Section J of the BCA concerns energy efficiency. It ensures that all new commercial buildings, including multi-residential developments, use energy efficiently to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint. The section has several parts that deal with a range of design factors including the building’s fabric and sealing, external glazing, artificial lighting and power, and air-conditioning and ventilation systems. All new commercial buildings must have a compliance report to prove they adhere to Section J.
What’s the Problem with Section J?
Any measures that make the construction and building industries greener are to be commended. However, Section J introduced many widespread changes that some organisations struggled to implement. Experts suggest that construction professionals from designers to business surveyors did not receive the upskilling required to competently meet these new requirements.
Designers instead looked to consulting engineers who specialised in green design to determine whether their facades would comply with Section J. Consultation between these professionals could be a lengthy process that compromised creativity and delayed work for clients.