Building Regulations SANS 10400-XA

SANS 10400-XA, published in August 2011, is the new part of the South African standard for environmental sustainability and energy usage in buildings, and forms part of the National Building Regulations. For now, its focus is purely on energy consumption and maximum energy demand. In order to comply with the standard, various “deemed to satisfy” insulation and glazing requirements are provided, with some sections requiring compliance with parts of SANS 204 (meeting all SANS 204 requirements would automatically meet all requirements for SANS 10400-XA).

Download PDF: SANS-10400XA(2013).pdf

The National Building Regulation Part XA

The regulations specify what has to be done to design minimum requirements that will satisfy the energy efficiency in buildings. These regulations are supported by SANS 10400 Part XA. The South Africa’s national standards provides the how to satisfy the regulations to ensure compliance with the minimum requirements, in a format called the deemed to satisfy requirements. All the regulations covered by the National Building Regulations follow the same format.

What does SANS 10400 Part XA entail?

Much standardisation work has already been done around individual energy-saving devices such as energy-efficient light bulbs and solar water heaters. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the National Building Regulation Part XA and supported by SANS 10400 Part XA incorporates these existing standards into a holistic overview of the entire construction process, which then serves as a single reference document to help architects, building construction companies and other stakeholders to ensure that their buildings comply with energy efficiency requirements as described in the standard.

SANS 10400 Part XA, through relevant requirements of SANS 204 also address’s other energy efficiency factors (described in further detail in the publication) such as:

  • The orientation of the building, with well-used areas facing north to make best use of natural sunlight and warmth.
  • Suitable roof overhangs to keep out the high summer sun but let in the winter sun, when the sun is lower in the sky.
  • Sensible fenestration (windows) to let in light and sun, but not so much that natural warmth or coolness cannot be retained.
  • The use of appropriate heating, ventilation and air-conditioning installations where required, and
  • Solar water heaters become mandatory with all new buildings being erected.

Scope of the Standard

SANS 204 specifies the design requirements for energy efficiency in buildings and of services in buildings with natural environmental control and artificial ventilation or air conditioning systems.


This section of the standard deals with the following:

  • Site orientation
  • Building orientation
  • Shading
  • Building design (which includes; general, floors, External walls, Fenestration, shading, roof assemblies and roof lights.)
  • Building sealing (which includes; Building envelope, Air infiltration and leakage, and permissible air leakage.)
  • Services (which includes; Lighting and power, Hot water services, and appliances.)
  • Mechanical ventilation and Air Conditioning (which includes: General, Air side system design criteria – Distribution System, Air Side System Design Criteria – Fan System, Water Side System – Design Criteria, Pipe and Duct Distribution.
  • System Insulation, Cooling and Heating Equipment, Air-Conditioning Controls, Air and Water Economizers, and Unitary and packaged Equipment.
  • Installed Equipment