PDF | 8 MB - Australian Building Codes Board

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PDF | 8 MB - Australian Building Codes Board

BULLETIN

AUSTRALIAN BUILDING REGULATION

TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR BUILDING CODE USERS

SPRING 2010

Energy Efficiency

Provisions

for Electricians

and Plumbers

2 0 1 0

Handbook

NON-MANDATORY DOCUMENT

Performance Standard

for Private Bushfire Shelters

2 0 1 0

PART 1

BREAKING THROUGH THE BARRIERS TO URBAN DENSITY

INDUSTRY DISCIPLINE FOR SOFTWARE SIMULATION

AUSTRALIA’S FIRST ZERO-EMISSION HOME

PREMISES STANDARDS SEMINARS


SPRING 2010

CONTENTS

The Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

BULLETIN

The Australian Building Regulation

Bulletin (ABRB)

The objective of the magazine is to provide

industry with technically based information.

The publisher reserves the right to alter or

omit any article or advertisement submitted

and requires indemnity from advertisers and

contributors against damages or liabilities

that may arise from material published.

n Cover story

12 Breaking Through The Barriers to Urban Density

n Features

EDITORIAL

Publications Coordinator:

Christian Rolfe

ADVERTISING

For advertising sales contact

1300 134 631

abcb.office@abcb.gov.au

ARTWORK

Typesetting and layout:

Whalen Image Solutions

CIRCULATION

The ABRB has a national circulation

amongst the building and construction

industry reaching approximately 15,000

subscribers and a readership

of 45,000+.

COPYRIGHT

Material in the ABRB is protected under

the Commonwealth Copyright Act 1968.

No material may be reproduced in part

or in whole without written consent

from the Commonwealth and State

and Territory Governments of Australia.

Requests and inquiries concerning

reproduction and rights should be

addressed to:

The General Manager

Australian Building

Codes Board

GPO Box 9839

Canberra ACT 2601

A State Perspective

10 Western Australia Building Commission

Toward Smarter Building

13 Green Stars All Round As Government Takes Up Green Building Agenda

INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY DEVELOPMENT

15 Adequacy and Reliability Of Alternative Steel

20 Toward Shock-Proof Infrastructure

Energy Efficiency in The Built Environment

22 Sustainable Window Alliance Releases New Findings –

Glass Critical to Energy Efficiency

Industry Perspective

24 Industry Discipline for Software Simulation

PRODUCT INNOVATION

27 Doors Open on Australia’s First Zero-Emission Home

28 Grocon’s Carbon Neutral Building

30 Bosch Sets New Benchmark in Sustainable Water Heating

n Regulars

2 Chairman’s Address

4 BCA and Industry News

32 Conference & Events Calendar

Disclaimer: The views in this

magazine are not necessarily

the views of the Australian

Building Codes Board.

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 1


ChAirmAn’S ADDreSS

Mr Graham huxley AM

Welcome to the Spring 2010 edition

of the Australian Building Regulation

Bulletin.

In response to the 2009 Victorian

Bushfires Royal Commission, ABCB has

completed the development of a new

national standard for the design and

construction of bushfire shelters for

personal use. The new performance

standard has been released and is

available for use by State and Territory

regulators. The Bushfires Royal

Commission has also released its final

report and we are responding to the

issues it has raised.

The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met

early July to consider the ABCB annual

business plan and several matters

impacting on the building regulation

reform agenda. BMF endorsed our 2010-

11 business plan and were appraised

of the considerable progress that has

been made with the implementation of

the National Construction Code reform,

which incorporates on site plumbing

requirements with the BCA.

The Disability (Access to Premises –

Buildings) Standards are expected to

be introduced on 1 May 2011. They will

lead to significant improvements in the

level of access required in new buildings

and existing buildings undergoing

renovation. It is also anticipated that

corresponding changes will be included

in BCA 2011 at the same time. The ABCB

is partnering with the Australian Human

Rights Commission to deliver awareness

seminars to all capital cities in August

and September 2010. The seminars will

provide industry, disability groups and

other interested stakeholders with an

overview of the Premises Standards and

their effect when implemented.

I encourage you to attend the Premises

Standards Seminar Series commencing

in August. Further information on the

Seminars can be found in this edition, or

on our website at www.abcb.gov.au

Graham Huxley AM

Chairman

2 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


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BCA & INDUSTRY NEWS

Premises Standards Seminars

An essential seminar on access

changes in public buildings

The Disability (Access to Premises

Buildings) Standards (Premises

Standards) are due to come into force on

1 May 2011. They will lead to significant

improvements in the level of access

required in new buildings and existing

buildings undergoing renovation. It is

also anticipated that corresponding

changes will be made to the Building

Code of Australia at the same time.

This half day seminar will provide

designers, builders, building owners,

managers, access consultants, advocates

and professionals in the building

approvals area with an overview of the

Premises Standards and their effect

when they come into force.

The seminar will also be an opportunity

for participants to discuss questions

of interpretation and contribute to the

development of further resources.

The seminar will cover:

• The objectives behind the Premises

Standards

• Who is responsible for complying

with the Premises Standards

• Main features of the Premises

Standards including exceptions and

concessions

BCA & INDUSTRY NEWS

• Areas of buildings and levels of access

required.

The seminar will be presented by the

Australian Human Rights Commission

and the Australian Building Codes Board.

Both presenters have been closely

involved in the development of the

Premises Standards.

Seminars location and cost: The

Seminars will cost $100 for online

registration and $115 for other forms

of registration and will take place in

all capital cities. For details see the

registration form. Please note that

dress codes may apply at some venues.

Information about parking at and public

transport to the venues will be included

with the registration confirmation or

visit the venue website.

Seminar times: Sessions begin at

9.30am and conclude at 1.00pm in all

locations. The registration fee includes

morning tea. On the day – registration

and receipt of handouts commences at

8:45am.

Access requirements: All the venues

are wheelchair accessible. If you want

to register and have other access

requirements in order to participate

in the seminar, such as hearing loop

requirements or sign language

Location Date Venue Street

Brisbane Option 1 12 August Rooms P1 + P2

Brisbane Option 2 13 August

Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Canberra 17 August Swan Torrens Room

National Convention Centre

Sydney Option 1 24 August Banquet Hall

Sydney Option 2 25 August

Sydney Masonic Centre

Darwin 27 August Meeting Rooms 3 + 4

Darwin Convention Centre

Perth Option 1 30 August Meeting Rooms 1 + 2

Perth Option 2

31 August

Perth Convention Exhibition Centre

Adelaide 2 September Riverbank Rooms 1 + 2

Adelaide Convention Centre

Melbourne Option 1 6 September Meeting Room 109

Melbourne Option 2 7 September

Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre

Hobart 9 September Auditorium

Baha’i Centre of Learning

requirements please ensure you record

this on the registration form.

Attendance certificates: Attendance

certificates will only be available at

the end of the seminar for delegates

that have pre-registered and checked

in upon arrival. Delegates that have

not pre-registered will receive their

certificate by email after the seminar

series is completed.

CPD points: The

seminar qualifies

for 3 CPD points

for members of

the Australian

Institute of Building Surveyors, the Royal

Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the

Australian Institute of Architects and

other accredited schemes.

Registration: It is anticipated that

demand for the seminars will be high so

early registration is recommended.

To register online go to https://www.

secureregistrations.com/PSAS10/

Premises Standards seminar

registrations Details on this form

were correct at the time of printing. The

Seminar organisers retain the right to alter

any or all of the Seminar details.

Merivale Street

South Brisbane Qld 4101

31 Constitution Avenue

Canberra ACT 2601

66 Goulburn Street

Sydney NSW 2000

Stokes Hill Road

Darwin NT 0800

21 Mounts Bay Road

Perth WA 6000

North Terrace

Adelaide SA 5000

1 Convention Centre Place

South Wharf Melbourne Vic 3000

1 Tasman Highway

Hobart Tas 7000

4 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


electricians_plumbers.indd 1-2

27/7/10 8:19:44 AM

neW ABCB hAnDBook For energY eFFiCienCY ProviSionS For

eleCTriCiAnS AnD PlUmBerS

The Building Code of Australia (BCA)

has, for some time, contained many

provisions that need to be complied

with by designers and installers

including electricians and plumbers.

Most of the earlier provisions have

been in place for many years and

so practitioners are aware of the

requirements. However, since 2003,

the BCA has contained new energy

efficiency provisions relating to

electrical and plumbing work. In

addition some of these provisions

changed in successive years with BCA

2010 introducing major changes.

The electrical and plumbing provisions

are for both residential and commercial

buildings and so are contained in both

Volume One and Volume Two of the

BCA.

As the electrical and plumbing

industries are more directly regulated

by their own legislation, the ABCB

saw a need for a Handbook to inform

electricians and plumbers about the

energy efficiency provisions of the BCA

and how these provisions may affect

them.

Aspects of particular concern to

electricians that the Handbook covers

include-

• The amount of insulation on a ceiling,

usually over electrical wiring

• Implication for insulation when

installing downlights

• Switching and controls for lighting,

fans, garage exhaust systems, pumps,

space heaters, swimming pool

heaters, and boiling and chilling

water appliances

• The maximum power capacity of

lights, fans, pumps and other airconditioning

plant

• Energy monitoring and metering

facilities

• Restrictions on the use of electric

heaters

• Specifications for a range of control

gear

Depending upon the scope for

plumbers in the particular State or

Territory, aspects of particular concern

to plumbers that the Handbook covers

include-

• The insulation and installation of

ductwork

• The insulation and installation of

heating water and cooling piping

• The insulation and installation of

supply hot water piping (through AS/

NZS 3500)

• The maximum power capacity of fans

and pumps which has an impact on

duct and pipe sizes

• Restrictions on the use of electric

supply water heaters and pool

heaters

• The use of solar heaters for domestic

pools

The Handbook is written in generic

terms rather than specific clauses and

so does not include all the requirements

that may affect electricians and

plumbers. It is also limited to those

requirements that only address energy

efficiency. The content of the Handbook

addresses the national provisions of the

BCA and does not include comments on

individual State or Territory variations or

additions.

Other BCA requirements that may affect

electricians and plumbers that are not

covered in this Handbook, include-

• Fire separation and construction

of substations, conductors,

switchboards and emergency

equipment

• Hearing augmentation systems and

the location of lighting switches for

people with disabilities

• Fire fighting equipment including

pumping systems, alarms, sprinkler

systems, fire-control centres, fireservice

controls, fire and smoke

detection and warning systems,

smoke exhaust systems, emergency

lighting, exit and direction lighting

and emergency warning and

intercommunication systems

• Lift installations

• Artificial lighting for safe movement

• Mechanical ventilation for health

including Legionella control

• Stormwater drainage

• Provision of floor wastes

• Construction of sanitary and other

facilities

• Water-proofing

The Handbook is not intended to

override or replace any legal rights,

responsibilities or requirements or

provide users with the specifics of the

BCA. This Handbook is only intended to

make users aware of provisions that may

affect them, not exactly what is required

by those provisions. If users determine

that a provision may apply to them, the

BCA should be read to determine the

specifics of the provision.

