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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Energy requirements for a Residential Addition

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What Energy Requirements are required for a New Home

New dwellings need to meet the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Codes of Australia. The codes address a number of energy requirements, however the most common method of compliance is to model the heating and cooling loads of the dwelling using accredited NatHERS software. These assessments assign a star rating, and currently new residential dwellings need to meet a minimum of 6 stars. Additional methods include Elemental Provision and Verification Using a Reference Building.

What if my Building does not comply?

If this occurs, we will provide a list of options that will achieve compliance. This is normally in a cost effective order and is then  up to you and/or your builder/designer to advise which options you would like to go with. You are definately not left high and dry!

What information is required for an Energy Efficiency Rating?

Generally all assessments are done electronically and by email but postal methods can also be done if more applicable. For all methods, a full set of the architectural Building Licence drawings, including site plan with north point, is required along with the cad files of the floor plans (in Autocad, DXF or Autosketch 8 formats). We also have a simple, brief checklist/questionaire to complete that asks all the questions we need answers for ie insulation levels & types, glass type, wall constructions etc. Preliminary assessments can be conducted at sketch scheme stage also. The benefit here is that a design can be tweaked and fine tuned before a lot of time & expense in preparing the final Building Licence set of drawings. More work involved overall but the design is optimised early to achieve the best possible result & ultimately more comfortable & cheaper home to run.

Why do I need an Energy Assessment or Rating?

Since 2003 the Building Code of Australia has included energy efficiency requirements for proposed buildings. Initially it was for Housing only then offices, hotels etc were added in subsequent years. Each year the stringency increased until the current level which has been much the same for a couple of years. Any proposed building that requires a Building Licence/Permit now requires an energy assessment/rating. For housing there are a  few assessment methods available but the two main ones are software ratings (currently 6 stars minimum required) or a Deemed to Satisfy (DTS) assessment. A rating is flexible as all components/data go into the software & a simulation is run producing a star rating result. The DTS method is a step by step process that requires compliance with each part to achieve compliance overall. It should be noted this method does not produce a ‘star’ result. Alterations and additions are simialr but also have an extra method coming applicable from May 1st 2015. For commercial buildings the main method as DTS but requirements are different to housing DTS requirements. In all cases, the climate zone/location also dictates what minimum  requirements are required.