green building compliance

The South African National Building 10400–XA Regulations (SANS 10400-XA), which are aimed at environmental sustainability and energy usage in buildings, set a range of standards and requirements for energy-efficient design and construction. Explore this section to find out more about the different routes to achieving SANS 10400-XA compliance.


Prescriptive route (or deemed-to-satisfy route)

This route involves a prescribed set of minimum requirements for the building design that cannot be deviated from. Plan approval submissions must show that all elements of SANS10400-XA have been included in the design.

Designers must consider eight elements for the design of the building envelope and services:

  • Building orientation
  • Shading
  • Fenestration
  • Floors
  • External walls
  • Roof assembly
  • Services that use or control the use of energy
  • Hot water supply

For the best outcome in efficiency and cost, an integrated design approach is best when it comes to meeting SANS10400-XA requirements (rather than meeting the requirements of each design element in isolation).

Deviation from the prescriptive requirements of the building regulations of SANS 10400-XA is allowed as long as the overall energy use intensity performance (kWh/m2/annum) and peak energy demand (VA/m2) meets the required benchmarks.


Performance route (or rational assessment)

This route to compliance requires the use of Agrément-certified thermal simulation software to confirm that a building performs to a level that is equal to or better than that provided by SANS10400-XA. A competent person (qualified through education, training, experience or knowledge) must sign off against this simulation.


Reference building route

This route involves the use of certified thermal modelling software to demonstrate better performance compared to a reference building designed in accordance with SANS10400-XA.


Find out about the green building certifications available in South Africa.

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Green building benefits

From improving our health to creating employment, green buildings are good for us.

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Green building resources

From solar panels to green home loans, find more tips and information about green buildings here.

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