This Handbook, and another to assist

designers and modellers with Section

J Alternative Solutions, should be

available later this year.

Energy Efficiency

Provisions

for Electricians

and Plumbers

2 0 1 0

Handbook

NON-MANDATORY DOCUMENT

BCA + INDUSTRY iNDUSTRY NEWS

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 5


3576_bushfire_shelter_cvr_v4.indd 1-2

23/4/10 11:47:17 AM

BCA & INDUSTRY NEWS

NEW NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR PRIVATE BUSHFIRE SHELTERS

From the Minister for Planning

The new national performance standard

for private bushfire shelters is now in

effect in Victoria, Planning Minister

Justin Madden announced in May of this

year.

Mr Madden said the Victorian

Government had supported the

recommendations from the 2009

Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission

Interim Report 2 Priorities for Building

in Bushfire Prone Areas that a national

standard for private bushfire shelters be

adopted by May 31 2010.

“Private bushfire shelters cannot be

guaranteed to save lives and the safest

option is still to leave early,” Mr Madden

said.

“After the fires of February 7, 2009 our

Government took action to establish

an interim regulation and accreditation

process for private bushfire shelters to

provide clarity to Victorians ahead of the

national standards.

“Private bushfire shelters should only be

considered as an option of last resort.

People considering a private bushfire

shelter should do so only as part or

their overall bushfire management plan

rather than the solution.”

Mr Madden said the new national

regulations replace interim regulations

introduced in Victoria last year and

amend the Building Regulations 2006

to classify private bushfire shelters as

a class 10c building under the BCA as

applied in Victoria.

“The Australian Building Codes Board

(ABCB) has now completed the national

standard, which I understand is the first

such standard in the world,” Mr Madden

said.

“Through the Building Commission,

Victoria has been working closely with

the ABCB on the development of the

national standard to ensure a smooth

transition from our current interim

regulations for construction of private

bushfire shelters.”

Mr Madden said the national standard

determined that private bushfire

shelters were required to be a separate

construction and no longer could be

included as part of a building.

“The national standard did consider

the merits of bushfire shelters below or

within a building but concluded the risks

of these sorts of shelters in the event of

a bushfire are too great,” he said.

“This means private bushfire shelters

must now be a separate building and

not part of a dwelling.

“A building permit for a private bushfire

shelter will be required as well as from

a fire safety engineer that the shelter

complies with the requirements as

set out in the national performance

standard.”

Victorian Building Commissioner and

board member of the ABCB Tony Arnel

said adoption of the national standard

represented an important step for the

Victorian community.

“I am certain the building industry

stands ready to meet the challenge of

delivering private bushfire shelters that

will provide greater protection from

bushfires in the future,” Mr Arnel said.

The national interim regulations will

be in place for 12 months pending a

decision by the ABCB to adopt them

into the 2011 Building Code of Australia,

which would be adopted nationally on

May 1, 2011.

A copy of the performance standard is

available free of charge on the ABCB’s

website at www.abcb.gov.au

For more information on being Fire

Ready visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au. Further

information on the new interim national

regulations is available at

http://www.buildingcommission.com.au

Performance Standard

for Private Bushfire Shelters

2 0 1 0

PART 1

6 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


AUSTRALIAN BUILDING CODES BOARD

2011 CADETSHIP

Be part of the team working to support a safer, more

sustainable and more socially inclusive built environment.

The ABCB is a joint initiative of all three levels of Government in Australia and provides a vital link

between the building industry and Government regulatory policy, through producing and maintaining

the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Our mission is to oversee issues relating to health, safety,

amenity and sustainability in the design and construction of buildings.

Whether you are still studying or about to graduate, you could spend 12 months with us, in our

Canberra office, earning a salary and acquiring the knowledge that could kick start your career in

either government or the private sector. We are looking for motivated and adaptable applicants

with good teamwork and communication skills and strong capabilities in research and analysis.

Working knowledge or familiarity with the BCA is desirable. So, if you are studying or have

completed studies in the following disciplines:





then the ABCB Cadetship could be for you!

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 15 SEPTEMBER 2010.

We offer Cadets:

* Relocation assistance if you’re moving from interstate to Canberra

* A competitive salary of approx $50,000 + superannuation

* Ongoing professional development opportunities

* Flexible working conditions

Interested? Then contact:

Rebecca Hanrahan on 02 6276 1854 or email: Rebecca.Hanrahan@abcb.gov.au

Visit the ABCB website at: www.abcb.gov.au

HELPING TO BUILD YOUR FUTURE


BCA & INDUSTRY NEWS

ABCB Board Member Perspective

Interview with Robin Fardoulys, ABCB Board Member

Background

The make-up of the Australian Building

Codes Board includes a representative

from all Federal, State and Territory

Governments, together with five (5)

building industry representatives,

and one (1) Local Government

representative. The position of chair

is reserved for one of the industry

representatives.

Robin Fardoulys, Chairman of the

Australian Construction Industry Forum

(ACIF) is an industry representative who

has recently been appointed to the

Board and he provides an insight into

his background, some of the industry–

driven objectives within ACIF and his

role as ABCB Board member.

Robin Fardoulys

I was born in Brisbane and educated at

“Churchie” (Anglican Church Grammar

School 1971-1977).

My wife and I have three daughters and

a son. My eldest daughter is a television

journalist, the two other daughters are

uni students and my son is at “Churchie”.

My wife is a university science faculty

lecturer.

I joined my father’s construction

business as a Construction Manager

in 1981 after completing a Bachelor of

Applied Science - Built Environment

Degree and a Graduate Diploma in

Building at the Queensland Institute of

Technology (QIT).

During my university holidays I worked

on the sites labouring. It was a good

income for a university student and

it also exposed me to work methods,

safety awareness processes, and just

how physically hard trade work is.

After graduating I undertook the

construction of roadhouses for Mobil

Oil in South East and South West

Queensland. These were followed by

roadhouses throughout Queensland for

other Oil company brands including BP,

Shell, Ampol and Caltex. Other projects

included telephone exchanges, Defence

Dept facilities at Amberley Air Force Base

and Enoggera Army Base, Queensland

State Government health, education

and emergency services facilities,

private sector schools, new works

and refurbishments for the Hotel and

Club industry, new Aged Care facilities

and Child Care facilities as well as

warehouses and commercial buildings.

Since its commencement in 1976,

Fardoulys Constructions has progressed

into a prosperous and distinguished

building and development practice.

I believe that broad experience is

important for everyone and I talk to my

staff constantly about “growing” in their

job and their personal development and

career path, and involvement in industry

groups is an important component of

that growth.

I have been fortunate to serve as the

National President of the Australian

Institute of Building, a member of

the Queensland Master Builder’s

Association’s Contracts Committee and

appointed an Adjunct Professor in the

School of Urban Development – Faculty

of Built Environment and Engineering

at the Queensland University of

Technology (QUT). My role as Chair

of the ACIF and the appointment as

Industry Representative to the ABCB

is a pleasing aspect of service to the

industry.

ACIF was established to provide

leadership and facilitate change within

the industry, and to promote discussion

on productivity, efficiency, research

and innovation. Membership is by way

of member Associations, ranging from

the Property Council, and Electrical

and Air Conditioning associations, to

other subcontractor organisations

such as Fire Protection and Precast

Contractor associations, along with

design profession organisations such

as Architect, Engineer and Building

professional groups.

As well as facilitating communication

between the different interests that

make up the construction sector, ACIF

provides governments and other

agencies with a central and efficient

Robin Fardoulys

industry liaison point. ACIF’s flagship

Construction Forecasting Council

produces the most reliable forecasts of

activity in residential and non-residential

building, and engineering construction,

twice yearly.

In my capacity as ACIF Chair, I am

keen to react to the 2003 Cole Royal

Commission findings that the Australian

building and construction industry

was underachieving and considerable

improvements in quality and efficiency

should be made. ACIF and the APCC

have identified five critical areas of

performance which deserve monitoring

and improvement – health and safety,

productivity and competitiveness,

economic security, skills and training,

and environmental sustainability.

Of these identified areas of focus, as a

builder I am strong on initiatives that

involve the securing of adequate skill

resources. ACIF is currently seeking

both government and industry

financial assistance to initiate a Skills

Forecasting Council as a component

of ACIF’s workforce capability focus.

Tomorrow’s trade and professional

skill requirements need to be forecast,

so the output and curriculum of trade

8 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


colleges, and university design and

building professions degree courses are

compatible with the future demands.

Construction education programs need

meaningful industry input to meet

present and future workforce demands,

and this issue is of great interest to me.

There is a common view that many of

the future jobs or careers for our young

people have not yet been invented or

exist. This is probably very true for the

construction industry, not so much

because of what we build, but more so

about how we build, and the materials

and methods to be used.

A recent report into construction

education in Australia reported that

the construction academic workforce

is aging and not being replenished

sufficiently. The university and

construction sectors need to work

together to encourage graduates with

today’s skill sets to enter academia.

The Australian Institute of

Building has established

a College of Building

to enable building

professionals to “top up”

their knowledge.

Our future cities and

communities will rely on

technology to educate,

design and drive economic

and environmental

initiatives such as metrics

for building outputs, high

energy efficiency designs

and water conservation.

Concepts such as Virtual

Digital Modelling (also

known as Digital Modelling

or Building Information

Modelling), which demands

entire, complete and

inter-related information

management, will avoid

inefficient and fragmented

information gaps in

documentation and design

delivery, and will be more

common in the near

future. Clients, design team

members and building

contractors are joining as

teams to deliver efficiency

in design with an outcome

of better time, cost and

quality responses.

Changes to concepts of project initiation

and subsequent delivery are rapidly

evolving. The challenge for the industry

is to handle the mixture of finance, skills

availability, urban design concepts,

population growth, sustainability,

affordability and regulatory

requirements to deliver better outcomes

for the industry, the community and the

environment as a whole.

My focus at the ABCB is not to

necessarily influence technical matters,

but to contribute to the practical

implementation of the BCA. For

example, the Board in recent times

has done substantial work on bushfire

shelters. I am a strong advocate for

educating the general population who

live in these bushfire-prone areas, as

well as the industry practitioners who

design, build or certify in those areas.

The technical outcome as adopted

needs to be a part of the knowledge and

skill set of those living and working in

those areas. As I mentioned earlier the

skill and training of any Board initiative

or update to the BCA has various

avenues of adoption and understanding,

and I believe that bushfire structure

design or construction, is probably a

whole new area of speciality, if not a

whole new career path.

The same is true of many or all of the

numerous and constant changes to the

BCA. The Board is educating the industry

and it’s also up to the community and

the industry participants to embrace

the concept of change as brought on

by the Board, and actively contribute

towards its evolution in development,

implementation and practice.

