With the release of NCC 2022 Public Comment Draft drawing nearer, there are some significant changes expected, focusing specifically on residential buildings.
NCC 2022 proposes further increases in residential building energy efficiency as it pursues a trajectory towards net zero energy buildings. These increases will require the application of higher performing advanced insulation systems, such as those manufactured by Kingspan, to meet these provisions.
The Australian Building Council’s Board (ABCB) has proposed in its discussion papers and draft amendments, several option’s with respect to achieving the objective of increased energy efficiency of residential buildings as outlined below:
Option One is to increase ‘’the minimal level of thermal comfort of residential buildings to the equivalent of 7 stars under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) and implement an overall energy use budget equivalent to net zero for the regulated elements of the home’’ (ABCB, 2020).
Option Two will also focus on raising the minimum energy requirements of residential homes to 7 stars NatHERS rating. This option will also allow a reasonable amount of energy to be used for controlled elements of the home.
Option Three will create a strictness between Option One and Two but will allow for roughly 70% of energy to be used for controlled elements of the home, (ABCB, 2020).
ABCB also advocates that thermal bridging should be taken into consideration when accounting for the thermal calculations of residential buildings. To reduce the impact of thermal bridging, the ABCB is proposing the installation of thermal breaks or additional insulation.
The proposals to improve the thermal bridging performance of the residential building envelope will provide better comfort levels for occupants and increase the energy efficiency rating of the building. This increase will aid residential buildings in meeting the proposed 7 star objective, and ultimately achieving a net zero energy building.