What Are the Pros and Cons of Deemed To Satisfy (DTS) Energy Compliance Pathway?
- Low cost: DtS energy compliance report cost the least between different energy compliance avenues.
- Fast to obtain: DtS energy compliance report can be delivered in a single day.
- Easy to follow: Any person can refer to the National Construction Code and read/understand the minimum energy requirements
At Energy Compliance we always recommend the DtS solution as a first option as it is low cost, fast and most of the time-efficient.
- Deemed To Satisfy result in a more expensive glazing solution.
- It is prescriptive and very strict and no change is allowed to be made regardless of any limitations that your building may have.
- If your council demands proof of sufficient natural light access through daylight modelling, a VURB assessment would be more cost-effective as a little modification to the VURB model can make a daylighting model.
Glazing requirements under DTS is always the most expensive glazing option. This is due to the fact DTS glazing calculator only looks at glazing as an individual item and doesn’t consider the holistic performance of the entire building. This results in very expensive glazing requirements that doesn’t necessarily mean better overall energy performance at a similar cost.
For instance, under DtS for residential, you might be required to have very expensive windows with an average U-value of below U2.0. Under the DTS energy compliance pathway, you commit to follow the NCC minimum requirements and you cannot skip any of its requirements.
What Are Alternatives to DTS Compliance Pathway?
NCC offers an alternative Energy Compliance method that considers holistic building performance. This importantly allows us to consider the interaction between all the different parts of the building fabric, and to improve some parts by assigning alternative, lower-cost DTS thermal performance requirements to the rest of the building.
NCC allows utilising a simple modelling method, NatHERS star rating or the performance-based Verification Using Reference Building (VURB) method.
NatHERS star rating is recommended for small and medium-size houses.
VURB is recommended for high-end houses, with a large footprint, high raked ceilings and high glazing area. This method essentially provides flexibility in how to achieve Energy Compliance and reduce construction costs.
It is worth noting that for a commercial building, there are also several alternative energy compliance pathway like JV2 modelling, JV3 modelling and NABERS.
Who needs a residential energy DtS report?
All new buildings and major renovation/extension require construction to the minimum energy efficiency standards in the National Construction Code. For renovation/extension bigger than a threshold specified by different states, the whole house should also be brought up to the current standards. As a first step in energy compliance, you will need to obtain a report (such as Section 3.12 Volume 1 – Deemed to Satisfy Report) demonstrating compliance to the National construction code.
A Section J compliance report is part of the documentation required when applying for a building permit. The report is used by the building surveyor to satisfy your local council requirements.
Who can deliver a deemed to satisfy report?
You can do it yourself, or get a qualified mechanical engineer with similar experience background to produce a residential DTS report. Highly qualified mechanical engineers with an in-depth understanding of building services and building materials, with experience in the NCC, are the people who can best identify energy cost-saving opportunities and reduce construction costs while satisfying energy compliance requirements.
For the purpose of the ESD reports and also lower glazing and insulation costs, we often redirect our clients to the more effective ways of achieving energy compliance with methods like VURB. Some projects from our past experience is presented below: