.

Floor height above ground level warning message
A warning message has been added to alert users if the floor height above ground level has been set to more than 100m.

Custom windows library
An updated AFRC custom windows and roof windows library had been included.

Bug fixes 

  • Fixed the issue of FR5 using the incorrect air speed for 1400mm ceiling fans.
  • Fixed the issue of FR5 not correctly writing obstructions specified on the Zoning tab to the scratch file.

 Transition Arrangements for FR5 v5.2.10 (3.1.3)

Until 7 November 2019 (5pm), a transition period will be in place. During this period v5.2.10 (3.1.3) files (i.e. v5.2.10, v5.2.10a and v5.2.10b) and v5.2.11 (3.1.3) files will automatically calculate on the FirstRate5 website.

After 7 November 2019 5pm, v5.2.11 (3.13) files will continue to automatically calculate on the FirstRate5 website, however v5.2.10 (3.13) files (i.e. v5.2.10, v5.2.10a and v5.2.10b) will calculate by special request only.
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.