I am very pleased that after a number of years of calling for the National Construction Code (NCC) to be made available for free, it is now available online. We welcome this move by the Australian Building Codes Board to increase accessibility to the NCC.
Standards and provisions such as those provided in the NCC play an important role in helping to create a more sustainable built environment so it is timely that a national review of compliance (or non-compliance) with the energy efficiency requirements in the NCC has recently been undertaken.
The results of the ‘National Energy Efficient Building Project’ (NEEBP) commissioned by the SA Government on behalf of all state and territory governments and undertaken by Pitt and Sherry, were reported late last year and provide some serious issues for the building sector to consider.
Based on stakeholder feedback, the review found that ‘Stakeholders pointed to many positive trends in building energy efficiency in Australia. These included the increasing availability and affordable prices of high star/zero net energy homes and the increasing acceptance and uptake of solar energy technologies … [However] [m]any stakeholders believe that Code compliance is poor and, further, that Australia’s building energy performance falls a long way short of best practice. This implies higher energy use, higher emissions and higher overall costs for building owners and occupants’. The report is available here.
These findings are very concerning and I responded to the report in an article by the Fifth Estate.
Phase two of the NEEBP, focusing on residential buildings, is now proceeding and will consist of a number of pilot projects to address key issues identified in the report. I will keep members informed as more details about these pilot projects become available but I am sure that the findings of this report will be a key focus for the Institute and other industry stakeholders for the coming year.
David Parken, CEO