ABCB 2022 Heating and Cooling Load Limits - Summary

As part of the proposed updates to National Construction Code (NCC) 2022, the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) is releasing a new Standard for heating and cooling load limits for energy ratings using Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) software. The new load limits are based on updated data from NatHERS and CSIRO’s Australian Housing Data portal. The new dataset has been subject to extensive quality control and now contains almost four times more records than were used to develop the current ABCB Standard, published in 2019.

Load limit study

The NatHERS Administrator commissioned a detailed study to ensure load limits align with the ABCB’s proposed updates for NCC 2022. The comprehensive report Developing new heating and cooling load limits for updated NatHERS weather data covers three aspects:

  1. Adjustments to the current load limits to ensure the worst 5 per cent of heating and cooling loads are eliminated when additional data in the CSIRO Australian Housing Data portal is considered. This forms an accurate base for changes in steps 2 and 3.
  2. New load limits for the current 6-star stringency points using the new NatHERS climate files and star bands.
  3. New load limits for ABCB’s proposed 7-star stringency points using the new NatHERS climate files and star bands.

The new load limits for all climates, building classes and star rating levels are shown in the report, in a similar format to the ABCB load limit standard to allow easy comparison.

Please note that these tables also show load limits for some climate zones where load limits are not required by State regulation. Please also note that further work carried out after the publication of the load limits report has resulted in minor modifications to some of the proposed loads for NCC 2022. Proposed loads can be seen on the ABCB website. The ABCB will include its final decision on these limits in NCC 2022.

For further information see frequently asked questions or refer to the full Heating and Cooling Load Limit Report.