Up to recently it has been a matter of choice, however now, having an energy efficient building is no longer just the preserve of those wanting to do the right thing. What used to be a voluntary standard is now written into law and has become applicable as of 11 Nov 2011. These are the SANS 10400-XA: Energy Usage in buildings, and SANS 204: Energy Efficiency in buildings. The sure thing is that building costs will increase.
In Short: Heat loss mainly comes from the following places:
The regulations thus focus on two major elements:
It was stated that if thermal ceiling insulation and high-performance window systems were introduced today into all new residential and commercial buildings, an estimated 3500 MW in electricity could be saved by 2020.
This is almost twice the electricity currently produced by our only nuclear power plant, Koeberg (1800 MW).
This is the main point underlying the recent publication of SANS 204, Energy efficiency in buildings: a huge reduction in energy consumption, equivalent to a new nuclear power plant.
Potential Impacts of these regulations
Building costs may increase as a result of the new energy efficiency regulations. However, owners of buildings will experience long term energy savings resulting in a lower life cycle cost for the building.
Energy used by the building sector can account for up to 40% of the total energy used in the world and this amendment is the first of many amendments that will fit under the environmental sustainability section of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act in an effort to decrease the impact of the building sector on the environment. Future amendments include sections on water usage, materials and recycling.
For more information, please go to: http://www.insulpro.co.za/sans_204_explained.htm
Or for the SABS regulations, see their website at: https://www.sabs.co.za/index.php?page=energy