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Introduction of energy performance certificates for buildings in South Africa

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The Civic Centre, the chair of the town administration in Johannesburg, was certified for its energy performance by the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, Germany within the Enerkey project. According to the goals of the City Council, public buildings shall act as leading examples for energy efficiency. The Civic Centre is a prime example for energy efficiency of public buildings as the total (final) energy use for heating, hot water, ventilation, cooling and lighting of the building accumulates to 102 kWh/m²a. This is 49% below the national mean value for office buildings in South Africa.

When buying a car or appliance, an energy efficiency label, usually indicating energy efficiency classes, is displayed to inform the consumer of the product's energy efficiency. When talking about energy efficiency in the built environment it is important to know how much energy is consumed by various building types. Within the EnerKey Project an EnerKey Performance Certificate for South African buildings was developed. The certificate compares the consumption of a building with national reference values taken from the South African National Standard on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (SANS 204-1).

Designing and planning high-performance buildings requires profound knowledge of the complex interaction between architecture, building, heating, cooling, air-conditioning and lighting technologies. With the aim of substantially improving the energy performance of buildings, Fraunhofer IBP has developed sophisticated building concepts for more than 25 years now in close collaboration with the construction industry.