Call us on (07) 3420 5083

Home » Building Code Update » March 2009 Energy Efficiency Update

March 2009 Energy Efficiency Update


NOTE:
The Code has changed many times over the years since this article was written and the information in here isn’t current for today’s requirements. We’re keeping it here for historical reference purposes and to assist others who may want to check an existing building meets the older standard. If you need a second opinion regarding if an older building actually met the then-current energy efficiency requirements we can still do the calculations for any class of building, for any year’s requirements ranging from all the way back to 1999 to the current draft proposal for next year. Contact us for more information!

You may be aware that the Queensland Development Code (QDC) has Mandatory Part MP4.1 – Sustainable Buildings (copy available from www.dip.qld.gov.au/building/current-parts.html). MP4.1 includes Performance Requirement P1 which this Update is addressing, hopefully to minimise confusion.

As a result, the performance requirements for houses are increasing, requiring all new houses to be much more efficient than previously.

The jump from 3.5 Stars to 5 Stars is roughly 35% less MJ/m². From our experience about 90% of houses will require design changes to achieve 5 Stars, about 60% will require some design changes to achieve 4.5 Stars, and about 30% for 4 Stars. We currently have about 10% of houses that require some effort to get 3.5 Stars and most of these will not achieve 4 Stars without less glass.

Below are the specifics of the changes happening.

For building designs substantially completed BEFORE 1 March 2009, the Building Code of Australia BCA2008 applies:
For Class 1 and attached Class 10a the Queensland Variation to BCA2005 Part 2.6 applies:

either DTS2005 Part 3.12 OR Verification Method V2.6.2.1 (House Star Rating)

  • 3.5 Stars for Queensland Climate Zones 1, 2 & 3 and
  • 4.0 Stars for Queensland Climate Zone 5

OR Verification Method V2.6.2.2 (Reference Building).

The Star Rating assessments can be performed either by First Generation (e.g. BERS Version 3.2) or Second Generation (e.g. BERS Pro), though Second Generation is strongly preferred by Building Codes Queensland (and us).


For building designs substantially completed BETWEEN 1 March 2009 and 30 April 2009, the Building Code of Australia BCA2008 applies without Queensland variations, but with QDC MP4.1 Acceptable Solutions A1 (the new parts). The BCQ Newsflash 355 applies here (copy available from www.dip.qld.gov.au/resources/newsletter/newsflash-355.pdf).

For Class 1 and attached Class 10a buildings
either DTS2008 Part 3.12 (tighter glazing than DTS2005)
OR Verification Method V2.6.2.1 (House Star Rating using Second Generation software only)

  • 5 Stars or

in Queensland Climate Zones 1 and 2 (MP4.1 Acceptable Solution A1(d))

  • 4.5 Stars with an Outdoor Living Area roof total R-value of at least R1.5 down
  • 4.0 Stars where the Outdoor Living Area has an insulated roof and a ceiling fan

An Outdoor Living Area (defined in MP4.1) must be attached to the Living area, minimum 12m² floor area, minimum 2.5m wide/deep, with impervious roof, and have 2 or more sides capable of being opened.

OR Verification Method V2.6.2.2 (Reference Building using suitable thermal calculation software)


For building designs substantially completed FROM 1 May 2009, the Building Code of Australia BCA2009 applies, with MP4.1 Acceptable Solution A1(d) as above for Class 1 and attached Class 10a buildings.

Clyde Anderson Pty Ltd has two ABSAaccredited BERS Pro Assessors (Clyde Anderson ABSA number 40121; Juancho Bauyon ABSA number 61079).

Please spread the word: Class 1 buildings (houses) need to be more Energy Efficient than before 1 March 2009.

Below are some recommendations on how to improve a building’s energy efficiency.

Changes to be considered include:

  • adding an Outdoor Living Area with insulated roof and ceiling fan (major benefit)
  • less glass (height and/or width)
  • lower glazing total U-value (Low-E, timber or PVC frames &/or double-glazing)
  • lower glazing total Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (warm-hot climates, e.g. stronger tint)
  • major increase in external shade (warm-to-hot climates, smaller benefit if already some shade)
  • adding ceiling fans (warm-to-hot climates, smaller benefit than with BERS V3.2)
  • increasing insulation to ceiling, roof, walls and exposed underfloor (smaller benefit if already insulated)

During this transition period we are expecting all clients to be on a learning curve. What does a 5 Star house look like? We are planning to post additional information on the website soon, under the Resources section. However, we are expecting the turn-around for many projects to be longer, especially if changes need to be confirmed. Consequently, residential DTS and Star Rating assessments may be subject to a price increase to reflect the increased calculations/consulting required per house. Good designs which reach compliance on first calculation or simulation will attract a discount and be priced similar to our current rates. Based on current assessments the turn-around for these “good designs” is not expected to increase (workload permitting).

We expect to assess more buildings using the Reference Building Verification Method, particularly with elevated timber floor.

For Class 2 and 4 buildings BCA2008 Part J applies to 1 May 2009:
either DTS2008 Parts J1 to J8, or Verification Method JV1 – 3 Stars minimum per Unit and DTS2008 Parts J5 to J8, with

  • a building average of 3.5 Stars for Climate Zones 1, 2 & 3; and
  • a building average of 4.0 Stars for Climate Zones 4 to 8

The Star Rating assessments can be performed either by First Generation (e.g. BERS Version 3.2) or Second Generation (e.g. BERS Pro), though Second Generation is strongly preferred by Building Codes Queensland (and us).

For Class 3, 5 to 9 buildings BCA2008 Part J applies to 1 May 2009:
either DTS2008 Parts J1 to J8, OR Verification Method JV3 (Reference Building) and DTS Part J8.

A Reference Building is the same size, shape and location as the proposed building which complies with DTS in all elements. The Total Energy of the proposed building must be less than the Reference Building to comply. If any element of the proposed building does not comply with DTS (e.g. wall insulation or glazing) it must be better than DTS in other elements to compensate.

Clyde Anderson Pty Ltd has a licence for DesignBuilder (see www.designbuilder.co.uk, Licence No. YT7DB000065). This software meets the ABCB Protocol for Building Energy Analysis Software as it uses EnergyPlus as the calculation engine.

To cover additional information needed for the new assessment software (Residential and Commercial), we have a new Energy Efficiency Check List posted here, replacing the previous Check List. Please download the new version (Version 0903) to avoid us having to call you for more details.
We now supply the Check List in three different formats – MS Office 2003 *.DOC, OpenOffice.org *.ODT and Adobe Reader *.PDF. This allows you to fill it out and email it back to us. The current version is experimental and we are still checking it for compatibility in all versions of all common Office applications. If it does not work for you the PDF version is still available that can be faxed/mailed/scanned-and-emailed to us, as before. Let us know what you think as we want to make the Check List easy to use since it is an important part of our Quality Management System.

Finally, Clyde Anderson Pty Ltd has successfully completed an ISO9001 Quality Management System audit in Energy Efficiency Consulting. This means our consulting services have been audited by an independent auditor and achieve a high level of assured quality.

Post Tagged with ,

Comments are closed.

A professional service by qualified experts

Confused by all the complicated words & jargon in the Energy Efficiency Industry? We've put together a brief explanation of common Energy Efficiency terms.

Contact us for a competitive, obligation-free fee proposal!