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February 2015 | EDG 82 MS

BCA Section J and Commercial Building Facade Design

Michael Shaw

To address the growing contribution to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by the commercial building sector, the minimum energy performance requirements in the National Construction Code (NCC) Volume One were strengthened in 2010. Section J of the NCC codifies minimum glazing thermal performance measures for both facade vision glazing and roof lights. In NCC 2014 the facade glazing requirements for aged care facilities were relaxed, permitting a 20% increase in glazed area allowances.

The difficulty with Section J is that it fails to explain succinctly to a designer what is meant by a compliant design or what one might look like. This paper attempts to address this failure by presenting a range of strategies and design charts for different climate zones to enable commercial building designers to quickly design innovative, high-performance, NCC-compliant facade concepts.

** This design note was updated in May 2016. Click here to go to updated design note. **  

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