Australia’s building stock is increasing every year with new building being constructed and existing buildings remaining in use for many decades. It’s not surprising that the building sector is one of the many sectors contributing to Australia’s emission of greenhouse gases. This is why it is important for buildings to be designed to be energy efficient and reduce unnecessary energy consumption. The energy consumption of Australian buildings is regulated through the Building Codes of Australia (BCA). The BCA sets out the minimum energy efficiency performance requirements, which are aimed to set the standard for energy efficiency across the building sector. These standards are ensured on all building work with energy assessors carrying out the assessment and building surveyors checking compliance with legislation.
On the 1st of May 2015, the energy efficiency requirements were changed from regulation 31B of the Building Regulations 2012 to 31A of the Building Regulations 2012. The change in regulations means the industry will be able to use alternative solutions for energy efficiency to show compliance with the performance requirements P2.6.1 Building and P2.6.2 Services of Volume 2 of the BCA. In short, the industry is being given greater flexibility to create industry lead solutions to demonstrate compliance with the energy efficiency provisions. The Building Commission has supported the industry-led approach through developing a protocol to guide the development of energy efficiency alternative solutions; the WA Alterations and Additions Protocol for Energy Efficiency in Class 1 or attached Class 10 Buildings.
The protocol consisted of three primary sections that address the different requirements of the BCA Part 3.12 Energy Efficiency. The HERS option describes building rating outcomes expressed as a maximum Total MJ target, which makes a reasonable allowance for the likely performance of the existing building so that a single building rating for the whole-of-house can be used. The Elemental Provisions section of the protocol describes targets that can be applied for an EP assessment for parts of the building so that reasonable allowance is made for the likely performance of the existing building. The Service option of the protocol describes targets that can be applied for BCA Part 3.12.5 so that reasonable allowance is made for the likely performance of existing services. Building surveyors are now assessing the proposed alternative solutions developed using the protocol will need to be lodged to council with the properties building permit applications. It is the responsibility of building surveyors to review the proposed alternative solutions to ensure the building’s energy is meeting the performance requirements as outlined in the protocol guide.
Due to constantly evolving legislation the information provided within this blog may no longer be valid. The advice given on this site is general in nature and does not take into account your specific circumstances. Please email one of our building surveyors to check what is right for you