Understanding Section J Changes For Building Plans

sjThe Section J has a commercial and a residential component. The commercial building changes target the common areas of apartment buildings (Class 2 buildings, Class 3 buildings and Class 5 to 9 buildings).

The commercial component of the Section J Report is focused on introducing an economically feasible stringency increase at 1 to 1.5 benefit cost ratio. Study shows that a stringency increase during this time is likely to be cost-effective and encourage significant energy savings of around 23 to 53 percent. But this is based on a medium carbon price scenario and a learning rate of 3 percent per annum for 10 years.

Also, further changes are proposed to the commercial energy efficiency requirements, which are focused in increasing the flexibility of the building requirements and the number of compliance options available. This will promote innovation and improve interpretation and compliance with the NCC provisions.

This can be achieved through:

  • Quantification of the mandatory Performance Requirements
  • Introducing a NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement Verification Method
  • Introducing a Green Star Verification Method
  • Introducing commissioning requirements
  • Improved consideration of on-site renewable such as photovoltaics
  • Improved thermal bridging requirements, and simpler Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Provisions.

When do these changes come into effect?

All proposed technical changes are available for public consultation, together with a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) from February 2018. This will create the opportunity to give your say on the proposed changes.

The final changes will be released in February 2019, and come into effect on 1 May 2019.

What is the reason of such assessment?

The Section J Energy Efficiency initiative was initiated as a result of Measure 31 of the Council of Australian Governments National Energy Productivity Plan. This project forms part of the Australian Governments broader strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and improve energy productivity. All the proposed changes will be subjected to economic analysis as a part of the development, which will be further developed in accordance with the Office of Best Practice Regulation guidelines.

Any unintended consequence as a result of the proposed technical changes will also be considered.

In summary, all of Section J in NCC Volume One is expected to be significantly improved.