Guide to our Energy Efficiency Check List
This guide is available for download as a PDF.
All buildings constructed in Australia must comply with the National Construction Code.
This code ensures that your project is built correctly according to standards set by the government.
Part of this code is called “Section J – Energy Efficiency”, this means your project has to comply with these requirements.
Our expert team of energy assessors can provide you with a report verifying that your building complies.
To help us assess your building (or project) quickly and efficiently we developed this Check List.
It is also a compulsory part of our ISO9001 compliant Quality Management System. This Check List works as our “Go” sheet, and we can not complete an assessment without it, so it’s very important you complete & return it as quickly as possible!
The first few fields are fairly self-explanatory.
Site Address: The street address, suburb and postcode of the building
Real Property Description: The Lot No, RP/SP, Parish details can be found on the property rates notice or the survey plan
Date: Today’s Date
Please tick the boxes indicating the plans you’ve sent us.
- Site Plan.
- Floor Plans & Roof Plans.
- Elevations, Glazing & door schedules.
- Floor Coverings are required for Thermal Calculation assessments, and unless informed otherwise, we will assume carpet as the default floor covering except for wet areas (NatHERS Procedure).
- Sections (if available). Sections help us understand wall and floor configurations.
- Lighting Plan & Schedule (if available). As the lighting allowance is calculated we need the location, number and types of lights. As downlights can result in a loss of effective ceiling insulation, we need to know what lights go where.
- We prefer to have all this information in order to provide you with an accurate Energy Efficiency assessment. Otherwise, we apply default conditions which may not be beneficial.
NCC Energy Efficiency Assessment Type
There are several different ways to assess a building depending on the Building Classification. If you don’t know what assessment type is suitable or are undecided, you can select “Unsure what type”. Our assessors are happy to discuss the best assessment method for your project, or it can be found on the Fee Proposal. A full assessment is required for all Building Classifications, except for Class 7, 8, 9b and 10a buildings (or parts) with no conditioned spaces, where only the lighting is assessable.
- Commercial JV3: The Commercial Building Verification Method JV3 compares the design to a Reference Building. The Reference Building is the same shape as the building being assessed but complies with Deemed-to-Satisfy (DtS). If elements of the building’s design (e.g. wall insulation or glazing) do not comply with DtS, then the building must be better than the Reference Building in other areas to compensate. DesignBuilder™ satisfies the ABCB Protocol for Building Energy Analysis Software 2006.1 as it uses EnergyPlus™ for the calculation engine.
- Commercial DtS: Each building element (roof/ceiling, walls, floor & glazing) must comply separately, which when combined are “Deemed to Satisfy” the Code’s Performance Requirement. Very little trading between elements is allowed, which can restrict options. In some limited cases this option can be cheaper or better, but generally we recommend a JV3 assessment over DTS.
- Residential Star Rating: This assessment method allows trading of elements to achieve compliance which can lower total construction costs. It depends on whether the building is a Class 1 (House) or Class 2 (Units) and if it has a complying Outdoor Living Area with or without a ceiling fan (please indicate any fans on the plans). Reduced wall insulation for masonry walls is usually possible for Thermal Calculation Assessments. For more details see the Queensland Development Code MP4.1. We use BERS Pro software for assessing residences by the Star Rating method.
- Residential DtS: Each building element (roof/ceiling, walls, floor & glazing) must comply separately, which when combined are “Deemed to Satisfy” the Code’s Performance Requirement. Very little trading between elements is allowed with restricted options. In some limited cases this option can be cheaper or better, but generally we recommend a full Star Rating assessment. DtS assessments are not available for Class 2 (Units) and Class 4 part buildings.
- Residential Reference Building: Residential Reference Building assessments use the Star Rating software to compare the Cooling Energy and/or the Heating Energy to a Reference Building. This allows houses to comply with nearly lowest construction cost through trading the performance of different building elements. This is the most expensive type of Residential assessment and normally isn’t necessary, however for particularly difficult designs a Reference Building Assessment can result in significant building alteration cost savings.
