Proposed Changes to the Building Code for 2017

16 November 2016
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Of interest to fenestration component manufacturers are the new proposed building code changes that address the total area of skylights in a manner similar to the alterations that were made to the code during the last round of code updates relating to the same sort of prescriptive requirement for windows and glazing. This

Public comment has been invited regarding proposed changes to the building code and authorities have requested input before December 9 of this year.

The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2015 (NECB), published by NRC and developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), sets out technical requirements for the energy efficient design and construction of new buildings. The NECB 2015 includes over ninety changes improving the overall energy performance of buildings over the 2011 edition.

Following the trend of recent years most of the proposed changes are related to attempts to improve energy performance in buildings. In addition to general energy improvement measures which likely apply to most new construction and remediation/renewal projects, there are proposed changes that apply specifically to hotels and motels, and in addition commercial kitchens.

In the case of the hospitality industry; hotels and motels the proposed changes include a suggestion that individual guestrooms in hotels and motels be equipped with temperature controls. The same is probably true for the suggestion that commercial kitchens have what is known as “demand control” ventilation systems.

Reducing the overall thermal transmission of fenestration products, including skylights has been a recurring theme, and not unexpected in the Canadian climate and our building codes have, in general emphasize what would normally be termed “cold-weather considerations” and our new construction and revitalization/adaptive re-use standards have always been relatively high and consistently so. [The new proposed address the total area of skylights in a manner similar to the recent changes relating to the same sort of prescriptive requirement for windows and glazing.]

In general, any investment in code development, or expense incurred as a result of meeting building code requirements is offset by the increase in value and sustainability of our build assets. It’s worthy of note that lighting requirements, both interior and exterior have not generally received much attention with regard to energy savings, in the building code at least.

[Typically owners and operators were motivated or encouraged at least by market forces to evaluate and upgrade lighting fixtures and accessories. However, establishing minimum requirements in the building code does not represent an unreasonable expectation.]

The average consumer probably takes for granted that new homes are in fact “labelled” like other consumer products with regard to energy consumption. [With the cost of a new home approaching $1 million in markets like Toronto and Vancouver, the cost of owning and operating the home would certainly be a consideration.]

Our building codes and the continuous improvement of same is a Canadian tradition demonstrated in the quality, durability and value of our build assets; commercial or residential. However, comments or suggestions are encouraged by the authorities and in effect this is part of the continuous improvement process. To learn more about the details, visit this site.


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