You may not be aware of the roll out of the 2022 National Construction Code next month?
Upon review there are a couple of changes that will impact on window & door design – increases to the Star Rating of new builds, and the new Whole-of-Home Rating. These changes apply to new builds Class 1 and Class 10, and additions over $50,000 in value.
The changes relating to energy efficiency and sustainability are what really got our attention as this is at the very core of what we do here at Insulate Double Glazing. As our name suggests, we offer energy-efficient double glazed solutions for windows and doors; made right here in Kelso NSW and backed by German engineering and innovations.
Windows and doors are an integral part of the fabric of any build and directly correlate to the overall aesthetic, functionality and now most significantly, assist with the energy efficiency of the home or building. We’ve seen time and time again how poor window and door choices impact on the livability and efficiency of the home. The NCC changes mean that skimping on the window and door design is no longer going to be an option.
We choose to use uPVC due to its excellent thermal qualities and durability. Our window and door profiles are made by Deceuinck. From a sustainability viewpoint, Deceuninck excels in manufacturing environmentally conscious products by using 100% recyclable TPE gaskets. They never use any lead or similar heavy metals in their products. Instead, they manufacture their profiles with stabilisers of calcium and zinc, which are far more environmentally friendly.
When it comes to the new energy efficiency requirements of the 2022 NCC, there are two areas as a designer or builder of new homes & additions that you may need to consider when deciding on your window & door design:
Residential Energy Efficiency
New homes will need to meet both a higher Star Rating for the building itself and a Whole-of-Home Rating for annual energy usage to receive a NatHERS certificate.
The minimum Star Rating for the building envelope will move up from 6 to 7 Stars. A home is deemed compliant when the 7 Star band limit is not exceeded by either the heating or the cooling loads. Loads vary depending on the location of the home. The cooler the climate, the more a homeowner will need to artificially heat their house, and in warmer climates, more artificial cooling will be required.
Achieving a 7 Star Rating will require increased performance across a range of building elements. Less than 10% of homes currently built in cooler climates like our Central West Region achieve 7 Stars, so this will be a major change for most home builders.
And a new Whole-of-Home Rating must be met by all new homes built. This applies to heating and cooling, hot water systems, lighting, swimming pool and spa pumps, and last but not least windows and doors. Sustainable energy systems, such as solar panels, are not mandatory but can be installed to keep a home’s energy under budget.
However, pushing for the highest possible Star Rating for the building itself in the first instance will make it easier to achieve the Whole of Home energy usage requirements.
Improvements have also been made to condensation management for residential buildings. These include the addition of a mould index to the existing Verification Method. Additional DTS provisions for vapour permeance of certain external wall and roof space materials and enhanced ventilation requirements for certain rooms and roof spaces. As well as additional provisions for tightly sealed buildings in the existing Verification Method.
We know how crucial it is to address condensation concerns in our Central West climate where winters can be brutally cold. A home with single glazed windows, running any method of home heating with no ventilation to the outside is the perfect scenario for producing extreme condensation when the temperatures outside are low. Moisture left unaddressed on these surfaces is a breeding ground for black mould which is detrimental to health. Condensation can also cause damage to timber frames, walls, architraves, carpet and flooring.
Double glazing will minimise these problems, as the gas between the two panes of glass will ensure that the inside glass remains at room temperature. Condensation issues will become a thing of the past and your home will be warm and dry when it needs it most! Double glazing is particularly important in the bathroom, a hotspot for mould.
Moisture also gathers at the coldest point of your room, which is usually around the edge of the glass. So, increasing the temperature at the edge of the glass is an effective solution. Aluminium windows will not achieve this unless the aluminium itself is also thermally broken, which is not a standard practice in the industry.
What all this means for your choice of windows?
As energy requirements increase, higher window performance may be required in some orientations. In cooler climates, such as the Central West, to achieve the 7 Star Rating requirement double glazing within main living areas may be sufficient. However, some homes may require full double glazing throughout. We would never recommend a combination of single and double glazing for a new build in our cold climate – the full benefit of double glazing is not achieved unless the whole home is glazed as such.
Window frame colour will also play a minor role in the energy equation. The NatHERS calculation will classify window frame colours under light, medium and dark categories. The solar absorption is lower when the colour is lighter. Lighter frames reflect heat and therefore are far more favourable in a hot climate. Whereas darker colours absorb heat, making them a better choice in cooler climates where bringing in warmth is the higher priority.
Outstanding Thermal Performance at Insulate Double Glazing
uPVC has excellent thermal insulating properties, unlike the aluminium alternative that will not prevent cold/heat transfer unless the aluminium frame is also thermally broken. Our IGUs use a range of toughened and Low-E glazing options with a 16mm gap filled with argon gas. The gap between the panes is the main source of insulation. The gap and any gas slow down the thermal transfer by conduction. Our systems don’t trap heat, instead, they slow it down to reduce the amount of heat lost in winter; and gained in summer. A lack of circulation within the panes also helps to reduce heat transfer.
For example, in winter the cold air will hit the IGU, rather than entering your home. It instead reaches the gas or air between the panes. By the time it hits the second pane, if it does at all, it is no longer freezing cold, and therefore won’t affect the temperature within your home.
In light of the 2022 NCC, we firmly believe that uPVC Double Glazed systems are the best choice for keeping your home’s temperature stable, reducing your energy consumption and eliminating dangerous mould causing condensation.
For more information please do drop in to our showroom, call or email.