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:
- No mechanical ventilation, or
- Skylights or clear roof sheeting that exceeds the maximum, or
- 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?
- All commercial projects will require an energy efficiency Section J report of some kind
- If you have a project that includes an atrium talk to Sustainability WA sooner rather than later
- 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!