One of the biggest advantages cove.tool has over its competitors is automation. When setting a project's location, the tool automatically populates the project with local weather data, regionally adopted energy code information, localized cost and carbon factors, and more. This article will discuss the key automation done to populate the most relevant standards to make our platform compatible with projects in Australia.
In Australia, cove.tool is configured to utilize the NCC (National Construction Code) 2019 automatically. You can read more about NCC 2019 here.
The default envelope values for all projects created for this region are referenced from 'Part J1 Building Fabric' of NCC volume 1 which contains the requirements for multi-residential, commercial, industrial and public buildings, and structures. Users can override the automatic configuration and change the standards to adhere to a different energy code, or edit the baseline values to better match their proposed design. The facade calculator developed by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) can also be used to obtain assembly values and further applied in the app by following the steps in this article.
Weather files for Australian provinces can be found on the Energy Plus website. If the files for the region are unavailable, users may input their own data so long as it is a .epw file type through the loadmodeling.tool. Steps for custom weather file upload are here.
Launched by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003, Green Star is an Internationally recognized sustainability rating system for the built environment. 1 to 6 stars can be achieved based on best practices or sustainability outcomes from the Green Star Rating Scale. Cove.tool can be used to assist users in the following Green Star credits.
Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) - Visual Comfort, 12.2 Views
Energy - Green House Gas Emissions, 15A Prescriptive Way
Water - Potable Water, 18B - Prescriptive Pathway
Read more about it here.
Cost differences in building material for Australian users are also accounted for in cove.tool on a per-state/territory basis. Although material costs are principally sourced for North America, these values are then localized based on the International perceived cost factors database. Initial cost-sourcing is accomplished through field research, leveraging our partnerships with various manufacturers, and by performing literary research using credible and reputable publications. We also reference costs that users have shared. At the moment, that covers 4 categories seen in the optimization tool: wall insulation, glazing assembly, HVAC systems, and lighting systems. Lastly, our costs only reflect bare material cost and do not reflect labor, equipment, freight, taxes, and/or other market-driven premiums which may impact your cost. Learn more here.
Carbon emissions are calculated using carbon emissions factors local to your State, Province, Territory, or Country. These factors are applied to the electricity usage of the project and a constant value is used against the natural gas usage. Emissions factors for natural gas are sourced from the Australian Government in a Published 2018 Report.