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 9


A STATe PerSPeCTive

WeSTern AUSTrAliA

BUilDing CommiSSion

The Building Commission was

established in July 2009 to drive

reforms associated with building

related matters for the benefit

of industry, consumers and the

community.

A Division of the Department of

Commerce, it is made up of the Builder’s

& Painter’s Registration Boards, the

Plumber’s Licensing Board and the

Building Industry Development

directorate from the Department of

Housing & Works. In combining these

entities, the Government has generated

efficiencies in the delivery of its services

and will improve the framework industry

operates within.

The Commission runs a suite of reforms

associated with building control,

complaint resolution, practitioner

registration and necessary auditing

programs. It is to undertake an

extensive implementation program of

these reforms as its underlying role is

to provide education and training for

building related matters.

The Commission provides information

and advice to industry and the

community on the development of

building reforms, regulations, codes and

standards.

Reform of WA’s

Building Laws

Western Australia is in the final stages of

drafting the most significant reforms to

the laws governing the building industry

in this State for over 7 decades. The

reforms will:

• streamline the building approval

process by providing for private

sector certification of compliance

with building standards and to

provide greater flexibility and

certainty in the issue of building

permits;

• improve building standards through

the mandatory inspection and

certification of completed buildings;

• replace the Builders’ Registration Act

1939 and the Painters’ Registration

Act 1961 with a modern and flexible

scheme for regulating builders,

painters and building surveyors;

• introduce a new and improved

dispute handling process with the

Building Commission dealing with

complaints at the front end and the

State Administrative Tribunal dealing

with intractable disputes, thereby

abolishing the Building Disputes

Tribunal;

• provide for a new owner-builder

approval process with improved

controls;

• create the position of Building

Commissioner as a statutory office

holder within the Department

of Commerce, with improved

compliance powers; and

• replace the Builders’ Registration

Board and the Painters’ Registration

Board with a Building Services Board

The Government intends to introduce

the reforms into Parliament in the

second half of this year. The new laws

are expected to commence some time

in the first half of 2011.

The Building Commission is located

at Level 1 31 Troode Street West Perth

Western Australia – Telephone 1300 489

099, email info@buildingcommission.

wa.gov.au and website www.

buildingcommission.wa.gov.au

10 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


A STATE PERSPECTIVE

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is one too many...

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Friday 27 August www.daffodilday.com.au

*1 IN 2 PEOPLE WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER BY AGE 85

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 11


COVER STORY

Breaking through

the barriers to

urban density

Romilly Madew

Written by Romilly Madew, Chief Executive, Green Building Council of Australia

Our cities are in transition. The

frameworks of the past are no

longer working and we are

facing a future of environmental

destruction, climate change,

pollution, traffic gridlock,

declining health, rising obesity

and worsening standards of

living.

That’s the picture painted at the recent

Built Environment Meets Parliament

Summit (BEMP) in Canberra.

KPMG’s Spotlight on Australian Cities

report, released in conjunction with

BEMP clearly pointed to federal and

state planning systems that cannot

cope. If that’s the case, how will they

function with a population of 35 million?

A selection of speakers was asked to

provide their ‘breakthrough strategies’

for a big Australia.

And guess what?

Their visions are

overwhelmingly

optimistic. The

auditorium full

of property and

construction

professionals,

policy makers

and politicians

were clearly

inspired by the

possibilities for

Australia’s future.

It’s clear

that we can

address traffic

congestion, rising

greenhouse

gas emissions, the obesity epidemic,

social isolation and climate change by

changing the way we live, work and play

in our cities.

Rather than lowering our standard of

living, higher levels of urban density can

deliver more liveable cities. What we

must do is to take the community on the

journey with us, and demonstrate clearly

the benefits of urban density to both

Australia’s natural environment and its

people.

Many people are already recognising

the value of sustainable, higher density

environments to their quality of life.

Apartments are outselling houses in a

number of Australian cities as demand

for smaller and more affordable housing

transforms the real-estate market. The

West Australian reported last week that

almost half the apartments at Australia’s

first Green Star residential building, The

Summer in South Fremantle, have been

sold off the plan.

“We had no idea just how significant

sustainable living is to the lives of many

people and we are definitely looking

to increase the bar on all our future

projects,” Lloyd Clark, the Managing

Director of developer Match told The

West Australian.

While the future residents of Match

won’t have access to the traditional

quarter acre block, what they will have

is open-plan apartments with large

balconies, high ceilings, energy efficient

appliances and good passive design

features.

That doesn’t mean that the Great

Australian Dream of a house and land

package is dead. But the BEMP Summit

did foreshadow a future where there

will be more choice for people who are

prepared to forgo the garden and sell

the car in exchange for a home closer

to work, entertainment precincts and

parks.

12 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


Towards smarTer building

Green stars all round as

government takes up green

building

agenda

After a slow start, all levels of

government around Australia

have taken up the green building

agenda, a new study by the Green

Building Council of Australia

(GBCA) has found.

The GBCA’s 2010 update to the Green

Guide to Government Policy has found

that all levels of government now

have programs and policies to support

sustainable building.

“When we conducted our first

comparative study of governments’

policies on energy efficiency in

buildings in 2007, many jurisdictions did

not have comprehensive or cohesive

policies,” says GBCA Chief Executive,

Romilly Madew.

“Indeed, we found that it was not

uncommon for one agency to be

unaware of another’s activities,

despite the potential for collaboration

to improve both the efficiency and

effectiveness of both agencies’

programs.

“In the past two years, most jurisdictions

have developed well-defined policies

that guide whole-of-government

strategies to encourage sustainable

building, covering efficient use of

energy, water and materials,” Ms Madew

says.

The Australian Government’s National

Strategy on Energy Efficiency (NSEE),

the first nationally consistent roadmap

to reduce the carbon footprint of

businesses and households across

Australia, places a strong emphasis on

the role of buildings in climate change

mitigation.

“State governments are also recognising

the importance of strong leadership in

the area of sustainable building, and

have ‘put their houses in order’ in the

last two years to demonstrate how to

capture the benefits of sustainable

buildings,” Ms Madew adds.

Policy frameworks specific to green

building include:

• FEDERAL: Energy Efficiency in

Government Operations (2006) aims

to improve energy efficiency, and

consequently reduce the whole of

life cost and environmental impact

of government operations, including

the buildings it owns and leases.

• NSW: The NSW Government

Sustainability Policy (2008) commits

to state government operations

and activities being carbon-neutral

by 2020. The policy includes statewide

targets

for government

buildings:

to return to

greenhouse

gas emissions

from building

energy use to

2000 levels of 1.5

million tonnes by

2019-2020, with

interim targets

of 1.74 million

tonnes by 2016-

2017.

• QLD: Cleaner Greener Buildings lifts

the environmental standards for all

new homes, offices and government

buildings in Queensland. Among the

key requirements is electricity submetering

in new office buildings and

multi unit dwellings, giving tenants

an incentive to reduce their power

bills.

• VIC: The Greener Government

Buildings Program allocates $60

million to upgrade government

office buildings, schools, hospitals

and community buildings to reduce

greenhouse gas emissions, energy

costs and water use. By 2018,

sites accounting for 90 per cent

of the Government’s total energy

consumption will undertake Greener

Government Buildings projects.

The Program is the first key action

under Jobs for the Future Economy,

a new strategy to facilitate green

investment across the Victorian

economy.

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 13


ToWArDS SmArTer BUilDing

• SA: Tackling Climate Change includes

a Government Action Plan which

guides the activities of government

agencies to meet SA’s commitment

to achieve the Kyoto emissions

reduction target for 2008-2012. A key

measure is to improve the energy

efficiency of government buildings

by 25 per cent on 2000/2001 levels by

2014.

• WA: The Energy Smart Government

policy requires government agencies

to report their total energy costs,

consumption, greenhouse gas

emissions and key performance

indicator data each year. The policy

covers all stationary energy used in

buildings, plant and equipment in

public sector agencies with 25 or

more staff.

• ACT: A priority action under Action

Plan 1 of Weathering the Change

(2007-2011) is to pursue carbon

neutrality in ACT Government

buildings (including schools,

hospitals, shopfronts and other

government facilities). Agencies are

required to undertake projects to

offset their remaining emissions, as

well as report annually.

• NT: The Energy Smart Building Policy

sets a 10 per cent energy intensity

and greenhouse gas reduction

targets for all Northern Territory

Government agencies by 2010-11.

This target is set against a baseline

established in 2004-05.

On the local government front, the

study examined the policies and

programs of five major cities: Brisbane,

Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and

Perth. All the city councils have policies

in place to reduce greenhouse gas

emissions from council buildings.

Buildings represent both the largest

single source of greenhouse emissions

We help builders succeed in business and the best with opportunity 24/7 access to reduce to free

continuing professional development. emissions, while sustaining economic

growth. That’s why governments at

all levels are starting to offer a range

of incentives and support programs

to encourage awareness of the

opportunities to reduce emissions at low

cost and with fast paybacks,” Ms Madew

concludes.

ABOUT ThE GREEN GUIDE FOR

GOVERNMENT POLICY

The Green Guide to Government Policy

is available to subscribers and covers

green building policies, incentives and

subsidies across all federal, state and

capital cities in Australia. The website is

an invaluable resource for any business

looking to maximise support and

funding for its green building initiatives,

and for governments looking for

comparative analysis.

Further information can be found at

http://www.gbca.org.au

The ultimate professional

development tool

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1300 635 909

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1300 635 909

14 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development

ADEQUACY AND RELIABILITY

OF ALTERNATIVE STEEL

Written by Thanabal Kaliannan, Building Engineering Division, Building and

Construction Authority of Singapore

Thanabal Kaliannan

BACKGROUND

Singapore’s building and construction

industry has witnessed a huge surge

in demand since 2006. However, a

shortage of manpower, coupled with

an overdependence on sand and

granite for concrete construction has

signalled an urgent need to enhance the

sustainability of this industry. Promoting

steel construction has been one key

measure to cope with this.

Steel construction’s potential of offering

fast-track solutions for early return of

capital investments and significantly

reducing the manpower requirement

has long been recognized. However, it

has failed to gain widespread popularity

locally and it is often used only where

there are no viable alternatives such

as long-span roof and super high-rise

building frame construction. There

may be a number of reasons for this.

From the material point of view, there

are issues involving cost and quality as

well as technical ones. There seems to

be a longstanding trade-off between

cost and quality – steel materials

manufactured in more developed

Western countries are notorious for their

price while those from the developing

countries within this region, on the other

hand, are often reportedly for a lack of

proper production control and quality

assurance. From a technical perspective,

the BS5950 design code only provides

guidance and design parameters for

steel materials manufactured to their

national standards, in this case, it would

be the British Standards (BS or BS EN)

and this has seriously narrowed down

the choices of steel materials which can

be sourced from the region.

To address some of these issues

and to promote wider use of steel

in construction, the Building and

Construction Authority (BCA) of

Singapore released a new design guide,

BC1: 2008 in April 2008 on the use of

alternative steel materials to design

building structural steelworks to BS5950

in Singapore. The use of alternative

steel materials, other than BS and BS

EN is now permitted; offering more

material sourcing options in the hope

that this will achieve greater economy

and affordability. However, in opening

up the sources and allowing different

steel grades which are manufactured to

a wide variety of material standards to

be used, it is also important that quality

and safety are not compromised. In this

connection, it is imperative for BCA to

put in place proper design requirements

and framework within BC1 to ensure

that the alternative steel that are used

in the industry is adequate and reliable

for various structural applications. It is

also an opportunity to impose uniform

requirements and provide a level

playing field for all steel, regardless

of where it comes from and including

those manufactured to the BS or BS EN

material standards.

Essentially, BC1 provides a design

framework to guide engineers and

designers to classify steel materials into

three different classes. This classification

approach comprises mainly the

adequacy and reliability assessments.

Consequently, by classifying the steel,

it will determine whether or not the

materials concerned are fit for design to

BS5950, with or without restriction and

accordingly, appropriate prescriptive

design recommendations and values are

given.

ADEQUACY OF STEEL MATERIALS

The two major concerns over the use

of steel materials are their adequacy

and reliability. Adequacy refers to the

ability of steel materials to meet the

material performance requirements

which are the essential requirements

for the mechanical, physical, chemical,

dimensional tolerances and/or other

relevant properties of steel materials. In

BC1, the material performance indicators

are derived, with reasonable and

appropriate adjustments, based on the

relevant clauses given in several parts of

BS5950.

In reality, the need to impose

requirements on mechanical properties

such as yield strength, tensile strength,

ductility and toughness on the steel

requires little explanation as these are

the obvious performance indicators

from the structural perspectives.

However it is worth mentioning

that BC1 has also listed additional

requirements on carbon content,

carbon equivalent value (CEV), impact

value, impurities level (sulphur and

phosphorus), manufacturing process

and manufacturing tolerances to ensure

optimal structural performance. Carbon

equivalent value (CEV) is an empirical

measure of hardening tendency

of heat-affected zone (HAZ) which

promotes crack formation. It is also a

significant indicator of the weldability

of steel products. Since steelmaking

is based on recycling of scrapped

steel over many times, the level of

non-metallic impurities, especially

sulphur and phosphorous, need to

be observed as they are the source of

brittleness in structural steel which

may lead to lamellar tearing and low

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 15


INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development

Factory Production

Control System

formability. Metallurgical behaviour and

performance of steel materials are also

highly dependent on the manufacturing

process like de-oxidation method,

and quenching and tempering. For

instance, rimming steel associated with

internal voids shall not be allowed for

structural use whereas application of

quenched and tempered steel with low

ductility and formability shall only be

restricted to steel plates and hot rolled

sections. Lastly, deviations from nominal

dimensions and mass shall be well

within the manufacturing tolerances

to assure member resistance and

structural safety, and constructability.

Manufacturing tolerances are therefore

important to prevent manufacturers

from under-sizing and taking advantage

of the liberal requirements.

Due to differences in technical

requirements ranging from

manufacturing process to structural

performance, BC1 has to adopt a more

realistic and reasonable approach to

make these requirements materialspecific.

Different sets of requirements

are imposed on each of the nine

different categories of steel materials,

namely steel plates, hot rolled sections,

hollow sections, steel for cold forming,

non-preloaded bolting assemblies,

preloaded bolting assemblies, welding

Integrated Resort at Marina Bay - roof top skypark with 60m cantilever

consumables, profiled steel sheets

and stud shear connectors, which are

commonly used in the construction

industry.

RELIABILITY OF STEEL MATERIALS

Another critical aspect is the reliability

of steel materials which is the ability

to meet the quality assurance

requirements; for steel manufacturers

to provide adequate assurance to

ensure the compliance of the actual

performance of their products with the

nominal specifications stipulated.

The utmost importance of material

reliability is understandable as the

so-called ‘adequate’ materials are

theoretically sound on paper only

and their ability to perform up to their

nominal specifications in reality needs

some form of guarantee or assurance,

if not justification. In view of this, BC1

requires manufacturers, as a minimum,

to establish an approved factory

production control (FPC) system and to

provide assurance to their products in

the form of authenticated manufacturer

or mill test certificates (MTC). The core

objective this requirement is driven by a

desire to use only ‘quality products from

quality mills’ in Singapore’s building and

construction industry.

In fact, it is indisputable that only

‘quality mills’ are able to produce

‘quality products’. A thorough factory

production control system is a

necessary evidence to substantiate the

status of ‘quality mills’. According to

BC1, manufacturers of steel materials

must maintain an FPC system which

consists of quality procedures, written

instructions, regular inspection

and test plans to control feedstock

materials, equipment, personnel and

production process which can affect

product quality in anyway. Therefore,

proper documentation of feedstock

materials, inspection, calibration and

maintenance history of equipment,

personnel background and qualification,

organisational charts defining

responsibility of individual personnel

and their inter-relationship, results of

product testing, as well as procedures

on product marking and nonconforming

products, are required to

facilitate audit and attestation by thirdparty

accredited certification agencies.

To attain the ‘quality mills’ status under

the BC1 framework, manufacturers

need to have their FPC system ‘audited’

and attested by an independent thirdparty

accredited certification agency

acceptable to or recognized by BCA

– for instance, Bureau Veritas, TUV

Rheinland, Det Norske Veritas, Lloyd’s

Register, Germanischer Lloyd, etc. A FPC

certificate from one of these agencies,

on the basis of initial inspection as

well as continuous surveillance and

assessment through annual inspection,

shall form the acceptable indicator for

an attested FPC system.

It shall also be noted that compliance

with ISO9001 is merely complimentary

but insufficient to justify the reliability of

a manufacturer’s reliability in producing

structural steel materials. Meanwhile,

FPC certificates to manufacture EN

steel materials under the European

Union Construction Product Directives/

Regulations or API Monograms, both

are already widely recognised in the

European markets and the oil and gas

industry respectively, are considered

‘acceptable in lieu’, under the provision

of BC1.

16 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


Manufacturer Test Certificate

As an additional layer of guarantee

and assurance of quality in their steel

products, audited mills should issue

authenticated test certificates to

substantiate the compliance of every

batch of products delivered with their

nominal specifications. Such certificates

are not only evidences of product

conformity, but more importantly, they

are also useful tools to provide sufficient

information for qualified persons (QPs)

to assess and control steel materials

during fabrication, and to help the QPs

or their site representatives to decide

whether it is necessary to carry out

further material checks on the batch of

steel being delivered.

Generally, two types of testing should

be conducted by the manufacturer

– firstly, routine testing which is

carried out in accordance with the

manufacturer’s written procedures;

and secondly, specific testing which is

carried out upon request of purchasers

at the time of order. To certify such

testing, the manufacturer shall

provide an authenticated certificate

of compliance. The documents shall

also be validated by, if necessary, third

party inspection agency authorised by

the purchaser or BCA. An acceptable

manufacturer test certificate (MTC) shall

be authenticated by the manufacturer’s

company stamp, and shall contain

information of the manufacturer,

reference details, material specifications,

information for traceability, as well as

test results.

materials and not the finished products

are permitted in the MTC by BC1, it

should be clearly indicated in the

certificate so that there is no confusion.

DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION

BC1 provides guidance for engineers

to follow during the design stage. The

design procedure is essentially based

on the classification approach which

consists of both adequacy assessment

and reliability assessment of the steel

materials to be used in design to BS5950,

and eventually to categorise these

materials into three categories, from

superior to inferior – Class 1, Class 2 and

Class 3.

Adequacy Assessment

The first step in the classification

approach involves the adequacy

assessment, i.e. verification of material

adequacy against the material

performance requirements. Adequacy

assessment is only meant to evaluate the

adequacy of steel materials of particular

specifications and its result is therefore

independent of the source of materials.

Two possible modes of adequacy

assessment are certification and material

testing.

Certification is the rigorous evaluation

of the specifications of steel materials

commonly available in Singapore

– namely British/European (BS/EN),

American (ASTM/API/AWS), Japanese

(JIS), Australian/New Zealand (AS/NZS)

and Chinese (GB) steel materials, against

the essential material performance

requirements of BC1. A list of certified

steel materials which only contains steel

materials complying with the relevant

material performance requirements,

has been derived for the convenience of

the design engineers. Most commonly

available materials in Singapore are BS/

EN, ASTM/API/AWS, JIS, AS/NZS and

GB steel materials are adequate and

therefore included in this list. Use of any

steel material from this certified list is

considered having met and passed the

adequacy assessment.

Material testing, on the other hand,

is the process of demonstrating

the adequacy of non-certified steel

materials outside BS/EN, ASTM/API/

AWS, JIS, AS/NZS and GB steel materials

such as the use of Indian, Korean or

Russian steel during the design stage

through appropriate sample testing

and test method. Such testing for the

purpose of adequacy assessment during

the design stage shall not exempt

the purchasers from performing the

obligatory inspection and testing

in accordance with appropriate

regulations during contract execution

stage. To prove the compliance of such

materials with all the relevant material

performance requirements, test reports

from accredited laboratory under the

Singapore Accreditation Council’s

Singapore Laboratory Accreditation

INTERNATIONAL REGULARTORY DEVELOPMENT

In Singapore, steel materials for building

construction are mostly supplied by

stockholders and traders, unless the

projects are very sizeable and there

is magnitude of scale and financial

benefits to purchase directly from the

steel mills. Under such circumstance,

a validated copy of the authenticated

MTC shall be given to the end purchaser

by the stockholder. To prevent any

fraud and tempering of the MTC, exact

quantity, batch and heat number of

the steel materials delivered to the end

purchaser, together with the purchase

and delivery orders should be clearly

indicated in the MTC. Finally, although

mechanical test results and chemical

analysis based on the feedstock

Gardens by the Bay under construction

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 17


INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development

Scheme (SINGLAS) or other laboratory

accredited under a mutual recognition

agreement with SINGLAS are required.

Reliability Assessment

The second step in the classification

approach involves the reliability

assessment, i.e. verification of material

reliability against the quality assurance

requirements. Reliability assessment

to ensure the steel materials are

manufactured under stringent quality

assurance system shall meet the quality

assurance requirements. Failure in the

reliability assessment shall result in the

downgrading of material class to Class

3. A complete reliability assessment

consists of two compulsory evaluation

processes, namely FPC certification and

manufacturer test certification.

Manufacturers of steel materials shall

have an FPC system already attested by

an independent third-party certification

agency acceptable to or recognised by

BCA. Valid FPC certificates issued by the

certification agency upon successful

first and annual inspections shall be

produced by the manufacturers as an

indicator of an FPC system acceptable

to BCA. In FPC certification, QPs shall

evaluate the validated copy of the valid

FPC certificate, obtained either directly

from the manufacturer or through the

stockholder or trader. The document

mentioned shall also be made

available for subsequent inspection

by BCA, if required. It shall be pointed

out that ISO9001 certificate is only

complimentary, while European Union

FPC certificates and API Monograms can

be considered ‘acceptable in lieu’.

