National Construction Code – Residential Energy Rating Changes – How will it affect you?

National Construction Code – Residential Energy Rating Changes – How will it affect you?

What are the Current Requirements?

Under the current National Construction Code homes built in NSW and Victoria are required to meet a Six-star standard under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). Under this Scheme homes are given a rating based on their design, materials, and orientation. These factors are assessed, and an overall rating is given to the home using a star rating system. These factors must be calculated to reach a minimum of 6 stars for the home to be compliant with the code.

What are the requirements Changing to?

Once the changes come into effect for your state (explained below) the stringency level for a residential building to be compliant will shift from 6-stars to 7-stars. In addition to the 7-star rating a building must also reach a minimum compliance in heating and cooling loads. So, it now becomes a two-stage pass process to achieve compliance. Not only does a design need to meet the 7-Star energy consumption rating but it now also needs to come in under the heating and cooling loads in terms of energy consumption.

What are Heating and Cooling loads?

Heating and Cooling loads are calculations that determine the amount of energy it will take to heat or to cool a space. When specifically talking about heating it is the amount of heat energy that would need to be added to a space to maintain a temperature in an acceptable range. When talking cooling it is the amount heat energy that would need to be removed from a space to cool it to an acceptable range. It is important to know the values of the loads to better determine the efficiency of the home to maintain a livable standard.

So, what does this mean for construction of a home?

There is no simple answer to what this means for the construction of a new home. But if we were to simplify it, it means that builders, designers, and consumers all need to think in more detail about how they are going to live in their new home and make changes to some of the methods and materials we have used for a long time.  Some of these method and materials will include:

  • Roof construction, colour and materials
  • Insulation of the:
    • Roof
    • Ceiling
    • Walls
    • Floors
  • Lighting
  • Slab Construction
  • Building orientation
  • Appliances
  • Windows

What can Ultimate Windows do to assist?

The answer her might seem obvious… but we are not just limited to helping you with your windows. Although we know that the type of window frames and glazing you choose are a huge component in the make up of your home and a huge contributor to the energy rating, we like to take a wholistic approach to your home and help you to get the biggest impact in the most cost-effective way.

Ultimate Windows has a team that is ready to look at your project overall and make suggestions to get the most out of your design while providing you with the best livability condition. The biggest impact we can have, is assisting your architect, draftsperson, or builder in making the best decisions towards achieving the required energy rating for your home while also providing the functionality and livability you would expect from a modern home. We do this by looking at the materials used in the construction of the home, the placement and functionality of your windows and doors, the orientation of the building and the glazing you have and where it is used. When all is said and done, we are keen to work with you, your architect, or your builder to make sure you get the home that you want while meeting or even exceeding the energy rating required.

But why?

If you have read this far, you might be asking yourself “why though” shouldn’t my builder just give me something that passes muster? And in short, the answer to that is yes. But there are so many variables at play that it pays to do your research and arm yourself with the information to make the most of your build. Giving yourself the ability to ask questions and make changes to suit you.

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