History of SAFIERA

In 2006 the AAAMSA Group established the South African Fenestration and Insulation Energy Rating Authority (SAFIERA) to support its drive to promote energy efficiency in the building industry. SAFIERA’s primary goal is to provide accurate and reliable energy performance rating system.

The rating system is derived from a similar system developed by the internationally recognised National Fenestration Rating Council of America (NFRC) and complies with the South African Energy Efficiency Standard for buildings, SANS 204.

The energy rating process is based on the complementary use of computer simulation and physical system testing to establish energy performance ratings for fenestration and thermal insulated building envelope systems. The rating system is formalised by a certification programme where the products of manufacturers can be labelled and certified to indicate its energy performance ratings.

The formation of the association has led to an investment by the AAAMSA Group for the construction and commissioning of a Rotatable Guarded Hot Box (RGHB). The RGHB test facility can be used to determine the heat transmission values (U-values) of most building envelope systems for vertical and horizontal applications. This allows for an accurate assessment of a building’s energy efficiency before it is built.

The RGHB and its associated testing equipment are located at the Thermal Testing Laboratory (TTL) on the campus of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) situated in Pretoria, South Africa.

The RGHB will not only be of immense benefit to professionals with in the building and construction industry but equally to the Associations members. From the professional point of view an accurate assessment of a building’s energy efficiency can be determined before it’s built while members can confidently recommend their products for specific building envelopes.

The building envelope provides the thermal barrier between the indoor and outdoor environment, and its elements are the key determinants of a building's energy requirements that result from the climate where it is located.