Understanding the thermal requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC) can sometimes be complicated. That is why we are excited to announce we have partnered up with Speckel, an innovative platform that helps you create building envelope performance solutions compliant to the NCC 2019, which you can now access directly from the Kingspan Kooltherm product pages.
We had a chat with Darren O’Dea one of the masterminds behind Speckel, a self-proclaimed sustainable design geek, Technical Director at the Australian Passive House Association and a former advisor to ABCB, about what Speckel is and what benefits it brings to the Australian construction industry.
A light one to kick us off - what is Speckel?
"After over a year developing our platform, we are continuing to ask ourselves that very question…what is Speckel?
Our purpose has always been simple, to create better opportunities for building design and construction teams to work together to improve outcomes for the building envelope. In a world where building envelope design is increasing in complexity and aspiration, we believe we can help create a more coherent and straightforward approach that reflect the priorities of better, more precise product specification.
We do this by providing an online platform to enable a user to navigate the National Construction Code – Vol 1 while using super simple design tools to create and share a wall, roof, floor, glazing and whole building designs with design teams. Our core intent is to provide a simple pathway to produce Performance Solutions against the National Construction Code 2019 – Vol 1 while also enabling a more transparent, flexible and third-party specification process."
How did you come up with the idea of creating Speckel?
"The idea of Speckel has been bubbling away from years, with its Co-Directors, David Carroll and myself, having extensive experience in building envelope design and construction. Through this experience and the recent changes to the National Construction Code 2019 – Vol 1 for commercial buildings, Speckel was envisaged to assist in avoiding the confusions or misinterpretations associated to significant market changes and the non-compliant challenges of overseas procurement models."
What benefits does it offer to the market?
"We like to think we add lots of benefits. Here is our top three:
First and foremost, we are the only third-party platform of our kind nationally. As such, products on our platform are vetted for compliance against the National Construction Code 2019. We have already had suppliers not make it onto the platform by not being able to provide verified products! As such, when using Speckel, users should be comfortable that they are getting an unbiased view of a wall, roof or floor thermal performance calculation. Also… we work with all suppliers, and therefore users are not inhibited by specific supplier networks that work traditionally together. This is awesome as it leads to a higher level of design options for users.
Next up is speed. As our Industry often dictates, the turnaround required in design and construction projects is fast and unrelenting. The importance of quick design team feedback that can be shared quickly is a must. On Speckel, you can build and specify in under 30 seconds, while producing Performance Solutions to National Construction Code 2019 – Vol 1 requirements.
Anyone can Speckel! You don’t need to be an Engineer or ESD Consultant to use Speckel. We do the calculations and automate as much as possible, so you do not have to. The only real requirement for many users is to select a building location, a building type, a pre-built templated construction or supplier product. After that, you produce a Performance Solution, and away you go!"
How did the partnership with Kingspan come to be?
"Partnering with a company is super crucial for any start-up, so the first thing to seek is shared values and a meaningful intent to educate and improve building outcomes. Kingspan has been training in the space of thermal performance via good products for as long as I have been in the Industry. So, working together makes sense.
We have also uncovered a shared value in transparency, working together to embed a version of Speckel on the Kingspan website for free access to all Kingspan clients. As of this month, you can jump onto the Kingspan website without having to jump onto the Speckel platform and grab many of the same features and application. We still have some additional cool bits on Speckel but enabling this on the Kingspan website should show the market that they are transparent and confident in the performance of their product."
You can now access Speckel directly from the Kingspan website - just follow the link at the appropriate Kooltherm product page and choose your application build-up.
For more assistance with the NCC 2019 changes regarding thermal insulation, contact our Technical Services team on 1300 247 235 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .