Australia is a large and diverse country with huge differences in the climate from one end to the other. To maximise the energy efficiency of a building the right window choice is crucial.
Passive House has divided Australia into 5 climate zones, which may be an oversimplification. Parts of Tasmania, Ballarat, Hotham and the Blue Mountains are seen as similar to Sydney and Brisbane.
Whereas the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) divides Australia into 8 Climate Zones, which is more complex but also more accurate. In Europe, for example, Rome, Vienna and London are also not in the same Climate Zone.
National Construction Code of Australia
The National Construction Code (NCC) has provisions that relate to energy efficiency for all classes of buildings, allowing for variations in climate conditions. These have a significant impact on the selection of windows and ensure that window compliance is achieved.
Simulation tools such as AccuRate, FirstRate, BERS Pro and BASIX are performance-based solutions that can be used to create reports, which list required values for windows. To comply, windows need to meet any number of given performance levels, e.g., particular U-values.
Energy efficient windows have the advantage over lesser performing products, making a building more comfortable, saving energy and creating a bright and healthy environment.
When choosing windows and doors, be aware of which climate zone you are in and you can reap the benefits of keeping in the warmth in winter and keeping the heat out in summer. Always choose an equivalent or better rating – like a lower U-value – than required for the very best results.
And finally, ensure whole window values are used; this means glass and frame together as a whole system, not just glass values by itself, in order to get an accurate result.
For more information, please visit https://www.wers.net/werscontent/how-to-select-windows
For all your window and door enquiries, please visit http://www.paarhammer.com.au.
Image: Building Code of Australia (BCA) Climate Zone Map – courtesy of Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB)