Energy efficiency in housing and commercial buildings is regulated by the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Buildings are required to meet minimum standards of efficiency relevant to the climate zone, including the building fabric, glazing, insulation, sealing of the building, air movement, services, electricity and water use. 

Our Shire is in climate zone 5.

Residential houses

The energy efficiency requirements for housing (Class 1 buildings and certain Class 10 buildings and structures) are contained in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Volume Two, which forms part of the National Construction Code.

The performance requirements for new housing take into account both the thermal performance of the house and performance of its domestic services.

Options for complying with energy efficiency requirements

The options to meet the energy efficiency performance requirement of a house as set out in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) Volume Two, can be achieved through Deemed-to-Satisfy provisions or an alternative solution.

When submitting a building permit application to the Shire for new buildings or major additions to a building, (other than most Class 10), the application will need to meet the required energy efficiency/sustainability requirements.

Alternatively, certification from a Registered First Rate or NatHers energy efficiency assessor for the proposed design may be submitted.

Find a registered assessor on the Australian Building Sustainability Association website.

WA alterations and additions protocol for energy efficiency

The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has supported an industry-led project to provide a practical building solution to enable alterations and additions in Class 1 or attached Class 10 buildings to meet the energy efficiency requirements. This project has resulted in the development of a WA Alterations and Additions Protocol for Energy Efficiency (the Protocol).

The Protocol provides the basis of an alternative solution that can be developed to demonstrate compliance with the BCA’s energy efficiency performance requirements for alterations and additions in Class 1 and Class 10 buildings.

Commercial buildings

Energy efficiency for Class 2-9 buildings with conditioned space is required to be assessed, and a report submitted with the building permit application.

Small offices and some workshops and warehouses are exempt; however, a suitably qualified consultant should be engaged early in the development stage to ensure the building is energy efficient.

Future changes

The Federal Government and the Australian Building Codes Board is reviewing the energy efficiency standards on a regular basis. Future versions of the Building Code of Australia will likely have increased minimum requirements.

More information and contact

The Building Code of Australia (BCA), which forms part of the National Construction Code, can be downloaded for free.

For more information, please contact the Shire’s Building Services Team on (08) 9780 5291 or email [email protected]

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