SANS 10400-XA regulates the minimum standards required in terms of energy efficiency in new buildings.
This legislation covers everything from building orientation to glazing to hot water supply to building envelope requirements and energy usage. The exact requirements differ around the country. South Africa has been divided into 6 zones and the KwaZulu Natal North Coast falls under Climatic Zone 5.
The regulations limit the amount of glazing allowed in a building relation to its size, each window and door’s orientation, their individual shading and type of glass. Glazing orientated north and south are favoured over those facing east and west.
The standards also require 50% of the building’s hot water supply needs to be obtained through means other than electrical resistance heating, meaning generally either solar geysers, heat pumps or gas geysers will need to be installed.
All exposed hot water pipes and geysers need to be insulated.
R-value refers to a material’s thermal insulation capacity. SANS 10400-XA specifies minimum R-values for all walls, roofs and floors according the building’s Climatic Zone.
The upside of these regulations is that although initial construction costs will be higher, the energy saving in the long run will be substantial, considering South Africa’s rising energy costs.