Manufacturers shall issue an

authenticated test certificate for every

batch of steel materials delivered as a

form of quality assurance on the steel

materials. Actual quantity of steel

materials delivered shall be clearly

indicated by the stockholders. In

manufacturer test certification, QPs

shall inspect and confirm that all the

mandatory information is indicated on

the actual certificate. The document

shall also be made available for

inspection by BCA, if required.

Classification of Steel Materials

The classification procedure will end

with the class of steel materials being

determined. Three classes, namely Class

1, Class 2 and Class 3, are the possible

outcome. Class 1 status can only be

achieved by certified steel materials,

i.e. those materials which meet

material performance requirements

through rigorous certification process,

if and only if quality assurance given

by the manufacturers also satisfies

the respective requirements. These

materials can be used as per normal

to BS5950. No material factor will be

applied on the design strength of

the steel. In other words, full nominal

strength given by the material standard

of Class 1 structural steel is employed

for design calculation. On the other

hand, design parameters for bolts and

welds are those recommended by the

respective national standards.

Similarly, non-certified steel materials

outside BS/EN, ASTM/API/AWS, JIS,

AS/NZS and GB steel materials which

are proven to be reliable can also be

used as per normal to BS5950, if they

can demonstrate compliance with

the essential material performance

requirements through material testing.

These materials are considered as Class

2 materials under the classification

framework of BC1. However, a lack of

local experience and rigorous study,

and hence understanding on the local

use of such materials necessitates a

material factor of 1.1 to be imposed on

Arts and Science Museum at Marina Bay Integrated Resorts under construction

the design strength of Class 2 structural

steel. Likewise, Class 2 connection

components like bolts, welds and stud

shear connectors, shall be designed to

lower strength parameters as compared

to their Class 1 counterparts.

All other steel materials which fall

outside Class 1 and Class 2 are regarded

as Class 3 materials which fail to satisfy

material performance requirements

and/or quality assurance requirements.

This type of materials which are really

‘commercial-grade’ steel shall be

restricted to non-structural use only. The

design strength for Class 3 steel shall be

limited to not more than 170 N/mm2.

However, use of Class 3 bolts, welds and

stud shear connectors to BS5950 is not

permitted.

SPECIAL CASE

While BC1 is in the early phase of

implementation, interim measures

are necessary to ensure a smoother

transition for key industry players

to adjust and switch to the new

requirements, as well as to cater for

existing on-going projects and current

stockpiles of steel materials which meet

adequacy requirements but obviously

do not come with FPC certificates from

audited mills. For the above reasons, a

material performance-based assessment

in lieu of the adequacy and reliability

18 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


assessments, based on material testing

per heat or batch and control might

be appropriate under the alternative

route provided for under Clause 4.4 of

BC1. Subject to case-by-case approval

from BCA, the steel materials concerned

may be treated as Class 2 materials if

their adequacy and reliability can be

guaranteed through testing and control

plans of the materials delivery to site.

As this special provision is meant to

be an interim measure to cope with

the transition stage, it should not be

seen as an escape route to by-pass

the new requirements for quality

requirements. QPs who resort to using

this alternative path because of material

non-compliance with quality assurance

requirements, not only have to monitor

and propose a very rigorous material

control plan, but also have to review

and redo the design because of the

change in the material classification. In

addition, QPs will still have to continue

to shoulder the quality problem caused

by lesser manufacturers.

USE OF ALTERNATIVE

STEEL MATERIALS

The main objective of introducing these

new requirements on both adequacy

and reliability of the steel materials is to

improve the resilience and sustainability

of Singapore’s steel construction

industry. The enforcement and full

implementation of such requirements

will bring about some tangible and

positive improvements in the long run

as few will argue on the need for quality.

In the short term, some re-adjustments

will be necessary amongst all the key

industry stakeholders while some will

be affected more and others will view

the new requirements as restrictive.

The long term objective should not be

clouded by the short term difficulties

which are usually driven by commercial

consideration. Such issues are best

addressed separately.

In the local context, the need to

look into the use of alternative steel

materials is also understandable from

the availability point of view. The

presence of Chinese steel materials

in this region is a case in point. Under

the new provision of BC1, as long as

the steel materials can be proven to

be adequate and reliable, their use to

BS5950 will be allowed irrespective

of where the materials originate from

and what production standards they

are manufactured to. By widening the

option to source these materials from,

it is hoped that more economical and

sustainable steel construction will

eventually result in Singapore.

Equal Platform for all

Steel Materials

The mandatory requirement on material

adequacy and reliability implies that

only adequate and reliable materials

can be used under the provision of BC1.

Therefore, the approach is consistent

and fair, and all steel materials,

including those manufactured to BS

and BS EN standards are treated equally

without any preference when design

recommendations are given. In addition,

BC1 is fair to all Class 1 steel materials

by allowing the use of the full material

strength as its design strength. Design

strengths recommended by their

respective national steel design codes

might not be appropriate because of

the fundamental difference in design

philosophy compared to BS5950.

Quality Culture

BC1 took the opportunity to address the

long-standing material problems where

non-certified materials which are readily

available have been used in the past and

are still being used today. The notion

that material adequacy and reliability

can be assured by testing a few tensile

coupons is a fallacy which really needs

to be debunked. Material production

standards are serious documents

with complicated processes in which

manufacturers have to follow through

strictly. There are in-line production

tests in place which would not be

possible to duplicate off-line once the

material is produced. The manufacturer

test certificates are only meaningful if

manufacturers adhere to and follow the

production standards closely and report

the information faithfully. The mere

existence of a certificate is not sufficient

proof because such information

can be easily copied over from the

feedstock materials without having to

do a single production test. The need

for consistently reliable and quality

materials, and to single out, reward and

encourage manufacturers who practiced

quality assurance and took the trouble

to put in place a stringent production

control system and product certification

is clear. With such a framework in

place, the manufacturers will be more

responsible and forthcoming. Moving

forward, the Authority will be more

vigilant on the use of non-certified

materials such as JIS G3101 SS400, ASTM

A500 and BS4360 Grade 43A which are

still readily available. Key stakeholders

(traders, stockholders, fabricators

and QPs) should well take note of this

development.

CONCLUSIONS

Adequacy and reliability of steel

materials are the two major concerns

in promoting alternative use of steel

materials to pave a way towards a more

sustainable construction industry in

Singapore. With BC1 in place, adequacy

and reliability of all steel materials

are checked against the material

performance and quality assurance

requirements. Their adequacy can be

evaluated through either certification or

material testing; whereas their reliability

must be substantiated by factory

production control (FPC) certificate

and mill test certificate (MTC) from the

manufacturers. The steel materials are

categorised into three classes, each with

different scope for use with and without

restriction, in design to BS5950.

BC1 will bring several positive benefits

to the steel construction industry in

the long run. In the short term, it is

recognised that some re-adjustments

will be necessary and some stakeholders

will be affected more than others. The

use of alternative steel will open up

the availability and widen the source

of materials which will result in greater

economy and affordability. All steel

materials, including BS and BS EN

materials, regardless of country of origin,

are treated equally in the same manner.

Finally, BC1 addresses some quality

issues head-on in the hope it will lead to

a healthy quality culture on steel usage

which will set a new standard for others

in the region to follow.

INTERNATIONAL REGULARTORY DEVELOPMENT

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 19


INTERNATIONAL Regulatory Development

Toward shock-proof

infrastructure

Written by the National Research Council Canada

The devastation caused by recent

earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, as well

as by terrorist activities around the

world, underscores the need for better

construction materials and designs to

protect critical public infrastructure

against such extreme shocks.

Canada’s core public infrastructure

includes transport systems (roads,

bridges and transit), public buildings

that provide essential services,

and municipal systems that deliver

potable water and remove wastes. The

foundation of our public infrastructure

is a common building material: concrete.

“Traditionally, we’ve designed our

infrastructure to withstand natural

disasters, not man-made events,” says

Dr. Zoubir Lounis, leader of the concrete

structures group at the NRC Institute for

Research in Construction (NRC-IRC) in

Ottawa.

In collaboration with the University

of Ottawa, NRC is combining high

performance concrete and advanced

composite materials — consisting of

fibre-reinforced polymers — to help

make critical structures

more shock-resistant.

By adding a shock

absorber, the new

construction materials

could improve the

safety of critical

infrastructure in

Canada and around the

world.

“Since it would be

too expensive to

protect all our public

infrastructure, we’re

developing new

technology as well

as a risk management approach,” says

Dr. Lounis. This approach involves

identifying public infrastructure that is

critical both from a public safety and an

economic standpoint. The goal would

then be to incorporate shock-resistant

materials into key structures at critical

stress points — such as the load-bearing

columns holding up a highway overpass

— in order to provide adequate strength

and safety margins, and extend their

service life.

University of Ottawa shock-tube facility for conducting impact and blast tests. (Photo:

University of Ottawa)

Did you

know?

Concrete structures testing facility at NRC Institute for Research in Construction.

Statistics Canada

has estimated the

value of Canada’s

core public

infrastructure

— including

roads, bridges,

drinking water,

waste water and

sewage treatment

systems — at

more than $286

billion.

The state of our roads, bridges, buildings

and water/waste water systems is closely

linked to our economy, safety and

security, and quality of life. Consider the

potential impact of disrupting traffic

across an important trade route like the

Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor

and Detroit, for even one day.

“The idea is not so much to protect

these structures but to enhance public

safety by ensuring that if an accidental

or intentional shock does occur, the

structure doesn’t crumble but is

only damaged — in other words, a

‘controlled and more ductile’ failure,”

says Dr. Husham Almansour, the NRC

project leader. “Our goal is to give

people enough time to evacuate —

depending on the size of the shock and

the importance of the infrastructure.”

“When we design a retrofit to resist

extreme shocks, we want to make the

structure more robust,” adds Dr. Lounis.

“Robustness means the structure has

built-in redundancies, so external

stresses are distributed between the

different load-bearing elements and any

damage that results is proportional to

the shock or load.”

20 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


NRC’s new building materials and

systems will undergo thorough

testing that simulates the effects of

blast or heavy impacts. “This is a huge

undertaking with many private and

public partners,” says Dr. Lounis. After

the shock-resistant materials and

systems have been fully evaluated, they

will be made available to Canadian

companies and public infrastructure

owners, giving them a competitive edge

in world markets.

Toward a hundred

year bridge

Much of Canada’s public infrastructure

was built after the Second World War

and is now approaching the end of its

design life. “Instead of using the same

conventional materials and doing the

usual repairs, we’re thinking about how

to replace existing structures with new

structures that will last twice as long,”

says Dr. Zoubir Lounis.

For example, most current bridges were

meant to have a design life of about fifty

years. High and ultra-high performance

concrete (UHPC) could double their life

span because it contains steel fibres and

more cementing materials than normal

concrete. “It is also more resistant to

corrosive agents,” says Dr. Lounis. “It will

take up to 70-80 years for salt and water

to reach the steel and corrosion to start,

whereas with normal concrete, the salt

could reach the steel after 15 years.”

