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Are you ready for 1 May energy efficiency changes for houses?

March 03, 2020

While the National Construction Code (NCC) was updated last year, the energy efficiency changes were delayed for 12 month to allow industry further time to adjust and prepare. The transition period ends 1 May so all building applications made after 1 May 2020 will need to be in line with the revised provisions.

What are the changes? 

For Class 1 buildings there are two main changes: 

  • the verification using reference building method now has more prescriptive rules for using the method and for what computer modelling programs can be used;
  • A NatHERS 6 star assessment now also needs to meet separate heating and cooling load limits (in all states apart from NSW and WA).

The changes also include more prescriptive building sealing provisions to address condensation and a new optional compliance method to using a ‘blower door test method’.

What about apartments? 

For Class 2 apartment buildings (and commercial buildings) the changes are far reaching with substantial stringency increases and new methodologies for assessing a ‘window to wall’ ratio, assessing building fabric and assessing common use areas and mixed use areas of apartment buildings and their services.

How can I learn more? 

HIA is delivering seminars on the changes to provide further details and highlight practical ways to meet the new requirements. 

Members and non-members are encouraged to register to attend these seminars and more dates and location will be announced shortly so keep an eye out at

It is worth noting that the changes apply differently in each states, so it is important you check how the changes apply in your state or if you will like further information you can contact HIA’s Building Services Team on 1300 650 620 or email