This article is intended as a heads up to our clients about the soon to be implemented changes to Basix. It’s also a reminder to those who know about the changes but might not have noticed that the implementation of these modifications is fast approaching.
On the 1st July 2017, Basix energy targets will increase. The stringency for the heating and cooling caps will also increase.
There are no changes planned at this time for water targets.
What does this mean?
The thermal comfort section will reduce the maximum heating and cooling loads so it will be more difficult to comply. Thermal comfort is affected by all elements of the building design – floor plan, glazing, materials, orientation etc. Essentially it assesses the passive thermal performance of the building. Some houses will meet the new standard with little more than increased insulation but for many that won’t be sufficient and they will require higher performance glazing. The thermal comfort caps have been increased a lot, for example it will increase 31% for both average heating and cooling caps in NatHERS climate zone 56, which means single low E and double glazing will commonly be used to replace single glazing clear.
Minimising the need for these expensive measures requires a greater focus on designing the house for passive thermal performance. A refresher course in passive solar design principles and applying them to their designs would be a good idea for architects/designers.
The energy section is about appliance energy efficiency and also becomes more stringent. Some houses will pass without much difficulty but for those that struggle, we can expect to see more solar water heaters and photo-voltaic systems being required.
As always, when regulatory changes are expected, planning ahead will help. If you have a project ready, make sure you get your Basix certificate before July 1st to avoid the potential need for changes to design in order to comply. If your project will be ready after 1st July make sure your design takes the new provisions into account.
Please refer to Basix Target Changes for further information.