All quotes sent within 3 Hours Completed in 3-5 business days

BCA 2013 Commercial Energy Rating Changes

            Energy efficiency assessments for commercial projects have undergone some changes in the BCA 2013. Although none are major, it is important to ensure you are up to date with the new regulations so you can factor them into your designs.

I have provided the in and outs below, but if you want to skip all the technical explanations and just want to know “How does this affect me?” skip to the conclusion at the bottom.

 Section J now includes all classes of commercial building whether they have a conditioned space or not.  The exemption of classes 7, 8 and 9b with no conditioned space has been removed

In reality this has little affect on your project. It is just a timely reminder that all projects are required to comply with parts of the Section J Energy Efficiency Regulations.

Atriums are no longer excluded from the energy efficiency assessments. This can have large impact if you need to include that glazing in the calculations.

While you can still use clear sheeting or skylights in unconditioned warehouses and workshops with no restrictions, this clear sheeting is used to calculate the insulation requirements for walls that separate the workshop from the conditioned areas such as offices and lunch rooms.

So workshops and warehouses that have:

  1. No mechanical ventilation, or
  2. Skylights or clear roof sheeting that exceeds the maximum, or
  3. Glazing between conditioned and unconditioned areas that exceed the maximum

Will need to ensure that the walls that separate conditioned areas have a total R Value of 1.8 or more.  In walls that are single leaf brickwork or concrete panel this may cause issues.




So what does this all mean for you?

  1. All commercial projects will require an energy efficiency Section J report of some kind
  2. If you have a project that includes an atrium talk to Sustainability WA sooner rather than later
  3. Allow for insulation to walls that separate conditioned areas such as offices and lunchrooms.


As energy efficiency compliance gets more complicated, Sustainability WA will continue to keep you up to date, ensuring you have all the answers at your fingertips.

Sustainability WA continues to provide energy efficiency certification for both commercial and residential projects in ensuring you can concentrate on the parts of the project that make you money.

We look forward to helping you with your next project!

Section J – Commercial Overview

Section J Commercial Energy Efficiency




Commercial Energy efficiency or Section J Compliance can be handled quickly and cost effectively by Sustainability WA. To assist in conformance here is a general overview of the BCA Section J requirements.

Please note that the R Values indicated below are for System R Values, meaning this is the minimum R Value required combine your building materials with the insulation.

When Sustainability WA carries out a Section J, Commercial energy efficiency Report these values are all calculated for you to ensure you know exactly what your project will require.

 Specific requirements

Roof and Ceiling Insulation  

 Roof and ceiling insulation varies in Zones 1, 2 and 3 dependent on the colour of the roof.

Total R Value Required:

Zones 1, 2, 3:    R3.2 – R4.2

Zones 4, 5, 6:    R3.2

Zone 8:             R4.8

 Note: Ceiling insulation needs to be increased to compensate for areas of exhaust fans, flues or recessed downlights if this area is more than 0.5% of the total insulation area.

Roof Lights – Roof Lights servicing conditioned areas need to meet minimum criteria dependent on area of roof lights. Contact us for more information

Wall Insulation

BCA Total R Value requirement:

Zones 1, 2 and 3:          R3.3

Zones 4, 5 and 6:          R2.8

Zone 8:                         R3.8

 Concessions are available for the above R values and can be reduced for the following reasons:

  • The wall has a surface density greater than 220kg/m²
  • The wall faces South
  • The wall has shading as per the minimums described in the BCA
  • The wall is a light colour (for zones 1,2 and 3 only)

Sustainability WA ensures your project always receives the appropriate reductions which can significantly affect the profitability

Internal Walls – Walls between conditions and non-conditioned require insulation with a total R Value of up to R 2.3

Suspended Floors

Suspended floor requires a total R value of 2.0

Where the subfloor is enclosed and mechanically ventilated, this can be reduced to R 1.25

 Glazing Calculator – A Glazing calculator needs to be completed. Talk to sustainability WA about what this involves.

 Air conditioning and Lighting – Air conditioning needs to be designed according to the BCA. The designer is required to sign a declaration to show compliance.

There are minimum wattage levels for commercial building which depend on the size and use of the area. Sustainability WA complete all lighting calculations as part of our process.

 Sustainability WA makes energy efficiency easy. Certification is simple for both Residential and Commercial projects.


Call or email Sustainability WA now for a no obligation consultation to find out how we can assist your commercial energy efficiency Certification easy. We can make a time to come to your office and show you how our services and extensive knowledge of the energy efficiency guidelines can make your life easier.

Sustainability WA specializes in cost effective, efficient energy ratings for builders, architects and drafts people and providing advice on the new Energy Efficiency regulations.


For more info, CONTACT US or call us at 08 9537 2000







Commercial Energy Efficiency – BCA Section J Update

Commercial Energy Efficiency – Section J

Commercial Section J

The change over period for the new BCA 2010 Section J regulations has drawn to a close. The new regulations now become mandatory in all councils as of May 1st 2011.

Ensuring your project complies with these regulations is imperative in receiving a speedy building approval, so here is a rundown on the major changes you need to know about:

-Increase to required wall R values. – The major compliance issue here is the need for increased wall insulation, which can cause problems in constructions that do not have sufficient wall space to allow for bulk insulation.  Products such as air cell on furring channels can still comply but only if there is a significant reduction in glazing from the maximum allowed which can compromise a design.

Walls between conditioned and non conditioned spaces now need insulation in every instance.

-Suspended Floor Insulation. – Suspended floors now need insulation. The actual requirement varies depending on whether the underside is enclosed, the floor is heated and the amount of Ceiling insulation.

-Roof and Ceiling insulation.- Ceiling/Roof insulation has remained the same in zones 4, 5 and 6. However the concession for having a non-conditioned space over has been removed. Ceiling insulation is required to be adjusted for ceiling penetrations (e.g. Recessed downlights)

-Changes to glazing allowances. The glazing allowance is determined by three different criteria – Climate Zone, Building Class and Purpose and  Glazing option chosen. The amount of glazing has been reduced. A new commercial glazing calculator has been released to reflect these changes.

-Artificial Lighting – Amounts of artificial lighting and the calculations used to determine maximum artificial lighting have been amended.

-New provisions have been added for the metering of energy usage in certain size buildings.

With all these changes and perhaps more to follow with this year’s BCA, building designers, architects and builders are finding it more efficient to contract the services of an energy efficiency professional to review their project

Sustainability WA is a cost efficient supplier of commercial Section J reports including compliance reports for Building Fabric and Artificial Lighting calculations.

Call Sustainability WA on (08) 9537 2000 to find out how we can help your business.

You can also email or send your plans for a free quote.

Lodge plans her for a free quote.