INTERNATIONAL REGULARTORY DEVELOPMENT

“UHPC can be three, four or five times

more expensive than normal concrete,”

he adds. “But the entire life-cycle

costs of a bridge made with UHPC

will be much lower. Over a hundred

years, the bridge will require very little

maintenance, so you won’t need to

close it as often to repair or replace a

component.”

Enquiries: NRC

For further information contact the

National Research Council Canada:

http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Steel can start to corrode after just 15 years of service in normal concrete.

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 21


BCA energY & INDUSTRY eFFiCienCY NEWS in The BUilT environmenT

SUSTAinABle WinDoW

AlliAnCe releASe neW

FinDingS – glASS CriTiCAl

To energY eFFiCienCY

Nigel Carpenter

An 18-month independent study

has concluded that in many areas

of Australia typical Australian

homes can achieve an increase of

2-2.5 stars of energy efficiency by

simply changing from the worstperforming

windows to the bestperforming

windows.

The study, conducted by the Sustainable

Windows Alliance (SWA), follows lengthy

and in-depth research into the impact

windows have on residential energy

efficiency. Launched mid-2008, the

SWA is a joint initiative of the Australian

Glass and Glazing Association and the

Australian Window Association, working

in partnership with Sustainability

Victoria.

The project was initiated to investigate

the economic and scientific basis for

high performance windows. Now, the

industry, armed with these facts, aims

to raise community awareness, both

within the building industry and the

general public. The SWA hopes to create

more informed end-consumers, able to

make more considered decisions about

the construction or renovation of their

homes, supported by a local industry

capable of serving their needs.

The technical study was conducted by

building physicist and energy expert

Dr Peter Lyons using a methodology

developed and agreed by a panel of

leading buildings scientists within

Australia and from abroad. The results

provide the first collaborative resource

of its kind and clearly demonstrate the

impact of glazing and framing options

on building energy

efficiency across a range

of house designs and

climate zones throughout

Australia.

“Currently there is a very

low level of awareness

of the role windows and

glass play in building

energy efficiency. That

knowledge which does

exist in the building

industry and broader

community often

ranges from inconsistent

to outright misleading,

but this study provides a common

reference point to assist architects,

builders, and consumers alike to make

better-informed decisions on the most

appropriate window for their needs,”

says Lachlan Austin from the SWA

steering committee.

KEY FINDINGS FROM ThE STUDY

• Moving from the worst-performing

windows to the best performing

windows can give a home an

AccuRate star increase of 2-2.5 stars;

• Applying passive solar design

principles can provide further

improvement by up to 1 star; and

• Different locations within Australia

require different glazing solutions,

and within that, even different

orientations of the building benefit

from different window solutions.

Nigel Carpenter, Executive Director

of the AGGA, says the study clearly

shows that better performing

windows significantly reduce energy

Photo provided by G. James

consumption for home-owners, and

therefore provides the opportunity for

substantial savings on the household

budget, and reduction in household

carbon footprint. Windows have a

long lifespan, working 24 hours a day,

year in year out, without the need for

any great human intervention. As an

investment for the comfort and value

of a home, they should rate far ahead

of some discretionary spends beloved

by consumers such as benchtops, and

door handles. Nigel proposes, “Viewed

against improved windows, these

are dead assets, which serve only to

date depreciate in value. In contrast,

windows should be better categorised

as investments in occupant comfort,

operating cost reduction and a higher

property value at resale”.

Copies of the study are now available

through Nigel Carpenter at the AGGA.

To obtain your copy, contact the AGGA

on 03 99413130.

For further media information please

contact Jill Johnson on 0409 217 624

22 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


CONTACT DETAILS FOR STATE AND TERRITORY

BUILDING CONTROL ADMINISTRATIONS

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Building Commission

Dept of Commerce

31 Troode St, West Perth, WA 6005

PO Box 6039, East Perth, WA 6892

Telephone: 1300 489 099

E-mail: buildingcontrol@bmw.wa.gov.au

Hours: 8.30am-5.00pm

Web site: www.bmw.wa.gov.au

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Department of Lands and Planning

Building Advisory Services Branch

Cavenagh House, 38 Cavenagh Street,

Darwin NT 0800

GPO Box 1680, Darwin, NT 0801

Telephone: 08 8999 8960

E-mail: bas.lpe@nt.gov.au

Hours: 8.00am-4.00pm

Web site: www.nt.gov.au

QUEENSLAND

Department of Infrastructure and Planning

Building Codes Queensland Division

Level 3, 63 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000

PO Box 15009, City East, QLD 4002

Telephone: 07 3239 6369

E-mail: buildingcodes@dip.qld.gov.au

Hours: 8.30am-5.00pm

Web site: www.dip.qld.gov.au

SUSTAINABILITY

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Department of Planning and Local Government, Building Policy

Roma Mitchell House

136 North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000

GPO Box 1815, Adelaide, SA 5001

Telephone: 08 8303 0602

E-mail: plnsa.building@saugov.sa.gov.au

Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm

Web site: www.planning.sa.gov.au

VICTORIA

Building Commission Victoria

733 Bourke Street, Docklands, VIC 3008

PO Box 536, Melbourne, VIC 3001

Telephone: 1300 815 127

E-mail: technicalenquiry@buildingcommission.com.au

Hours: 8.30am-5.00pm

Web site: www.buildingcommission.com.au

TASMANIA

Department of Justice,

Workplace Standards Tasmania

Building Control Branch

30 Gordons Hill Road, Rosny Park, TAS 7018

PO Box 56, Rosny Park, TAS 7018

Telephone: 03 6233 7657

E-mail: wstinfo@justice.tas.gov.au

Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm

Web site: www.wst.tas.gov.au

NEW SOUTH WALES

Dept of Planning,

Lands Department Building

23-33 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000

GPO Box 39 Sydney NSW 2001

Telephone: 02 9228 6111

E-mail: information@planning.nsw.gov.au

Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm Mon – Fri,

however BCA technical questions will be

answered 9.30 – 11.30 Tue-Thu

on 02 9228 6529

Web site: www.planning.nsw.gov.au

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

ACT Planning and Land Authority

Ground Floor South,

Dame Pattie Menzies House

16 Challis Street, Dickson ACT 2602

GPO Box 1908, Canberra City, ACT 2601

Telephone: 02 6207 1923

E-mail: actpla.customer.services@act.gov.au

Hours: 8.30am-4.30pm

Web site: www.actpla.act.gov.au

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 23


INDUSTRY Perspective

INDUSTRY DISCIPLINE FOR

SOFTWARE SIMULATION

Interview with Phil Wilkinson, CEO, Australian Institute of Refrigeration,

Air Conditioning and Heating

Phil Wilkinson

Q: How important is the use of energy

analysis software in demonstrating a

building’s compliance with Section J

of the Building Code of Australia?

PW: In short, the use of energyanalysis

software in performancebased

solutions is very important in

demonstrating a building’s compliance.

And the best way to show that

compliance with the Code is being

achieved is by meeting targeted annual

energy use.

This requires the use of modelling with

sophisticated software that calculates

the annual energy consumption hourby-hour

and system-by-system.

The use of BCA verification method JV3

allows engineers and designers to be

flexible in their approach to achieving

the BCA’s performance outcomes. For

example, a particular part of a building

may not comply with the deemedto-satisfy

solution. Yet by increasing

the stringency of another part of the

building, overall compliance with the

intent can be reached.

The analysis process is a complex one

requiring a great deal of engineering

judgement in developing the energy

analysis, and this is where one of the big

market failures occurs.

Energy analysis software is a tool. And

like any tool it requires a certain level

of expertise to be used effectively. If

software users don’t know exactly what

they’re doing then getting the desired

results will prove difficult indeed, if not

impossible.

To be able to effectively use the tool

a designer/engineer must have a

thorough understanding of building

services - predominantly mechanical

– and a building’s thermal properties,

and how the two integrate as an overall

system.

Performance measurement is something

those in the built environment are

yet to fully embrace, much to its own

detriment. Very rarely do we hear of

designers assessing the building to test

the accuracy of assumptions applied,

and then learning in an iterative manner

how to improve the modelling process.

This must change, and it will.

Q: I understand that there has been

an ongoing debate as to whether

the compliance criteria in Section

J of the building code should be

expressed in terms of absolute values

such as Mega Joule/annum or star

ratings as against an approach that

compares the proposed building

with a hypothetical building model

that is prescriptively described as

complying. Which do you prefer?

PW: Although there is some debate

about whether the output should be in

MJ/m2/annum or in greenhouse CO2

equivalent or stars, from a technical

point of view this is a minor issue. A

simple conversion factor allows a design

engineer to easily punch out results in

the desired metrics.

The more pressing issue is a set of

industry-standardised input guidelines.

There are three main drivers for the

use of energy-analysis software: BCA,

NABERS and Green Star. All three have

differing input parameters, which is

cumbersome to say the least. Some

of the protocols require the use of USbased

parameters, while others require

the use of Australian based parameters,

such as the metabolic rates of

occupants. I also understand parameters

around occupancy rates vary.

It would make a lot more sense if the

industry could come together to agree on

a set of common parameters. This would

greatly reduce remodelling to meet

each rating criteria.” See an extract from

Ecolibrium on page 26 for more on this.

I don’t believe there is a pressing

requirement for another building

analysis software package; there are

several available that are more than

adequate. What we do need, however,

is industry agreement and alignment of

modelling procedures and parameters

used in Australia.

If there were to be one software

program it would require considerable

investment to develop it, and substantial

continuing maintenance costs.

The various software packages currently

in use vary to some degree in their

calculations, their inputs and their

results, so the comparative approach in

JV3 is a more practical one if a market

featuring different software is to

continue.

So that the various available systems

can be better modelled, there needs

to be improved communication and

sharing between software developers

and mechanical services equipment

manufacturers. It would be of

tremendous assistance for manufactures

to measure their equipment’s

performance and then share the results.

The end result will be much more

accurate and realistic system modelling.

And isn’t that what everybody wants?

Q. Do you see a need for the current

energy analysis software to be

accredited or for practitioners to be

accredited as users?

PW: Yes, accreditation is definitely

needed.

There is a perception in the marketplace

that anyone, including ESD engineers

with no real knowledge of building

services systems, and home energy

raters wanting to branch into a new

market, can use this software and

achieve the desired output.

24 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


The reality, however, is that commercial

energy analysis is a complex topic

and needs a substantial amount of

engineering judgement to ensure

maximum accuracy. Commercial

building software models the

interactions of the building services

systems with the physics of the building,

whereas home energy rating software

doesn’t have anywhere near this level of

complexity.

Only competent engineers and building

services engineers should be using this

type of software.

Software that can be used in BCA

performance modelling is already

‘accredited’ against ‘best-test’, as I

understand it.

