Sustainability Services

National Construction Code Section J Energy Efficiency Assessments

What is Section J?

The National Construction Code, incorporating the Building Code of Australia (BCA), requires that building work on Classes 2-9 buildings meet minimum energy efficiency requirements under its Section J Energy Efficiency provisions. To comply, Building Certifiers and Certifying Authorities require Energy Efficiency Performance Assessment Reports to be prepared, assessing the building against the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions or using energy modelling at the Construction Certificate stage.

There are two approaches:

  1. Deemed-To-Satisfy
  2. Verification using Energy Modelling

Most buildings can be assessed using the DTS pathway. Section J requirements are minimum energy efficiency requirements, and the Deemed-To-Satisfy approach is a “blunt instrument” with many omissions. Requirements become more stringent every year, as the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings becomes even more imperative.

Note that Buildings designed to minimum compliance under Section J will not pass 4/4.5 star NABERS assessments that are increasingly required by Government Departments and progressive developers in the property industry and by new Mandatory Disclosure of Energy Performance regulations. Likewise, compliance with Section J is insufficient to qualify under the Green Building Council’s Green Star program. Research has shown that compliance with Section J is equivalent to between 2.5 and 3.5 stars under the NABERS assessment process.

Nevertheless, for some designers and builders, even the minimum requirements of Section J will demand considerable change to normal practice. As a result, you should consider bringing us into your project team early in the design process to advise on specification.

Deemed-To-Satisfy Assessment

The NCC Section J Energy Efficiency Assessment service includes the following:

  • Assessment of drawings and specifications.
  • Preparation of a preliminary performance assessment.
  • Recommendation of changes to drawings and specifications to meet BCA requirements if necessary
  • Quality check of documents to identify recommended design changes and drawing annotations.
  • Preparation of a final Performance Assessment Report
  • If appropriate, we can assess Parts J1, J2 and J3 only, if your engineering consultants assess Parts J5 to J8 as part of their scope of works.

The final report includes an “Opinion of Compliance” that the building design meets the Deemed-To-Satisfy Provisions of Section J and any relevant supporting evidence calculations.

This service is subject to a formal fee proposal upon sighting copies of your drawings. Fees are dependent on size and complexity of the proposed development.

We can also advise you at an early stage whether energy modelling will be the appropriate pathway, and submit a fee proposal on that basis.

Compliance at Completion of Construction

When construction is completed, finished work needs to be checked against the project documentation to ensure that Section J commitments have been complied with. We can carry out these inspections if required by your Building Certifier or Principal Certifying Authority.