Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Are you Ready for 6 Stars?

The 6-star regulations are almost here! I am aiming to bring you up to speed with the changes in this edition and in those to follow. 

One of the most frequent questions I get asked is: “When will the 6 star regulations commence?” The simple answer is, for Victoria they will commence from 1 May this year, as per BCA 2010 and the Building Commission. In other states such as: ACT, QLD and SA, they already commenced last year.

A point of confusion was whether 6 star energy efficiency is required, even if the design process was carried out prior to May this year. I called the Building Commission to clarify this, and they advised the following: that if there is substantial evidence that the design was carried out prior to May 2011, then a 5 star energy report carried out later on, will still be applicable and comply. However if there is no evidence, then a 6 star energy report will be required.

My focus from here on, will be about your designs complying with the new regulations.

When you’re designing new projects, consider the inherent thermal efficiencies of these wall types, ranked most efficient to least efficient.

This was briefly discussed in our September 2010 issue:

  1. Hebel Panels
  2. Polystyrene (EPS)
  3. Brick work
  4. Weatherboard
  5. FC Sheet Cladding
  6. Metal Cladding
Where possible, try to minimise either FC cladding and metal cladding. If possible, it is recommended to install them on either North and/or East facade, as they are the least thermal energy efficient. Also where possible, it is recommended to install Hebel panels and EPS on the thermal weak points on either south and/or west facade, as they are the most thermal energy efficient.

Another question I often get asked is about window frames. Which is more energy efficient, timber frame type or aluminium?Timber frame type are generally about 10% more energy efficient than aluminium window frames.

With the garage being north facing and standard insulation applied (refer drawings below):
house 2

 Drawings: courtesy of Simonds Homes, used by permission 
Energy efficiency rating with aluminium is: 5.9 stars
Energy efficiency rating with timber is: 6.0 stars (complies with new Code)

For further information, feel free to contact our office on 03 9390 2934 or by email info@efficientenergychoices.com.au

Visit our website www.efficientenergychoices.com.au

Talk again in the next edition, stay tuned!

Karim Ghobrial

Electrical Engineer; Energy and Sustainability Consultant