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 FR5 v5.3.2 & Holiday Support Schedule

by FR5 | Dec 08, 2021

FirstRate5 v5.3.2 (3.21) is now available as a free download from www.fr5.com.au. 

The FirstRate5 (FR5) user manual and has been updated and a training video has been released for the new Windows List feature.

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 v5.3.2 (3.21).

 
Updated Custom Windows Library
The most recent AFRC custom windows and roof windows library has been included. More than 2,700 new windows have been added.

Window Lists
A feature has been added that allows users to create and save lists of pre-selected windows. Users can create window lists for different clients or manufacturers which can be loaded at the start of an assessment. Watch the training video for a full outline.

Copy Child Walls Embedded in Stacked Walls
Functionality has been added to assist with the process of working with project files with stacked walls that have been created by other users.

In FR5 v5.3.2 (3.21), when a user opens a FR5 v5.3.2 file created by another user, they will be able to copy child walls within a stacked wall to their own construction library. This will allow the user to completely import a stacked wall from another user’s file and the edit the child walls that make up the stacked wall.

To do this users simply need to right click on a stacked wall in the Construction Types tab and select ‘Add to Library’. In the bottom left-hand corner users will then need to select the different library folders the child walls and the stacked wall will be saved to. 

New Outdoor Coverings Options 
Five additional external outdoor window covering options have been added. Each option now has a Sunlight Factor (SF) value which specifies how much solar radiation passes through the outdoor covering (e.g. a SF value of 0.3 for a roller shutter means 30% of the solar radiation passes through the covering and 70% is blocked).

Larger Properties Panel
Users can now increase the size of the Properties panel on the Plan tab by hiding the Undo History. This is done by clicking on the up/down arrows located at the top of the Undo History panel.

Bug Fixes
Below is a list of the main bugs fixed in this version. All bug fixes are listed in the release notes.

  • Fixed the issue of a project becoming unresponsive after a stacked wall assigned to a project was edited or deleted. In the previous version, a project file would become unresponsive if a user edited or deleted a custom wall that had been used in a stack wall assigned to a project.
  • Fixed the issue of specific workflows resulting in screens accidentally attaching to internal walls.
  • Fixed the issue of the NatHERS climate zone postcode was displayed on the NatHERS Certificate instead of the dwelling postcode.
  • Fixed the issue of the incorrect eave projection being displayed on the NatHERS Certificate if the user had manually overridden the automatically calculated eave projection.
  • Fixed the issue of previous versions allowing users to create empty floor constructions. If an empty floor construction was used in a project file the software would become unresponsive.
  • Fixed the issue of FirstRate5 failing to calculate if the dwelling being modelled has no direct connection to a basement carpark zone modelled.
  • Fixed the issue of the solar absorptance value of windows copied in the Zoning tab reverting back to the default value of 0.5.
  • Fixed the issue of incorrect door heights being displayed on the certificate. In previous versions of FirstRate5, in some scenarios the incorrect door height was being displayed on the certificate when a door was in a stacked wall.​​

Transition Arrangements for FR5 v5.3.1 (3.21)

Until 9 March 2022 (5pm), a transition period will be in place. During this period both v5.3.1 (3.21) files (i.e. v5.3.1 and v5.3.1a) and v5.3.2 (3.21) files will automatically calculate on the FirstRate5 website.

After 9 March 2022 (5pm), v5.3.2 (3.21) files will continue to automatically calculate on the FirstRate5 website, however v5.3.1 (3.21) files (i.e. v5.3.1 and v5.3.1a) will calculate by special request only.

Holiday Support Schedule

The FirstRate5 helpdesk will closed from Friday 24 December (12pm AEDT) and will re-open on Monday 10 January 2022 (9am AEDT). Please note that on 23 & 24 December helpdesk support will be limited and only urgent issues will receive a response.

We wish all our customers a relaxing summer break and look forward to working with you again in 2022.

 
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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,  v5.3.1a to v5.3.1b, will by default overwrite the previous version, while major releases involving a number change, eg, v5.3.1 (3.21) to v5.3.2 (3.21), will by default install beside older versions.