Building Code of Australia

Section J, Energy Efficiency

Section J of the Building Code of Australia Volume 1 deals with the energy efficiency requirements of non residential buildings. Since all new buildings in Australia need to demonstrate their compliance with the current version of the BCA, a BCA Section J report must be compiled to accompany the design documents for a Development Application to be able to get a Construction Certificate.

BCA Section J deals with energy efficiency requirements of the Building Code of Australia for class 2 to 9 BCA standard definition buildings. The main objective of the BCA Section J is to reduce the green house gas emissions of a building by reducing the amount of energy it require for its normal operation. There are two methods of showing BCA Section J compliance as of BCA 2013 which are Deemed to Satisfy Provisions and thermal simulation result comparison with a reference building.


Developments that Need BCA Section J

Any class 2 to 9 building which is required to satisfy the requirements of the BCA Volume 1 need to meet the requirements of the BCA Section J for energy efficiency. Normally councils require that the BCA Section J compliance to be demonstrated at the Construction Certificate stage in form of a BCA Section J Report but it is highly advisable to arrange for an assessment to be performed before a Development Application is submitted to the council due to high possibility of design modifications resulting from the BCA Section J assessment.

BCA Section J Assessment

BCA Section J assessment can be performed by two methods. One method is to check and challenge relevant design elements of the proposed development versus the Deemed to Satisfy provisions of the BCA. The other method which is based on the JV3 Verification using a reference building is thermal simulation of the proposed development and its comparison with a reference building which meets all the deemed to satisfy requirements of the BCA Section J. The assessment must be performed by an experienced and qualified energy efficiency consultant to minimise the risk of any non complying issues or council rejection.

BCA Section J Report

Compliance with the section J of the Building Code of Australia is generally demonstrated by showing compliance with the Deemed to Satisfy requirements of the BCA for energy efficiency. The report studies all the building elements addressed in the BCA Section J and determines their compliance or non compliance with the requirements of the Section J.

All your questions regarding BCA Section J answered here!

A BCA Section J Assessment Can Change the Design

Most councils in Australia require a BCA Section J report to be submitted as part of the documentation for the Construction Certificate stage. Although it is almost never on the Development Application checklist of required documents Eco Certificates Recommends that designers and developres acquire a BCA Section J report at the DA stage. In some cases the requirements of the BCA Section J, particularly the glazing requirements, might trigger the need to modify the building desing and if this is knows right before the CC stage when all other studies are completed, it could cause delays and unnecessary expensive re designs.

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