- BASIX Thermal Comfort: This assessment method only applies for residential buildings (Houses and Units) in NSW. The Assessment method must follow the BASIX Protocol.
- Multiple Types: Please select this option if your project contains more than one Assessment method. For example, Class 2 units above commercial areas would be assessed with Residential Star Ratings for the units & JV3 for the commercial parts.
Select what glass Type & Frame your building will have. If you know it, you can write down the AFRC performance values (glass only) U-value & Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (available from your glass manufacturer), or you can specify the glazing product details. The more accurate information here, the better. Use the notes if performance glazing is proposed. If the AFRC values are glass+frames (window or total system) please note this down for us.
What will the external walls & wall frames be made out of? What colour will they be (e.g. paint brand and colour name)? To help with Solar Absorptance we have referenced typical colours for comparison. If the colour is undecided then select from Very-light (off white, zincalume), Light (cream to yellow), Medium (yellow to orange) or Dark (everything else). If not specified we must assume Medium.
Metal frames are assumed to have a thermal break of at least R0.2 between the frame and light external cladding if the lining is also attached to the same metal frame.
For Solar Absorptance comparisons use these typical colours.
Roof tiles and concrete have to be white to be very-light colour. Floor tiles on a terrace or balcony with a room below have the roof colour. If the colour is undecided then select from Very-light (off white, zincalume), Light (cream to yellow), Medium (yellow to orange) or Dark (everything else). If not specified we must assume Medium.
Metal frames are assumed to have a thermal break of at least R0.2 between the frame and roof if the ceiling is also attached to the same metal frame.
Skylights and roof lights need to be completely specified (e.g. size, reflectivity of shaft, insulation to shaft, diffuser).
Provide details of materials to be used, including insulation and air spaces.
What is the type and thickness of added insulation in the External Walls, Internal Envelope Walls, Floor, Ceiling (on the plasterboard) and Roof (directly under the metal, roof tiles or suspended concrete)?
You can list generic (e.g. Rockwool 50mm), product brand name, or the material-only R-value (NOT total R-value and not including any reflective foil effective R-value). Foil insulation works if there is at least a 20mm air space, so we need to know the construction arrangement to calculate the total R-value. A detail section is great.
An Internal Envelope Wall separates a conditioned space from a non-conditioned space (e.g. Office from Warehouse). If you’re requesting a DtS Assessment, wall insulation must continue above uninsulated ceilings to comply with the BCA J1.2(a)(ii) and BCA 220.127.116.11(a)(ii) requirements.
Are there Solar Photovoltaic Panels >1kW peak? We may be able to apply a Residential Star credit. For Commercial JV3 assessments, site-generated Renewable Energy can be included.
Are there any Ceiling Fans? For Residential assessments we assume 1200mm swept diameter ceiling fans unless otherwise indicated.
Is there Mechanical roof space ventilation?
Is there an Outdoor Living Area with roof insulation and/or a ceiling fan?
Any gaps in the ceiling insulation? Please be clear if there are any ceiling insulation penetrations (for example, downlights or ceiling exhaust fans excluding a range hood) as we need to include these.
Finally, we need your contact details to know where to send the the Report, Design Compliance Certificate (Form 15) and Universal Certificate.
Who should get the Tax Invoice? If this field is left blank the Tax Invoice will be sent to the Report address. If this is incorrect because the Tax Invoice addressee is unknown, the Energy Efficiency Report may be delayed until you tell us.
Include the Purchase Order Number if this is required for the Tax Invoice, or you can attach a copy of the Purchase Order.
The aim of this Check List is to provide you with the Energy Efficiency consulting you need for your project, which is why we are so specific. If you have any questions about our Check List, or are still feeling a little lost, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email and we’ll happily help you out.