ARCHIVED - Public Review on Proposed Changes for the National Energy Code for Buildings — Fall 2010

This public review is closed.

Go to the home page of the most recent public review.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) invites Code users and stakeholders to participate in the review of proposed changes for the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011, which has been converted into the same objective-based format now used for Canada's other National Model Construction Codes.

For more information about the proposed changes see Review of Canada’s National Energy Code for Buildings 2011.

The provinces and territories identified the need to update the NECB as a priority and have been engaged in the development of the proposed changes with the intent of considering the NECB 2011 for adoption. For information on provincial or territorial plans regarding the NECB please contact the appropriate government office in your jurisdiction.

The purpose of this public review is to:

  • provide Code users and stakeholders with a detailed look at a new objective, new functional statements, and proposed technical changes
  • seek comment on each proposed technical change, as well as the new objective and functional statements, as to whether it should be approved, altered, or rejected.

This national public review took place from October 4 to November 26, 2010.

The public review closed at 4:00 p.m. EDT on November 26, 2010, after which comments will no longer be accepted. The relevant committees of the CCBFC will review every comment that was received up to that date. The committees will then either withdraw the proposed change, recommend that it be reviewed further for future consideration as a proposed change, or recommend that it be approved by the CCBFC, with or without modification.

Energy Performance Levels

In July 2008, the Council of the Federation issued a public statement requesting an improvement of 25% over the levels set by the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) 1997.

The working target for the changes to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011 is the energy performance target of 25% better than the MNECB 1997. This is assessed by comparing the energy usage of buildings when designed to the MNECB 1997 against their energy usage when designed to the NECB 2011. The implication of achieving this performance improvement is that the NECB 2011 will have more stringent requirements than the MNECB 1997.

Objective-Based Analysis

The NECB 2011 will be an objective-based code. Each provision will have related objective-based information including intent and application statements, and objectives and functional statements for requirements.

Assembly Constructions

The NECB 2011 will address the energy used by the building with no exemption within the prescriptive requirements for any assembly construction. It will allow an increase or reduction in insulation levels as an option for any type of construction when a designer chooses to follow the trade-off or performance compliance approaches. This approach levels the playing field for energy use by the building regardless of the type of construction used.

Energy Sources

The NECB 2011 will not differentiate requirements based on energy source. It will be an energy code that addresses energy used by the building irrespective of the source of the energy. The NECB 2011 will not have different performance levels for construction based on the energy source.

Control Devices for Lighting

Lighting of unoccupied interior spaces is an unnecessary use of energy. The NECB 2011 will require the installation of automatic lighting controls for many applications.

Fenestration to Wall Ratio

The prescriptive building envelope requirements in the NECB 2011 will set a maximum fenestration-to-wall ratio that varies based on the local climatic conditions, i.e. heating degree days. The ratio will be set at 0.40 for locations with heating degree days of 4000ºC and less and 0.20 for locations with heating degree days of 7000ºC and greater. The ratio for areas with heating degree days between these two values will be set based on a quadratic equation. The NECB 2011 will allow deviation from this when using the trade-off or performance compliance approaches.

Heat Recovery

Heat recovery equipment produces significant energy savings by preventing the loss of waste heat. The NECB 2011 will have provisions requiring the installation of heat recovery equipment for most occupancy types.

HVAC and Service Water Heating Equipment

The Energy Efficiency Act (EEA) applies to equipment transported across provincial/territorial borders. Among other things, it contains minimum standards for HVAC and service water heating equipment efficiencies. The Standing Committee on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (SCEEB) has reviewed the EEA in comparison with current industry practice and concluded that the minimum efficiencies set by the EEA are below that of the typical equipment installed today. In the prescriptive path, the SCEEB will set a minimum efficiency based on the industry's median level for much of HVAC and service water heating applications. The NECB 2011 will allow reduced equipment efficiencies to a floor level set by the EEA when using the trade-off or performance compliance approaches.

Summary of Significant Proposed Changes

Energy Performance Levels

In July 2008, the Council of the Federation issued a public statement requesting an improvement of 25% over the levels set by the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) 1997.

The working target for the changes to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011 is the energy performance target of 25% better than the MNECB 1997. This is assessed by comparing the energy usage of buildings when designed to the MNECB 1997 against their energy usage when designed to the NECB 2011. The implication of achieving this performance improvement is that the NECB 2011 will have more stringent requirements than the MNECB 1997.

Objective-Based Analysis

The NECB 2011 will be an objective-based code. Each provision will have related objective-based information including intent and application statements, and objectives and functional statements for requirements.

Assembly Constructions

The NECB 2011 will address the energy used by the building with no exemption within the prescriptive requirements for any assembly construction. It will allow an increase or reduction in insulation levels as an option for any type of construction when a designer chooses to follow the trade-off or performance compliance approaches. This approach levels the playing field for energy use by the building regardless of the type of construction used.

Energy Sources

The NECB 2011 will not differentiate requirements based on energy source. It will be an energy code that addresses energy used by the building irrespective of the source of the energy. The NECB 2011 will not have different performance levels for construction based on the energy source.

Control Devices for Lighting

Lighting of unoccupied interior spaces is an unnecessary use of energy. The NECB 2011 will require the installation of automatic lighting controls for many applications.

Fenestration to Wall Ratio

The prescriptive building envelope requirements in the NECB 2011 will set a maximum fenestration-to-wall ratio that varies based on the local climatic conditions, i.e. heating degree days. The ratio will be set at 0.40 for locations with heating degree days of 4000ºC and less and 0.20 for locations with heating degree days of 7000ºC and greater. The ratio for areas with heating degree days between these two values will be set based on a quadratic equation. The NECB 2011 will allow deviation from this when using the trade-off or performance compliance approaches.

Heat Recovery

Heat recovery equipment produces significant energy savings by preventing the loss of waste heat. The NECB 2011 will have provisions requiring the installation of heat recovery equipment for most occupancy types.

HVAC and Service Water Heating Equipment

The Energy Efficiency Act (EEA) applies to equipment transported across provincial/territorial borders. Among other things, it contains minimum standards for HVAC and service water heating equipment efficiencies. The Standing Committee on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (SCEEB) has reviewed the EEA in comparison with current industry practice and concluded that the minimum efficiencies set by the EEA are below that of the typical equipment installed today. In the prescriptive path, the SCEEB will set a minimum efficiency based on the industry's median level for much of HVAC and service water heating applications. The NECB 2011 will allow reduced equipment efficiencies to a floor level set by the EEA when using the trade-off or performance compliance approaches.

Semi-Heated Spaces

There will be specific prescriptive provisions in the trade-off compliance path of the building envelope Part of the NECB 2011 dealing with semi-heated spaces.

Proposed Changes

Technical changes modify the technical meaning of Code provisions.

All comments submitted by November 26, 2010 will be reviewed by the relevant CCBFC committees. The committees will then either withdraw the proposed technical change, recommend that it be reviewed further for future consideration as a proposed change, or recommend that it be approved by the CCBFC, with or without modification.

If approved by the CCBFC, the technical changes will be published in the 2011 edition of the National Energy Code for Buildings.

Combined PCFs are available in PDF file format

  • National Energy Code for Buildings (PDF - 10.6 MB)

To receive the proposed changes for this public review, please contact Codes Canada.

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