Commercial Services

Commercial Services

NCC 2019 Section J Impact Report

The 2019 NCC came into effect on the 1st May 2019 with the exception of Section J. Section J had a one year phase in period due to the substantial increase in stringency.

All projects with construction certificate submitted to council after the 30th of April 2020 are required to comply with Section J 2019 code requirements. The following report provides a summary of the predicted impacts.


View & Download Report:
Efficient Living’s NCC Section J 2019 Impact Summary (1)

Section J DtS Compliance Report

A Deemed to Satisfy (DtS) assessment is always the first step in Efficient Living’s National Construction Code (NCC) Section J energy efficiency assessment service. A DtS assessment sets out the minimum glazing and insulation requirements for commercial buildings and communal areas in residential buildings. Proof of compliance with Section J is generally required at the construction certificate stage. It is however advised that a preliminary glazing calculator is completed pre-development application as the results may influence design in terms of glass size, location and shading structure design.

Efficient Living’s final Section J DtS compliance reports are laid out in an easy to follow table with insulation plan markups and accompanying NCC glazing tables.

Section J JV3 Alternative Solution

The National Construction Code allows a JV3 Alternative Solution for commercial buildings. JV3 allows much more flexibility with regards to design and specification. Efficient Living uses DesignBuilder to model commercial buildings under the JV3 policy when the DtS solution is not deemed appropriate.

DesignBuilder incorporates the EnergyPlus simulation engine which predicts building greenhouse gas emissions and occupant thermal comfort.

Commercial energy efficiency performance targets are far more stringent than the baseline for the residential sector so it makes sense to rely on detailed modelling to inform the design process for these building classes.


It is becoming increasingly common to see DA conditions include the requirement to achieve a NABERS Energy Rating, either through a Design Assessment Report or Commitment Agreement. Commitment Agreements involve a NABERS review process to obtain a design rating, which enables a developer to market their building as a NABERS rated building whilst still in design, allowing high value tenants to be secured on more favourable lease terms.

Efficient Living offers a range of NABERS assessments, including Base Building Energy, Tenancy Energy and Shopping Centre assessments, ranging from concept stage advice for individual services to NABERS Commitment Agreements.

Green Star

Green Star is a holistic rating tool covering a wide range of sustainability initiatives. Efficient Living has extensive experience managing Green Star submissions, including both Design & As Built and Interiors ratings.

At Efficient Living we aim to consult with clients to determine the most feasible, cost-effective, highest value strategy for each project to ensure sustainable outcomes are optimised within budget.

Onsite Compliance

The Energy Efficiency framework in Australia revolves around buildings in the design stage. The As Built outcomes delivered to homeowners is not always as promised in early stage documentation.

There is now a lot of work being done to further educate certifiers and builders to improve build quality. In NSW, following the final inspection and prior to issuing a final occupation certificate, the certifying authority is required to issue a BASIX completion receipt. It is now becoming more common for certifiers of multi-residential and commercial building projects to request the final check to be completed by an independant Qualified Assessor rather than the builder.

Efficient Living provides this service to further support our building clients, reduce their liabilities and improve quality control. We aim to make the compliance process as easy as possible by providing installation certification documents for our clients to distribute to all relevant trades, complete the site inspections as required to ensure the building complies with Section J, Energy Efficiency of the National Construction Code (NCC).

Beautifully designed and specified buildings make our home and workspace more enjoyable. We thrive in bright, fresh and healthy environments. Businesses recognise the effect of indoor air quality on staff productivity and retention. Efficient Living understands sustainability has moved beyond energy efficiency and is now all about LIVABILITY.


  • We’ve had very thorough and efficient service from Efficient Living with each commission. In particular, we appreciate their willingness to test different options and problem solve for complex and unusual design situations.

    Alexandra Matyear, Whitcher Matyear Architects

  • Efficient Living have for the past few years provided excellent service at a reasonable cost and always on time. They make helpful suggestions to resolve any problems. I would recommend them to anyone needing advise in building thermal efficiency.

    John Smit, Mirvac Group

  • Our design had large amounts of glass to maximise the available view and included appropriate shading devices and thermal mass internally. Using the standard BASIX DIY program we were unable to comply even using high performance windows. Using thermal modelling provided by Efficient Living the building easily passed the BASIX requirement and the information enabled us create a building that performed even better thermally using simple design solutions.

    Peter James, Watershed Design

  • Efficient Living make us look good and help us deliver better outcomes. They make our buildings more efficient and our clients enjoy the benefits, then we take the credit. Thanks, Efficient Living

    Adam Pressley, All Australian Architecture

  • Efficient Living has provided me with energy assessments and advice, Section J and BASIX certification and advices for the last 8-10 years. On every occasion, it has exceeded my expectations in regards to timeliness and efficiency and all at a reasonable cost. On the occasions where adjustments have been required, they went out of their way to accommodate the project design intent with highly gratifying results. I recommend them very highly.

    Emile Jansen, Jansen Architecture

  • We have worked with Efficient Living for over ten years and have always found Tracey and her team to be responsive and professional. Our projects are far from standard and we have always been able to arrive at a workable solution in terms of BASIX compliance, that keeps everyone happy - including the environment.

    Kristin Utz, Utz Sanby Architects

  • We count on Efficient Living for all our BASIX needs, including reviewing and improving BASIX reports when we purchase sites with approved DA’s. Efficient Living has been able to standardise requirements across our developments, saving on compliance costs and making implementation easier. We would highly recommend Efficient Living’s professional services to provide solutions for saving water, reducing energy and improving thermal comfort.

    Mona Chao, Meriton Group

  • Yuhu Yuhu
  • UtzSanby UtzSanby
  • Tribeca Tribeca
  • Sekisui Sekisui
  • Mirvac Mirvac
  • Meriton Meriton
  • Humel Humel
  • Hobbs Jamieson Hobbs Jamieson
  • Frasers Property Frasers Property
  • Fox Johnston Fox Johnston
  • Beechwood Beechwood
  • AVJennings AVJennings
  • Aqualand Aqualand
  • Altis Architecture Altis Architecture