Energy Efficiency regulations for homes came into effect in May 2005. These regulations are designed to improve the Energy Efficiency of new homes to reduce energy consumption and ultimately reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy rating assessments look at how effective the building fabric – Floors, Walls, Roofs & Ceilings, Windows & Doors, of a dwelling are at maintaining a comfortable living environment throughout the year, with the least amount of energy required to heat, cool and run appliances. The energy efficiency of a dwelling is represented as a Star rating and as energy loads (KJ/m2) for heating and cooling.
An Energy rating assessment is carried out for new homes and apartments with the latest accredited software – First Rate 5. For additions and alterations a ‘Deemed to Satisfy’ assessment based on the current National Construction Code (NCC) - minimum Energy Efficiency requirements and Glazing calculator issued by the Australian Building Codes Board. In situations where the addition and alteration is greater than 50% of the existing dwelling volume, a software rating may be more suitable.
Part J – Compliance assessments for commercial projects are carried out based on the current NCC 2011 – Volume 1 minimum requirements.
On 1 May, 2011 new 6 Star Energy Efficiency regulations come into effect, with the release of the 2011 National Construction Code (NCC). The key change for residential dwellings is the additional requirement for ‘Services’ compliance. This includes maximum power load allowances for artificial lighting and specific requirements for insulation of piping and ductwork for such services as heating and cooling systems, hot water pipes, pool & spa pumps etc.
Residential regulations are summarised below:
1. New Dwellings:
a. Class 1
All new homes will need to achieve a minimum 6 star energy efficiency rating. An additional ‘Services’ assessment is required. The requirement for the installation of a solar hot water system and/or a rainwater tank (min 2000L feeding off min 50m2 of roof area) for toilet flushing remains in place.
b. Class 2 & 4
Class 2 - Achieve a minimum average 6 star energy efficiency rating across all apartments, with each individual apartment being not less than 5 stars. Remainder of building (common areas, plant rooms etc.) & services to comply with Volume 1 – Part J.
Class 4 - Achieve a minimum 6 star energy efficiency rating.
No requirement for installation of rainwater tanks or solar water heating in Class 2 or Class 4 part of building.
2. Additions & Alterations – ‘Deemed to Satisfy’ regulations:
The 2011 NCC also applies to additions and alterations. This stringent set of regulations has increased the minimum requirements across all elements of the building fabric.
These minimum requirements apply as follows:
a. If addition and alteration is >50% of the existing dwelling volume , the entire building (new & existing) has to be brought up to compliance. Some discretion is available to the registered building surveyor where it is deemed not feasible to upgrade the existing building.
b. If addition and alteration is <25% of the existing floor area only the addition and alterations has to comply.
c. If the addition and alteration is >25% of the existing floor area but <50% of the existing dwelling volume , only the addition and alteration has to comply. Full compliance required, no discretion is available to the registered building surveyor for partial compliance.