NRCan's goal is to make new buildings more efficient

“Net-zero energy ready” model building code by 2030

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework and supported by Build Smart — Canada’s Buildings Strategy,  federal, provincial, and territorial governments are adopting increasingly stringent model building codes to achieve this ambitious goal. 

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The National Energy Code of Canada offers three compliance paths

Prior to issuing a building permit, municipal code officials will generally require evidence that the design is code compliant

 

Performance Path

This approach offers the most design flexibility. You must show that the proposed design will not consume more energy than an equivalent building built to the prescriptive requirements of the code.

Prescriptive Path

This compliance path involves following the prescriptive requirements of each section of the code. Your local building permit office may require you to complete and submit a checklist as part of your building permit application.

Trade-off path

This compliance path provides some flexibility by allowing certain elements within the same part of the code to be traded. For example, if your design calls for more window area than prescribed by limits in the code, you may be able to compensate by improving the insulation in the walls. 

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We recommend the Performance Path for its flexibility, effectiveness, and cost 


Want to learn more about home energy efficiency evaluations?


Energy modelling

Generally used for 9.36 code compliance in the design stage of a new home, energy modelling is the process of creating a computerized model of a building design to estimate its operational annual energy consumption.

Using specialized software, our modelers input as much information as possible, both about the building itself (e.g. size, function, type, materials and equipment to be used, etc.) and about the site where the building will be located (e.g. climate data for the area, surrounding landscape, etc.). The software uses this information to generate a detailed estimate of how the building will use energy.

 
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Air tightness / Blower door test

Blower door test equipment is used to measure your home's rate of air leakage (otherwise known as air tightness). The blower door is a variable-speed fan mounted on an adjustable panel that can fit into an exterior door opening of your home.

This can be performed during the construction phase of a new house or on an existing house at any time. Whether you are aiming to meet a particular airtightness target (e.g. air changes per hour (ACH), normalized leakage area (NLA), equivalent leakage area (ELA)) or simply want to improve the airtightness of the house (ie. to meet Energy Code Compliance standards), it is wise to perform a construction/renovation airtightness test and air leakage location procedure once the air barrier is in place. Performing the test and the procedure at this stage provides a better opportunity to seal the identified air leakage locations and improve the airtightness of the house.

 

EnerGuide certification / label

The EnerGuide rating, label and report is a comprehensive service designed by the federal government to help you improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

This shows you where to make improvements and which ones are most important to improve your home’s energy performance.

Through our integrated, NRCan licensed Service Organization, Enervision, we consolidate the energy modelling and performance reports and provide you with:

EnerGuide label and energy efficiency evaluation report that includes:

Checklist: recommended retrofits to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Your EnerGuide rating: the modelled energy consumption of your home measured in gigajoules per year.

A typical new house reference: the EnerGuide rating your home would have if it had been built to current building code.

Breakdown of the rated annual energy consumption: A pie-chart breakdown of the major energy uses within the house and an initial overview of where you can lower home energy costs.

Greenhouse gas emissions: the estimated GHGs emitted annually as a result of using energy in your home.

 
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Thermal imaging

Building thermography is typically used to detect radiant heat emitted from an object. Thermal cameras convert this radiation into an image, in which colour variations between each pixel portray temperature differentials between warmer and cooler surfaces. Our trained thermal imaging professionals, or “thermographers”, use thermal images to identify and interpret areas of heat loss.

The qualitative analysis involves a review of the colour patterns present in an image to discern differences in thermal radiation by comparing colour differences between similar targets.Qualitative forms of analysis are typically used to diagnose and detect potential building defects, including the following main four types of defects:

Conduction heat loss. While all building components experience some degree of heat loss, it is the amount of heat loss over time that indicates the thermal conductivity of a material. Using known measures of conduction, areas of missing or damaged insulation, as well as areas of “thermal bridging” can be detected.

Ventilation heat loss. Often experienced as drafts, ventilation heat loss tends to occur around gaps and cracks in a building’s envelope. Junctions between components such as doors and windows are a common source of unwanted air leakage.

Moisture-related defects. As noted above, condensation can be a by-product of other building envelope defects; however, other forms of moisture-related issues can also present problems (Figure 2d). Moisture ingress occurs when water penetrates the building fabric from the outside, either through capillary action or gradual absorption, or penetration.

Structural defects. Thermography can also be used to detect cracks and/or thermal expansion in building materials, structural failures, and material “delamination”, in which materials made up of several layers begin to separate.

 
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EnerGuide home energy evaluation

An EnerGuide home evaluation with a certified energy advisor provides you with expert advice and a customized retrofit plan so that you can save money on your energy bills, improve your home’s health and comfort, and reduce your home’s environmental impact.

Recommendations from an energy advisor can save you hours of planning time and thousands of dollars by assisting you to make energy upgrade decisions that are right for your home and budget. You will also likely become eligible for many federal, provincial and municipal rebate programs through having an evaluation. Your local government may even provide discounts for our home energy evaluation services!

 
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EnerGuide renovation upgrade report

Your EnerGuide evaluation will include a renovation upgrade report. This personalized energy action roadmap includes:

* a breakdown of your energy usage

* before and after charts showing heat loss by building component

* a list of recommended upgrades and energy-saving results

* your EnerGuide home rating before and after recommended upgrades

* customized comments from your energy advisor

We are here to work through any questions that you may have