Building code changes support energy efficiency

New building codes based on the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) and Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code for the province of Alberta, Canada now come with requirements that support energy efficiency.

Established by the National Research Council and Natural Resources Canada as part of its energy efficient and greenhouse gas emission reduction directives, the NECB constitutes a wide area of building systems and materials and would take into effect on November 1st, 2016. For the province of Alberta, this is the first  time that energy efficiency requirements were implemented to its building codes with minimum standards applied to large buildings.

Impact and building code compliance

The building codes affect building layouts and construction methods and now takes into consideration a more energy efficient approach that also aims to decrease greenhouse gas distribution. Insulation, windows, ventilation, and lighting are among the areas affected by the requirements.

For proper compliance, several options are available for builders to select: prescriptive, trade-off, and performance.

Prescriptive – usually the simplest route to follow, although may not be suitable for all types of buildings. Checklists of this option are able to assist applications in knowing certain articles in the code. If requirements are not met for this path then another compliance selection should be chosen.

Trade-off – This option provides more flexibility on the building layout as it permits trading elements with the similar aspect of the energy code without necessarily meeting each and every requirement outlined in the NECB. Guidelines for the limitations of selecting this path however, should be referenced accordingly.

Performance – For the most adjustability, this is the option to choose. This path could permit trade-offs between building structures, and in some cases may be the only option around for particular types of buildings.

Long term benefits

For single family houses, code requirements stress minimum efficiency on the furnace,  heater, windows, walls, roofs, etc. And while costs for houses and buildings affected by the new building codes are considerably higher than older structures, the long term impact translate to lower utility bills since less energy would be produced due to the added insulation; energy savings basically means financial savings for the daily functions of the home.

The significant long term advantage of more energy efficient buildings impacts the environment as a whole. With more and more green initiatives being implemented and buildings becoming more sustainable, public awareness on energy efficiency is greatly increased for the better.

In support of energy efficient buildings 

Aside from significant savings and reduction in energy consumption, energy efficient buildings support one very significant objective: sustainability.

As companies and communities continue to recognize the importance of energy efficiency in constructing buildings, so does the rate of positive impact to the environment.

Companies such as PFB Corporation are committed to conduct operations that affect environmental and social trends and recognize the importance of being transparent with their sustainability efforts. Environmental conservation has always been their top priority as shown in their practices, products and processes, including energy efficient buildings.

To learn about PFB Corporation and their sustainability directives, visit http://www.pfbsustainability.com.

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