29 March 2012 – Melbourne consultancy, GIW Environmental Solutions Pty Ltd is calling for input into its draft submission to address what it believes are structural inconsistencies and technical irregularities in the Section J energy efficiency part of the National Construction Code (2014).

Director, Gary Wertheimer, told The Fifth Estate input was welcome to the 11 part proposal for changes to the code, now on the company’s website. These sought to address what he perceived to be “a number of structural inconsistencies and clarify specific technical clause irregularities.”

  • See Mr Wertheimer’s article https://thefifthestate.com.au/archives/14528
  • See submission https://giw.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=90:template&catid=1:latestnews&Itemid=5

Key concerns, Mr Wertheimer said, included:
• Building permit compliance for a residential apartment building requires both energy ratings and an assessment under the provisions. Generally these works are undertaken by two distinct parties, an energy rater and a section J compliance assessor. The NCC requires that the inputs from each consultant be used as a critical input into the other parties’ assessment works. This is not generally the case and may lead to an inefficient building design.

• The ABCB has produced a glazing assessment calculator which is simplistic in functionality and does not account for a holistic design approach. Architects may have experienced non-compliant design of glazing systems for energy efficiency. This may generally require a reduced extent of glazing allowed under the provisions.

• The restrictive nature of glazing provisions in age care centres impedes important design attributes. For example, glazing in these facilities is a sensitive architectural requirement. There is a fine balance between energy efficiency of glazing systems and occupant amenity. Residents should have suitable access to outside views and ample natural ventilation.

“We welcome industry to participate by providing your insight into the application of the provisions and associated ‘Proposal(s) for Change’. Comments will be submitted under the ‘Consultation’ section of each relevant proposal,” Mr Wertheimer said.

Closing date for feedback is 5 May 2012.

Mr Wertheimer said the Australian Building Codes Board, was a joint initiative of all levels of government in Australia that “facilitates dialogue with industry in order to develop and maintain a simple, efficient and nationally consistent building regulatory system. Users of the NCC have the opportunity to provide informed comment to improve the regulations.”