The Alternative Solution Approach – Section J

We have received quite a few enquiries about JV3 Verification Method alternative solutions for various types of commercial buildings in the past few months. There is a gradual recognition of the value of using JV3 to reach Section J compliance despite of the possibly higher cost associated with JV3 comparing to that of Deemed-To-Satisfy (DTS) assessment.

DTS is the default compliance route which provides some general benefits such as relatively low cost, less time required and it more straight forward. Nevertheless the DTS approach looks at each building element either in total isolation or only with limited fixed options for trade-offs.

Alternatively, JV3 can effectively provide flexibility by looking at the performance of the whole building as a total system.

There are several reasons for the growing interest in JV3 approach:

The requirements for building fabric insulation and glazing have been made significantly more stringent since the major amendment of Section J in 2010. It is not uncommon that the DTS results for some designs may have significantly different thermal performance requirements on glazing for different facades. In these situations, it is likely that different type of glass and/or frames may be required on different facades, which often cause significant design. Alternatively JV3 may provide the solution with one type of glass throughout the external fabrics.

Even though JV3 may cost a bit more due to the requirements of energy modeling and simulation process, the approach may allow significant cost savings in materials and construction. Our experience with a variety of commercial projects indicates that the savings achieved from construction often substantially outweigh the additional costs spent on JV3 assessment.

Furthermore, JV3 is the only method that can acknowledge the use of on-site renewable energy production such as solar, wind and geothermal, or energy reclaimed from another process (e.g. Trigeneration, Cogeneration, other waste heat recovery systems) to satisfy the performance requirements of BCA Section J.

Spring 2011

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