Fenestration & Energy Efficiency

This section basically focuses on the encouragement of energy efficiency on architect's house plans and buildings at large – majoring in the South African context. It has been divided into a number of sections, all of which answer a specific question about the section.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

The overall energy efficiency practice is more of a planned and progressive plan and cause of action dating back as 2006. So, there have been some bodies and regulations which have been employed in the overall development of the energy efficiency plans and projects in South Africa. With these, it has been able to reduce energy usage by reducing heat transfer and allowing the development of the building envelope.

AAAMSA ROLE.

Back in 2006, this body established the South African Fenestration and Insulation Energy Rating Authorization.

SAFIERA ROLE.

This is the NFRC representative in South Africa under the administration of AAAMSA as seen above.

FOCUS IN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION SECTOR.

There are two key things which are considered in this area, these are:

  • Building envelope research like how walls and roofs have to be constructed.
  • Research on materials such as glass and insulation as well as the best types of materials to use in specific climatic conditions.

THE FENESTRATION ROADMAP IN SOUTH AFRICA

There have been a number of sequential steps forging the overall and current energy efficiency status, all of which have been achieved. These are:

  • AAMSA initiated the adoption of the ASTM and the NFRS standards via the assistance of SABS, which is now used for determining the fenestration performance.
  • There was the setting up of a laboratory which would in effect test the fenestration of products through the Thermal Testing Laboratory.
  • The collaborative agreement between the DoE/DoH and the AAAMSA was a major impact to the current energy efficiency status.
  • The laboratory transfer to the SABS and the expansion to a full Building Envelope Testing Service – BETS.
  • Prudent and adequate measurement as well as verification of test results using SAFIERA.

Owing to the fact that it is not wise to put all your eggs into one basket, some of the steps which are more crucial have not been achieved yet, these are:

  • Provision of energy ratings for all the fenestration products.
  • Administering independent and 3rd party certification as well as labelling program via SANAS.
  • A certified product directory which will contain information on thousands and thousands of approved energy fenestration products.

WHAT DOES THE FENESTRATION RATING PROCESS INVOLVE?

This simply involves 3 main things, which are:

  • Glass suppliers have to make sure that they actually supply their samples to PFG building Glass for any testing which may be deemed necessary for utmost energy efficiency.
  • Any sort of spectral optical properties have to be measured and then submitted to South African Glass Data Base if they are not registered with the IGDB.
  • The only software which is going to be used for the purpose of any sort of simulations is the one which has been developed by Berkeley. It will be used for the simulations of:
    - OPTICS: determine the spectra data for any sort of glazing products.
    - THERM: helps in the analysis of two-dimensional heat transferring via building products.
    - WINDOW: basically analyzes the overall window thermal performance.

WHY IS ENERGY EFFICIENCY TESTING AND RATING IMPORTANT?

Five main reasons are set as to why it is important to test and rate products. These are:

  • Basically help in verifying compliance with the National Building regulations SANS 10400:XA Energy Usage in Buildings.
  • EE Building Envelope if allowed to apply for the 12L EE Taxation incentives which actually tends to benefit customers more.
  • Usually helps in assisting professionals in making informed decisions appertaining any sort of Rational Design (will be discussed in detail in the course of the section)
  • Basically allows for promotion of energy efficiency through the provision of a baseline which will be used in the development and improvement of products.
  • Acts as a basis for performance comparison.