What is this Energy Efficiency I've been hearing about?
The Energy Efficiency in buildings document, SANS 10400XA, should not be confused with the words Eco, Green, or any of those
smart catchwords the media have been using.
The SANS document are the rules that architectural professionals have to adhere to. The document was gazetted around November 2011 and it's here to stay. The most important things that have to be taken into consideration are:
Fenestration – Which means windows. Windows are thin, they let heat through easily. Therefore rules have been put in place to ensure minimal energy loss either by heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. They should be so designed to ensure minimal heating by the sun during the summer, preventing the necessity of air conditioners, and to let sun in during the winter, to reduce the use of heaters.
Walls – Need to have a certain amount of resistance to heat, once again to help regulate the temperature in the house.
Roofs – The use of materials like silver foil, roof insulation etc. is brought into play to help keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
Geysers and piping – All geysers and piping should be installed in such a way that minimal heat loss occurs from the heater to the taps. Also, fifty percent of the annual water heating should be by means other than electricity, such as gas, or more commonly, solar power.
The annual theoretical energy consumption of the house.
All of this mean a lot of math and calculations, but don't worry, I can do all of that for you. The above might sound expensive, and some of it will cost money at build time, but thereafter it will save you money on a continual monthly basis, and is worth every bit of effort.