The drive towards greater sustainability across the architecture and construction industries is increasingly becoming codified in legislation, guidelines, and the National Construction Code. It’s important to note that, for the most part, businesses have taken up the challenge unilaterally; pursuing better sustainable outcomes because they make business and environmental sense, not just out of fear of reprimand. But changing regulation in this area certainly encourages innovation, and as the pace of change increases - particularly with regard to energy efficiency and wellbeing - we can expect to see even better results in the near future.
The NCC 2022 (and likely the upcoming 2025 update) puts a greater focus on condensation management, thermal bridging, and reducing load for heating and cooling. The new requirements are designed to ensure that thermally bridged metal framed dwellings achieve a similar performance to thermally bridged timber framed dwellings, and to minimise the risk of condensation causing illness, injury, or loss of amenity for building occupants. As a leader in thermal building solutions, Bondor Metecno is at the forefront of sustainable innovation in this space. Bondor Metecno’s insulated wall panel with PIR fire-retardant core delivers exceptional thermal performance, reducing thermal bridging and condensation by acting as a thermal break between the interior and exterior of the dwelling. In turn, this can significantly reduce the need for heating and cooling in a residence, making it far more energy efficient.
“NCC 2022 Energy efficiency and Condensation provisions for residential dwellings of class 1, 2, and 4 part of a building have undergone significant changes,” says Geoff Marsdon, Executive General Manager at Bondor Metecno. “These changes not only get us a step closer to net zero while trying to mitigate condensation issues, and address thermal bridging to some extent, but also to help align the two DtS pathways, namely the elemental and the NatHERS pathway to ensure a consistent building outcome regardless of the pathway selected.”
The changes to the Energy Efficiency provisions and Condensation mitigations in the NCC 2022 reaffirm the benefits of insulated panel as an ideal material to create a high-performance, low-energy building envelope; and fundamentally drive sustainability throughout the built environment from the ground up. “Ways to reduce the energy consumption of buildings are quite well understood and can be actioned relatively quickly,” says Geoff. “A lot is determined by design response, as well as some consumer behavioural or expectational changes. The updated provisions of the 2019 and 2022 NCC really boost requirements from an energy efficiency standpoint.”
And that’s no understatement. The provisions include:
- Incorporation of on-site photo voltaic capability
- New stringency requirements for whole of house energy use
- Increasing requirement from NATHERS 6 to 7 stars
- Recognising the impacts of thermal bridging
- Requirements to mitigate the effects of condensation
“Moving from 6 stars to 7 stars alone will have a significant impact,” says Geoff. “A University of Melbourne comparative study of energy consumption and CO2 emissions found that an upgrade to 7 star energy efficiency could reduce heating and cooling energy by 28% and CO2 emissions 37%.”
Insulated panels have a significant role to play in this shift; enabling homes that offer a more comfortable indoor climate year-round, with reduced downsides from condensation - and the health risks it poses. And as a market leader in this space, Bondor Metecno continues to innovate towards a more energy efficient future.