The new H1 energy efficiency standard in New Zealand has raised the bar for building performance, including, interestingly, the use of natural light. For architects and designers, complying with the H1 standard can be a challenge, especially in projects where natural light is crucial for occupant comfort and wellbeing. However, with the use of the Calculation Method, it is possible to take a more holistic approach to H1 compliance, which can result in better overall solutions for energy-efficient housing. One such solution is a Solatube skylight, which delivers high levels of natural light and can help achieve H1 compliance with minimal modifications to the building.
Under the H1 requirements, skylights can be assessed using either the Acceptable Solution or the Calculation Method, and Solatube daylighting systems are assessed as a skylight under H1. The Acceptable Solution specifies R-values of 0.46-0.62, depending on the Climate Zone, to achieve compliance with the H1 requirements. The Calculation Method considers all building envelope components in relation to a reference building, allowing give and take between components.
Using the Acceptable Solution, Solatube can achieve compliance with the H1 requirements for Climate Zones 1 and 2 by including a thermal insulation panel with an R-value of R0.48, which exceeds the minimum R-value requirements for these Climate Zones.
For the remaining Climate Zones, Solatube can still achieve compliance with H1 requirements through the Calculation Method. The Calculation Method considers all building envelope components in relation to a reference building. This method enables designers and architects to accommodate one or multiple Solatube skylights with minimal window reduction or a minimal increase in roof insulation as most designs will meet or exceed the reference standard without any modifications.
A Solatube system can be an ideal solution for meeting G7 Natural Light standards and H1 standards together, particularly in challenging sites or within high-density developments. The Solatube team is happy to review your design and provide a full calculation report for further information to ensure compliance with the H1 standard.
By choosing Solatube skylights, architects and designers can provide a sustainable and energy-efficient solution for meeting H1 compliance. The advanced optics and highly reflective tubing of the Solatube daylighting system deliver high levels of natural light year-round and have the flexibility to be installed in multi-level dwellings without significant affects to heat retention.