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Energy equivalence building standards (star ratings)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Impacts to Queensland Development Code for energy efficiency of residential buildings

The National Construction Code 2019 (NCC 2019) contains changes for energy efficient buildings, including the introduction of separate heating and cooling load limits for new residential buildings, both houses (class 1) and units (class 2).

In Queensland, energy efficiency requirements for residential buildings are contained in the Queensland Development Code MP 4.1–Sustainable buildings (QDC 4.1) (PDF, 92KB)). The QDC 4.1 requirements override the relevant NCC 2019 provisions.

Although the NCC 2019 energy efficiency requirements commenced 1 May 2020, the current QDC 4.1 (PDF, 92KB) (as dated 15 January 2013) will continue to apply in Queensland given the significant impact of COVID-19 on Queensland's construction industry and new homeowners.

For commercial buildings, the NCC 2019 changes made to Volume One (section J) are not affected by this delay and apply in Queensland from 1 May 2020.

The commencement date for the proposed update of QDC 4.1 will be advised in due course. The QDC 4.1 update will be made available well before the commencement date.

The energy equivalence rating of new houses, townhouses and units is determined by the design of the building's shell: the roof, walls, windows and floors.

Dwellings that are designed to be more energy efficient are more comfortable to live in, and can provide ongoing savings to householders by minimising energy use for artificial cooling and heating.

New houses and townhouses (class 1 buildings) must achieve a minimum 6-star energy equivalence rating.

New multi-unit residential buildings (class 2) must achieve an average 5-star energy equivalence rating for all units in the building.

This guide explains how energy requirements are assessed, and how to achieve a 6-star and 5-star energy rating standard for dwellings in Queensland.

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