Significant changes happened in the construction industry when energy efficiency regulations underwent a reformation in 2010. Initially, the DTS (Deemed to Satisfy) approach was considered to be the standard approach for all the BCA Section J compliance assessments, but as this became more stringent, the JV3 method became more prominently used with its introduction as an alternative and more educated approach to comply with the BCA requirements. 

There are several challenges that assessors can come across using the DTS approach, such as considering the totality of the insulation requirements as well as glazing specifications. The glazing calculator in the DTS assessment is somewhat restrictive on the types of window values that can be achieved. It also looks at each orientation in isolation and cannot correlate the performances which are above the required values in other façade orientations and other levels.

To resolve this, the JV3 Alternative Solution was proposed as a means to mitigate these challenges and produce more feasible and practical results. By resorting to this method, architects and developers can achieve greater design flexibility and also save on the costs of construction quiet noticeably.

What Is a JV3 Alternative Method?

A JV3 Alternative assessment method is performed using a computer-based energy model of a proposed development, which is then compared against another computer model based on the DTS requirements.

When the DTS requirement model fails to give realistic and practical results, the JV3 modelling is therefore the preferred option used by architects and developers. 

By undertaking this assessment method for a proposed development, the annual energy consumption can be calculated very accurately and furthermore, the preferences of architects are also taken into consideration, making the process compliant and commercially practical.

Benefits Procured From JV3 Approach

  • Grants a more comprehensive design flexibility while complying with Section J Requirements;
  • Outmodes the obligations of the DTS glazing calculator;
  • Allows for the removal of pendulous floor insulation;
  • It noticeably cuts costs on actual construction.

When can JV3 Alternative Method be Contributory?

  • In a proposed development where there is an absence of cavity space- in internal walls or if the roof ceiling system is not appropriate to accommodate extensive insulation
  • If the glazing requirements have different U and SHGC values for each level and each orientation or if the minimum DTS performance requirements of the glazing system is very expensive or impossible to achieve
  • In a proposed development where external shading devices are not suitable or cannot be calculated by the DTS glazing calculator
  • In cancelling the floor installation due to frictions between services installation and under-slab insulation
  • Where solar absorptance value is weaker due to external walls and roof layer
  • Where the buildings are not constructed per the BCA Section J DTS requirements

The alternative solution JV3 can be a sustainable solution for buildings which have designs and compositions which are not being fully understood and addressed under the DTS requirements. From the results of the JV3 model, the proposed development can have a more rational design and while fully complying with the requirements of the section J of the Building Code of Australia, minimizing costs of construction. Moreover, it is not limited to just cost saving – but also provides other benefits such as the improvement on energy and design aesthetics as well as decreased complexity of the building design. Hence, this method is becoming more prevalent and preferred in the construction industry and it is highly recommended for Architects and developers to consider progressing their initial DTS section J assessment to a full JV3 alternative solution

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Akshaya Sivakumar

BCA Section J Deemed to Satisfy Consultant B.A/L.L.B (Bachelor of Laws)