Simulate your building to see how it will perform.
The SANS 10400-XA standard is part of a nationwide attempt to introduce greater energy efficiency into buildings. While compliance with this standard itself is not mandatory, it is one way (preferred by most) of complying with the XA1, XA2 and XA3 regulations which are mandatory.
Since this standard was released, however, there have been several challenges in implementing it on new constructions. One of those challenges has been attempting to comply with the standard in terms of energy efficiency while still maintaining a good indoor environmental quality that has large enough windows and good thermal comfort properties. It has been shown that one of the best ways of navigating this balance, and achieving a building with good indoor environmental quality that also complies with SANS10400-XA is to use energy modelling. See Integrated Design alongside for a fuller description of Energy Modelling.
Energy Modelling used as an integrated design tool is one of the most effective means of increasing the efficiency of a building. Highly sophisticated Energy Modelling software is used to simulate a building and its surrounding conditions. The outcome of this simulation is the building’s annual energy performance.
By using Energy Modelling as an integrated design tool, a building can be simulated to assess the efficiency of an existing design and how well the system will perform over the year (e.g. HVAC systems, lighting etc.). These results can then be analysed in order to understand where systems could be optimised, resized, and or subtracted from the building designs.
Recommendations can thus be provided to the designers who will update their designs to improve the buildings performance. As new information arises and decisions are made, all updates can be remodelled and constantly optimised. This is the process of integrated design.
Both the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) have recognised the immense benefits of Energy Modelling. As such, it appears in both the LEED and Green Star SA rating systems. In both cases, Energy Modelling is an option of a compliance route for pre-requisite/conditional requirements. In other words, Energy Modelling is a compliance route for a mandatory certification requirement in both cases. In the case of LEED, it is referred to as part of Energy and Atmosphere Pre-requisite 2 (EAp2), and in the case of Green Star SA it is referred to as part of the Energy Conditional Requirement (Ene – Conditional Requirement).
Energy Modelling has been shown to be the compliance route that is typically the easiest to implement and the most beneficial. See Integrated Design alongside for a fuller description of Energy Modelling.