New SANS requirements impacts property sector

How will the the recently announced SANS 10400-XA, which regulates the minimum standards required in terms of energy efficiency in new buildings, affect new developments?

The new legislation makes it imperative for developers to find ways to reduce the carbon footprint and increase sustainable developments. This means that the cost of developing the properties will rise as developers find ways to achieve the requirements which in turn affects the consumers.

The new legislation was promulgated in November 2011 and owners could apply for exemption for projects where design had started before the legislation was gazetted or within six  months of coming into effect even if construction only started afterwards. Exemption approvals carry a 12 month validity period.

All projects in the future however will need to adhere to SANS 10400-XA, which covers everything from pipe thermal quality to energy usage.

The biggest obstacle to overcome in the industry will be making consumers understand that while initial building costs will be higher they will reap the benefits in the long run as they will save on energy consumption.

One of the requirements of the new legislation is that glazing in the building be installed on north facing façades to allow for solar heat to penetrate the glazing during winter months. New buildings are going to have to limit the amount of West facing glazing to a stipulated percentage of the net floor area and will also have had to incorporate shading devices, high performance glass and double glazing.

Will the new legislation mean that investors will see more money in green building?

With the rising energy cost in South Africa it will be only a matter of time before investors realise that even if initial costs are high, the benefits in the long run is smarter business.

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