Two steps to user accreditation and

capability are desperately required. The

first is an accreditation to demonstrate

competency in applying the modelling

process and engineering principles

–irrespective of which software is used.

The next level of training should be a

tool-specific scheme, aimed at those

who have passed the first level, who

can then learn how to use individual

software packages.

AIRAH is well placed to develop

and administer such a system, in

collaboration with the eight building

control administrations, and with

funding from the government.

Many countries are grappling with these

issues, and given its strong international

links, AIRAH is well placed to learn from

overseas experience.

Q: Do you see the modellers who

using energy analysis software being

specialists in building sustainability/

energy analysis, or is there a need

for them to first have gained HVAC

experience as designers or installers?

PW: The programs used for building

energy analysis are very complicated,

and users need a very good level of

understanding of HVAC systems.

The software is considerably more

complex than that designed to measure

house energy rating, which most

building practitioners can master quite

quickly.

It’s easy to select totally inappropriate

systems or other inputs from the various

menus, delivering a result that would

look impressive and creditable to

somebody not trained in HVAC system

design.

Q: It would seem that the current

software programs need to make

certain assumptions, such as

whether the systems have been

properly commissioned, or whether

the building is well constructed to

reduce infiltration, or whether or

not the building is likely to be well

maintained. How realistic are the

assumptions being made?

PW: These are aspects where building

and HVAC design and construction

experience is essential. Good

engineering judgement is crucial in

estimating what the inputs should be.

The detailing of facades or roof-to-wall

interfaces as well as air-locks and other

seals give a good indication of the likely

infiltration that needs to be an input

and not a hypothetical ‘ideal’ value.

We are starting to see some buildings

pressure tested and gaps in the building

envelope sealed to prevent uncontrolled

infiltration.

Commissioning and good maintenance

are extremely important in

achieving the assumed ongoing

energy consumption. No one is held

accountable for this currently, and until

they are there will be continuing market

failures in this space. Both of these issues

have been talked about for years, and

unless they are regulated or energy

prices skyrocket, I don’t believe they will

be genuinely addressed. Perhaps the

introduction of mandatory disclosure

will start to drive some good outcomes.

We certainly hope so.

What I’ve said here is my opinion, but

it’s based on discussions I’ve had with

– and input from - stakeholders across

our industry. This includes several

prominent AIRAH members, who are

daily working with building simulation

software at the vanguard of measuring

the built environment’s performance.

These are professionals helping to shape

the future of our cityscapes by making

sure our buildings perform as they

should in the present.

INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVE

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 25


INDUSTRY Perspective

HVAC&R THE • the BRIEFING

built environment • sustainable design

Extract from Ecolibrium, March 2010 Edition.

OPINION

Where’s the consistency?

AIRAH life member

Murray Mason believes

there is an avoidable lack

of commonality between

Australia’s various building

schemes and codes.

For a number of years now my company

has being working on developing a

building energy estimation program

(BEAVER) that incorporates several

enhancements. These include features

to assist users in gaining compliance

with the BCA, and to achieve ratings

with NABERS and Green Star.

A number of the program’s users

have indicated they are frustrated

at the lack of consistency between these

codes, rating schemes and the relevant

Australian standards. On many items

there is a lack of commonality that

is unnecessary, leading to extra costs

being imposed on design consultants,

contractors and software developers.

My company, ACADS-BSG, is

involved in continuing consultation

with the Australian Building Code

Board through the normal process

of public review and comment. We

have also been, albeit less formally,

commenting on certain aspects of the

Green Building Council of Australia,

making suggestions and comments.

Many of these comments are in relation

to the practical application of some of

the requirements for compliance. There

are also some unnecessary variations

between the rating schemes/codes.

A few examples of this are listed here:

• Why do each of the rating/codes

schemes have different profiles for

people, lights, equipment and plant

operation for the same building type?

• Why do they use different

metabolic rates for people?

• Why are the metabolic rates different

to those used in normal design?

• Why are the lighting and

equipment levels different?

• Why does Green Star have, within

each building type, different room

functions, while NABERS and BCA

have only a building type?

For example BCA has Schools

while Green Star have Schools and

Universities and within each of these

different functions – classrooms, dry

labs, wet labs, gymnasiums – with

different profiles and metabolic rates.

• Similarly, why do the building types

and functions differ from those listed

in AS1668?

• Why does the BCA use Table D1.13

(which is for fire egress) for people

occupancy rather than AS1668, to

which Green Star refers?

The list goes on.

Murray Mason

In addition, however, there are

provisions, particularly with Green Star,

that make us wonder about the quality of

technical advice these organisations are

receiving. It shows a lack of experience

and understanding in the use and

application of simulation software

and in the design process itself.

For example, with some of the Green

Star guideline documents, profiles for

metabolic rates are listed, rather than those

for occupancy – no energy simulation

program inputs data in this way.

Another example is the selection of the

climatic data to be used with the Green

Star guideline documents. They all state

that when there is a lack of an available

local TRY year, an actual year of recorded

weather data from a location within

50km of the building location is to be

used. If that is not available an average

is to be taken from the three nearest

locations within 250km.

Hence, if a Green Star Rating for a

building in Tewantin in Queensland is

required (this is a case in point where

one of our users sought our advice) then

climatic data from Brisbane, Amberley

and Oakey should be averaged.

Getting hourly solar and ground-recorded

data from the Met Bureau is difficult

enough. To “average” three locations is

just ridiculous and totally impractical.

Because we supply simulation software to

the industry, we are continually asked by

our users for advice on particular aspects

of the rating schemes and the BCA.

We are also confronted with providing

means of inputting different data into our

energy program as a function of which

rating scheme is being used when there

is no practical reason why the data

should be different.

Because of the company’s collective

years of experience in the industry, we

have devoted a lot of time attempting to

convince those responsible for these rating

schemes and codes to make changes.

However, our business is developing and

supporting software. Because of this

we do have a good appreciation of the

requirements, but we are a single voice

and our opinions and concerns are not

necessarily representative of the industry.

It is not our role to convince the code

makers to adopt a consistent approach.

It is an industry responsibility.

I believe, therefore, that it would

be appropriate for AIRAH to set up

an advisory technical committee

representing the industry (with

support from government and with

some influence) to provide advice and

guidance to the three organisations that

are developing the BCA, NABERS and

Green Star, and to ensure that there

is compatibility with design practice.

This committee could also review the

appropriateness of having three separate

protocols to achieve reductions in

greenhouse gas emissions.

Murray Mason, L.AIRAH, F.IEAust,

F.AIE, is the principal engineer and

director of ACADS-BSG, an Australian

building services software company.

Care to comment?

Ecolibrium welcomes feedback.

To comment, please send

correspondence to matt@airah.org.au

16

ECOLIBRIUM • MARCH 2010

26 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


Client Feature

Doors open on Australia’s first zero-emission home

Designed to fit the Australian climate

– and the lifestyle of a typical middleincome

family – Australia’s first Zero

Emission House (AusZEH) was officially

opened in Melbourne in April.

Working with industry partners Delfin-

Lend Lease and the Henley Property

Group, and supported by the AusZEH

consortium, CSIRO designed and built

the demonstration house 30 kilometres

north of Melbourne’s CBD, in the

community of Laurimar in Doreen,

Victoria.

The eight-star energy-efficiency rated

AusZEH showcases off-the-shelf building

and renewable energy-generation

technologies, and new future-ready

energy management systems.

Nearly 13 per cent of Australia’s

greenhouse gas emissions are due to

home energy use.

The AusZEH is designed to produce

enough ‘zero-emission’ electricity

from 6kW solar panels to supply all

the operating energy needs of the

household so that its net total CO2 or

other greenhouse gas emissions is zero.

The Director of CSIRO’s Energy

Transformed Flagship, Dr Alex

Wonhas, says the uptake of zeroemission

housing in Australia could

have a significant impact

on reducing emissions

nationwide.

“CSIRO scientists estimate

that if all the new housing

built in Australia between

2011 and 2020 were zeroemission

houses, 63 million

tons of greenhouse gas (GHG)

emissions would be saved,”

Dr Wonhas said.

“This would be equivalent to

taking all of Australia’s private

cars off the road for two years

and 237 days, or closing all

Australia’s power stations for

up to 100 days.”

CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship

initiated the AusZEH project to

demonstrate and evaluate how lowcarbon

housing can be achieved in

Australia to reduce GHG emissions and

create a more sustainable future for the

nation.

For 12 months, the AusZEH

demonstration house will become a

home for an Australian family and a

laboratory for CSIRO.

The house has been fitted with a unique

energy management system developed

by La Trobe University in partnership

with CSIRO, which tracks energy use

The first AusZEH demonstration house is open for inspection at Laurimar in Doreen, Victoria. The eight-star energy

efficiency rated house, which features a state-of-the-art energy management system, will produce enough zero

emission, renewable electricity from roof-top solar panels to supply all its electricity needs.

The AusZEH demonstration house is equipped with a unique homeenergy

management system.

in the house and provides feedback

via customised reports to household

members.

This information on the performance of

the ‘living’ house will be used to identify

ways to improve the design of future

zero and low-emission houses.

“Our greatest impact comes through

partnerships with others,” Dr Wonhas

said.

“Through the AusZEH consortium,

expertise from CSIRO, industry,

university and government partners

have been combined to create a

demonstration house which provides an

example of how Australians can achieve

a more sustainable future living in their

homes.”

The AusZEH consortium membership

includes: CSIRO, Delfin Lend Lease, Henley

Property Group, La Trobe University,

Sustainability Victoria, SP AusNet, Telstra

and the Victorian Department of Human

Services.

CSIRO initiated the National Research

Flagships to provide science-based

solutions in response to Australia’s major

research challenges and opportunities.

The 10 Flagships form multidisciplinary

teams with industry and the research

community to deliver impact and benefits

for Australia.

For more information visit: http://

www.csiro.au/science/australian-zeroemission-house.html

BCA PRODUCT + iNDUSTRY INNOVATION NEWS

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 27


Client Feature

PRODUCT Innovation

BCA & INDUSTRY NEWS

Grocon’s carbon neutral Pixel Building

Grocon has developed the Pixel building

in a manner that is so environmentally

advanced, there’s nothing presently like

it in the world. Pixel is Grocon’s “Future

Office” – a prototype of the buildings

that will emerge when a carbon

constrained environment demands a

greater focus on energy efficiency.

Existing environmental rating tools do

not yet place a significant importance

on the issue of carbon pollution.

Grocon’s Pixel building is an insight into

the way buildings of the future will be

designed, built and managed in order to

tackle the carbon cost issue head on.

Pixel is aiming to achieve the highest

environmental rating ever for buildings

using the US LEED, UK BREEAM and

Australian Greenstar environmental

rating schemes. To put that into context,

there are approximately 740,000

buildings registered worldwide under

those three rating schemes,

and Pixel would be at the

forefront of all of them.

In anticipation of the

worldwide move to carbon

neutral buildings, Pixel has

been designed to generate

more energy on site than it

uses, thus off-setting carbon

generated to run the building.

