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SANS 10400

New Energy Efficient Building Legislation – SANS 10400 XA

On the 9th of September 2011 The National Standard SANS 10400 (building regulations) have been amended to include Part X (which addresses environmental sustainability) and Part XA (Energy usage in buildings including deemed-to-satisfy requirements).

What the law stipulates is that all buildings, as well as alterations and additions, where plans need to be drawn up and submitted (besides garages and storage areas) must be designed and constructed in such an energy efficient way that they can help to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases. (Please refer to the Government Gazette Act for full changes – see link at the bottom of the page).

Building Occupancy Classes Applicable to the New Legislation
As per TIASA (The Thermal Insulation Association of South Africa), the level of insulation will depend on the climatic zone, building construction type, and whether auxiliary heating and/or cooling is used.
The following deemed-to-satisfy rules are to be applied by the building owner at the design stage of the building if he chooses not to consider a rational design option. A roof and/or ceiling that are part of the building envelope must achieve the Total R-Value as specified in SANS 10400-XA for the direction of heat flow.
“Deemed-to-satisfy” means the requirements that ensure compliance with the relevant legislation such as SANS 10400 XA and SANS 204 Energy efficiency in buildings. The table above provides typical data and deemed-to-satisfy thicknesses of generic insulation products in accordance with SANS 204 Energy Efficiency in buildings.
The effectiveness of Thermal Insulation material is rated in terms of thermal resistance (R-value), which indicates how well the insulation resists heat flow (heat transfer) – or how effective it is in limiting heat transfer in and out of a house or building. Generally, the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is. The R-value of thermal insulation depends on the type of material, its thickness and its density.
There are a few factors to consider when selecting thermal insulation:
  • Is it in compliance with the relevant South African National Standards applicable to the product?
  • Does it conform to the South African National Building Regulations?
  • Is it appropriate for the intended occupancy or building classification in accordance with SANS 10400 Part A General requirements?
  • Does it comply with the fire safety requirements given in SANS 10400-T Fire Safety and SANS 428 fire performance classification of thermal insulated building envelope systems?
  • Does the product comply with the recommended R-value for the relevant climatic zones in accordance with SANS 10400-XA Energy usage and SANS 204 Energy efficiency in buildings?

The new insulation standards state that the insulation products should show the manufacturer’s name, product trade name, R-Value (thermal resistance) and fire classification obtained. This data must be fixed permanently to the original product, data sheet and packaging. If these are not there, don’t use it!

SANS 10400 – Amended National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act

The SANS 10400 NBR consists of the following parts:
  • Part A: General Principles and Requirements
  • Part B: Structural Design
  • Part C: Dimensions
  • Part D: Public Safety
  • Part F: Site Operations
  • Part G: Excavations
  • Part H: Foundations
  • Part J: Floors
  • Part K: Walls
  • Part L: Roofs
  • Part M: Stairways
  • Part N: Glazing
  • Part O: Lighting and Ventilation
  • Part R: Storm Water Disposal
  • Part S: Facilities for Persons with Disabilities
  • Part T: Fire Protection
  • Part V: Space Heating
  • Part W: Fire Installation
  • Part XA: Energy Usage in Buildings
(A copy of the regulation can be purchased from SABS).

SANS 10400 XA – Energy usage in Buildings

SANS 10400 XA – Government Gazette 9 September 2011 



SANS 10400 T – Fire Protection Regulation

Any insulation, insulating panel or lining used as a thermal insulation system under an external covering as part of a roof or wall assembly (thermal insulated building envelope), tested in accordance with SANS 10177-5 and found to be combustible, shall be accepted if, when classified in terms of the SANS 428 protocol, its use and application are acceptable.

SANS 10177 – Fire testing of materials and components used in buildings

SANS 10177 Part 2 – Fire resistance test for building elements
SANS 10177 Part 5 – The method used to test the non-combustibility of homogeneous and non-homogeneous building materials at 750°C.
SANS 10177 Part 9 – Small-scale burning characteristics of building materials: ignition, flame spread and heat contribution.
SANS 10177 Part 10 – Surface burning characteristics of building materials using the inverted channel tunnel test.
SANS 10177 Part 11 – Large-scale fire performance evaluation of building envelop thermal insulation systems (with or without sprinklers).
Please refer to the latest Fire Classification Register from TIASA. (Follow the link below and select the latest Fire Performance Classification Register).

SANS 204
– Energy efficiency in buildings (Same requirements for roof assemblies than SANS 10400 XA Energy usage in buildings).
(A copy of the full regulation can be purchased from SABS).

SANS 428
– The fire performance classification of thermal insulated building envelope systems. This standard incorporates all factors required for fire-hazard or fire-risk assessment of the materials, or assemblies under actual fire conditions.
(A copy of the full regulation can be purchased from SABS).


TIASA (Thermal Insulation Association of South Africa)



Department of Energy