AGDF’s first Green Speed Learning Forum (GSLF) for this year covered the 2019 changes to ‘Section J’ of the National Construction Code (NCC) with a 60 strong crowd turning out to hear about the revisions to be applied from May.

The event was co-hosted with the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and speaker Ken Thompson talked through what we needed to know about the NCC changes from a façade perspective.

Ken said, “Changes for commercial buildings include increasing the stringency to a point where the value of energy saved outweighs the increased cost of construction, improving the current reference building Verification Method (JV3) and formally recognising NABERS Energy and Green Star as alternative.

“The verification methods include simplifying the deemed-to-satisfy provisions and introducing basic comfort levels for building occupants.

“These changes will result in more efficient and comfortable buildings, while also simplifying compliance options. They will also play an important part in Australia meeting its greenhouse gas reduction and energy productivity targets.”

Ken ran through Section J performance requirements and reviewed the code in greater detail looking at the building fabric, thermal construction, thermal bridging, walls and glazing, spandrel panel thermal performance and floors.

He covered what the new quantified energy performance requirement means and what JV3 practitioners will need to do differently in their energy models.  These changes include:

  • Changes to U values for the Building Fabric
  • Thermal bridging is now taken into account when calculating U values.
  • New roof and ceiling construction U values must achieve new R values.
  • U values have been updated for walls and glazing
  • Floor insulation must now achieve an R value and be insulated around the vertical edge of its perimeter.

Ken also covered the new combined window and wall provisions, including how to calculate the thermal performance of the façade using the new façade calculator tool.

He talked about the new condensation management provisions and the three elements of construction addressed in the new Part F6 (NCC Volume 1) including pliable building membrane, the flow rate and discharge of exhaust systems and ventilation of roof spaces.

The presentation was followed by a Question and Answer session.

The Australian Green Development Forum (AGDF) thanks event sponsors Redd Zebra and Ellivo Architects.