But Pixel goes further by

generating more energy in

order to offset the carbon

used to build it and so the

building becomes carbon

positive, giving the energy it

generates back to the grid.

In addition to tackling the

carbon issue head on, Grocon

has designed Pixel to be water

balanced. That means that if

Melbourne maintains the 10

28 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


year average rainfall levels from 1999-

2009, then Pixel will be self sustainable

for water supply. The building could

theoretically be disconnected from the

grid and continue to safely operate.

Through Grocon’s work at Pixel, new

technologies have been developed, new

systems have been brought to Australia

and there has been significant “green”

upskilling of both Grocon’s workforce

and their sub-contractors.

More information is available at

http://www.pixelbuilding.com.au

Pixel’s innovative features:

• Carbon Neutral

• Water Balanced

• 100% Fresh Air Syystem

• Ammonia Refrigeration

• Chilled Structure

• Green Roof

• Photovoltaic & Wind Power

Generation

• Reed Bed Water Treatment

• Reliance on Natural Daylight

• Green Concrete

• Gas Fired Absorption Chillers

• Extensive Recycling

• Free Night Cooling

• Bio-Gas Energy

• High Performance Facade

BCA PRODUCT + iNDUSTRY INNOVATION NEWS

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 29


Client Feature

PRODUCT Innovation

BCA & INDUSTRY NEWS

Bosch sets new benchmark in sustainable water heating

Creating a new benchmark in

sustainable, energy efficient water

heating, is the new ‘Bosch 32C

Commercial Condensing’ gas hot water

system, positioned as the only one of its

kind in Australia.

Suitable for both commercial and

domestic use, where there is demand

for large volumes of hot water, the

Bosch 32C boasts a 6-star energy rating,

making it the most efficient commercial

gas hot water unit on the market.

The product’s edge is its unique

‘condensing technology’, which creates

a superior level of energy efficiency –

more than 94%.

Unlike traditional hot water systems,

Bosch’s condensing technology captures

waste heat from exhaust gas and uses

it to preheat incoming cold water. The

effect is an energy saving of more

than 15.5%, compared to a standard

continuous flow commercial system.

Bosch National Commercial Manager,

James Smith, said the environmental

benefits of the Bosch 32C made it far

superior to any other commercial model

available, setting a new benchmark for

the industry.

“Choosing this system for a commercial

project is the equivalent of taking one

and half cars off the road for an entire

year, saving tonnes of greenhouse gas

emissions and major dollars in terms of

running costs*.”

He said the new product gave builders,

architects, hydraulic consultants

and plumbers the opportunity to

meet and exceed the Australian

Building Code Board’s latest energy

efficiency provisions, while reducing

environmental impact and energy costs

for their clients.

Designed specifically for commercial

developments and large homes, the

Bosch 32C (along with the 32 standard

model) is the only true commercial unit

on the market and the only continuous

flow system able to be installed

internally or externally.

“The unit has dual heat exchangers,

one for primary heating and one for

secondary heating. A 100% stainless

steel exchanger uses residual heat from

exhaust gases to help preheat incoming

water prior to it entering a primary

copper heat exchanger,” Mr Smith said.

“The copper heat exchanger is coated to

prevent corrosion and deterioration, and

the internal copper piping is 25% thicker

than any other model,” he said.

Features & Benefits

• 6-star energy efficiency rating – the

most efficient commercial gas hot

water appliance on the market, with

94% energy efficiency.

• 217 MJ/hr gas consumption,

producing a flow rate of 32 litres per

minute.

• Designed to run up to 16 to 20 hours

per day.

• Only commercial continuous flow

unit on the market that can be

installed internally or externally.

• 25% thicker commercial-grade

copper heat exchanger, fused with

100% stainless steel corrosionresistant

heat exchanger.

• Commercial-grade components

throughout, including heavy duty

resin-coated printed circuit board,

increases durability and protection

from the elements.

• Can be installed as a single unit,

manifolded or in combination, with

storage. Self-diagnostic electronic

staging and rotation system (in

manifold).

• In-built neutraliser for the safe

release of condensate (pH-neutral

condensate).

• Optional temperature controllers

(up to three), offering fingertip water

temperature control.

• Available in 37°C to 85°C temperature

range (without temperature

controllers), 37°C to 80°C temperature

range (with temperature controllers),

or 50°C locked.

• Compatible with solar hot water and

warm water return systems**.

• Premium warranty – two years on

parts and labour and five years on the

heat exchanger (or three and 10 years

when used in domestic applications).

The Bosch 32C was developed in line

with Australia’s Ecologically Sustainable

Development (ESD) standards, and to

complement Bosch’s existing range of

energy efficient products.

The domestic condensing model,

the Bosch 26eco+, with a 6.9-star

energy rating, was recently named the

GreenPlumbers ‘Product of the Year’

(2009), demonstrating the superior

ecological benefits of the Bosch

condensing range.

The Bosch 32C is available from local

plumbing suppliers or by contacting

the Bosch Customer Service Hotline

on 1300 30 70 37.

For more about Bosch’s energy

efficient gas hot water range, visit

www.bosch.com.au/hotwater

* Calculation based on carbon emissions in

Victoria, where the average car produces

four tonnes of greenhouse gas per year.

Averages may vary in other regions.

Source : Sustainability Victoria.

** Reduced condensing efficiency due to

warm water input.

30 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


Philips Innovation: the MASTER TL5 Eco

Philips most recent energy saving

innovation is the MASTER TL5 Eco.

This unique range reduces energy

consumption by 10% without reducing

lighting quality. These savings are

made possible by the unique mix

of filling gases and new phosphor

technology which improves lighting

output while reducing energy

consumption. The MASTER TL5 Eco 25W

lamps are a direct replacement for a

regular TL5 28W and in the application

provides the same light output - 2900

lumens.

The benefit of a true retrofit solution

is the ease of use. MASTER TL5 Eco

lamps are designed to work in all the

applications that currently use the

conventional TL5 lamps and therefore

make them perfect for relamping

existing TL5 luminaires as well as new

buildings and renovations.

But energy saving isn’t the only

benefit of MASTER TL5 Eco. All of

the existing specifications that have

made Philips TL5 a popular choice

have been included in this new

technology : low mercury, (1.4mg),

long lifetime, high CRI and ability to

be dimmed, mean that this unique

range can be included in almost all

applications where TL5 is specified.

Philips now offers a range of TL5

Eco lamps that will offer energy

saving options for most current TL5

applications. We see this as a major step

towards making energy saving easy to

experience for all customers, while not

compromising on lighting quality.

For information contact Philips on

1300 304 404 or

www.philips.com.au/lighting

BCA PRODUCT + iNDUSTRY INNOVATION NEWS

Windows Fit For Purpose

The BCA calls up windows that comply

with AS 2047. Are you using products

that comply?

It is your responsibility to ensure your

window manufacturer has compliance

to AS 2047 or it will end up costing the

builder or the owner a lot of money.

Don’t take any chances! All AWA

members undergo performance tests to

verify performance claims.

What is AS 2047?

It is the mandatory minimum

specification for windows and doors

used in Australia it includes compliance

to the Glass Standard AS 1288.

The following performance tests

are undertaken to verify product

performance claims.

1. AS 4420.2 Deflection Test – positive

and negative wind pressures are

applied to the face of the window to

test the maximum deflection under

wind load.

2. AS 4420.3 Operating Force Test – to

verify that an opening sash is capable

of opening and closing without

undue effort.

3. AS 4420.4 Air Infiltration Test – the

air leakage of a window is tested

to ensure energy and acoustic

efficiency.

4. AS 4420.5 Water Penetration

Resistance Test – this test is

designed to ensure no water leaks

through the window into the

building.

5. AS 4420.6 Ultimate Strength Test –

negative and positive wind pressures

are applied to the window to at least

1.5 times the design wind pressure to

ensure it does not fail in unusual wind

conditions.

All windows and doors for homes

must have a Performance Label which

confirms that they are certified to

comply with Australian Standard AS

2047. If you purchase windows from an

accredited AWA member, you can also

receive a Certificate of Compliance that

supports a 7 year warranty.

Example: Window label which should

be affixed to window and door products

to ensure compliance to AS 2047.

All AWA

members have

products tested

to AS 2047 and

are a part of

a third party

NATA accredited

program. This

accreditation

program is a proven and nationally

recognised method of achieving

compliance to assist builders, specifiers

and homeowners to select products that

comply with Australian Standards.

Look for these logos when purchasing

your windows to be

confidant you are

purchasing compliant

products.

Please visit www.

awa.org.au for more

information

Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 31


ConFerenCe + events Calendar

ConFerenCe AnD evenTS

CAlenDAr For 2010

August 2010

24-26 August WA Safety Show. Perth Convention Exhibition Centre.

www.wasafetyshow.com

24-25 August Premises Standards Seminars: Access Changes in Public Buildings, Sydney.

www.humanrights.gov.au or www.abcb.gov.au

27 August Premises Standards Seminars: Access Changes in Public Buildings, Darwin.

www.humanrights.gov.au or www.abcb.gov.au

30-31 August Premises Standards Seminars: Access Changes in Public Buildings, Perth.

www.humanrights.gov.au or www.abcb.gov.au

September 2010

2 September Premises Standards Seminars: Access Changes in Public Buildings, Adelaide.

www.humanrights.gov.au or www.abcb.gov.au

2-3 September Victorian State Planning Conference. VIC.

www.planning.org.au

6-7 September Premises Standards Seminars: Access Changes in Public Buildings, Melbourne.

www.humanrights.gov.au or www.abcb.gov.au

9 September Premises Standards Seminars: Access Changes in Public Buildings, Hobart.

www.humanrights.gov.au or www.abcb.gov.au

16-17 September AIRAH Achieving the Green Dream Conference, Melbourne VIC.

www.airah.org.au

October 2010

16-19 October AIBS 2010 International Conference, Gold Coast QLD.

www.aibs.com.au

26-28 October The Safety Show. Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park.

www.safetyinaction.net.au

November 2010

10-12 November Fire Australia 2010 Conference and Exhibition, Gold Coast QLD.

www.fpaa.com.au

32 • Australian Building Regulation Bulletin


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Australian Building Regulation Bulletin

• 33


Do your windows & doors

comply to the BCA?

?

Members manufacture window and door products in compliance with all relevant

Australian Standards

Members verify their window's design performance using a NATA accredited

testing laboratory

Members performance label their windows to the required 'wind pressure' and

'water penetration' requirements of AS2047

Members provide windows that will make you home more comfortable, reduce

energy costs and conforms to the solution paths for energy efficiency within the

Building Code of Australia

It is your responsibility to ensure your window manufacturer has compliance to AS2047.

®

Don’t take any chances! All AWA & WERS members undergo testing and auditing to verify

performance claims of products.

Choose AWA & WERS Members

www.awa.org.au

www.awa.org.au

Photo courtesy of DLG Aluminium m & Glazing

www.wers.net

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