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SANS 10400-XA - Energy Efficiency and Energy Use in the Built Environment

August 2012

SANS 10400-XA, published in August 2011, is the new part of the South African standard for environmental sustainability and energy usage in buildings, and forms part of the National Building Regulations. For now, its focus is purely on energy consumption and maximum energy demand. In order to comply with the standard, various “deemed to satisfy” insulation and glazing requirements are provided, with some sections requiring compliance with parts of SANS 204 (meeting all SANS 204 requirements would automatically meet all requirements for SANS 10400-XA).

While the “deemed to satisfy” approach will lead to an efficient building, it is still a general solution that can sometimes be difficult to meet, and can almost always be improved upon by a custom design optimised for a particular building’s unique demands. Fortunately, the standard allows for a competent person (that’s us!) to certify a design based purely on a building’s theoretical performance (total and peak energy usage, as well as occupant comfort, need to be proven to exceed SANS 10400-XA requirements). This isn’t a “get out of jail free card” – but it does mean that unnecessary costs can be avoided, and only those aspects that genuinely improve the performance of your particular building need to be implemented.

If you are struggling to interpret SANS 10400-XA, don’t hesitate to contact us for help!

March 2008

The SABS Technical Committee (SC 59G) that has been deliberating on Energy Efficient Buildings for what seems like a decade now has finally released their proposed amendment to SANS 10400.  The document is called SANS 10400 PART XA: ENERGY USAGE and has a closing date of 20th July 2010 for comments.  It goes hand in hand with SAN204 which, rumour has it, will be release in a new one part format.

So for the moment SANS 10400-XA refers to the existing 3-part SAN 204. This make for interesting reading?   Our understanding was that Part XA would reference a new one part version of SANS 204 which would contain the actual performance data, yet we find a smattering of actual performance data ( R values for example ) in the SANS Document.  SANS204 remains the deemed-to-satisfy requirement, but Part XA allows for buildings that can be shown by a "competent person" to use less energy than the specified baseline - both in terms of Maximum energy demand and Maximum annual consumption.
Other compliance paths require the use of "certified thermal calculation software" by these competent persons. Weather files for simulation will be provided by Agreement South Africa.
Let’s all hope that there are no roadblock. When all is said and done, we need this document to be passed - as the SANS people say “The public enquiry stage will be repeated if the technical committee agrees to significant technical changes to the document as a result of public comment. Less urgent technical comments will be considered at the time of the next amendment.”
We need to accept this document (and even SANS 204) for what it is - a starting point.  Refinement will come over the years - It took 35 years for ASHRAE 90.1 to get where it is.

Energy Efficiency BS - have a quick read here... File size - 80kb.

Energy Efficiency Building Science

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