Window proection: biggest green cost outlay in housing

Posted On Tuesday, 13 December 2011 02:00 Published by
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The latest national building regulations, which have been promulgated to make South African housing more energy efficient and operationally ‘green’, are commendable

The latest national building regulations (SANS 10400 and, more particularly, SANS 204 and XA) which have been promulgated to make South African housing more energy efficient and operationally ‘green’ are commendable and on the right track. However, Paul Henry, managing director of Rawson Developers, maintains they will add considerably to the cost of constructing a home.

“Not only do the new rulings call for the use of additional materials and/or more expensive materials, they will also add to the cost of the design.  Architects and engineers will probably have to charge more to cover the extra work now required of them.

“What is more,” said Henry, “the South African Bureau of Standards has already announced that further regulations have already been drafted and will be introduced in the not too distant future.” 

These, he predicts, will add still more to the initial cost of housing.

From now on developers and house designers will have to ensure that:

  • 50% of their homes’ water heating is done by non-electrical means, such as solar heating or wind power;
  • wherever practicable, all living areas face north, while kitchens and bathrooms must face south;
  • both the roof and the ground floor are insulated with highly efficient prescribed materials;
  • all fenestration (windows and glazed doors or walls) is kept within certain ratios relative to the floor area.  The rulings here may result in architects having to use different frames, reflective or “tinted” glass or double-glazing and they are likely to result in the incorporation of shading devices such as overhangs, canopies or shutters.

From now on, says Henry, any architects or designers submitting plans for approval have to prove that they are certified as “competent”.  This, in turn, implies that they have received specialist training in energy efficient design.

“By far the largest new outlays,” says Henry, “will be in fenestration protection.  This could add a significant burden to the bill, but at least the rules have been adapted to suit different geographic areas of the country.  The rulings for the more temperate regions are not as stringent as those for the hot districts.”

Publisher: eProp
Source: RPG

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