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BC Building Code 9.36

In December 2014 new building codes were introduced regarding the energy efficiency of homes. Section 9.36 deals with the building envelope, and 9.32 with ventilation.

Section 9.36 establishes three compliance options: A prescriptive path, a prescriptive path with simple trade-offs, and a performance path that requires energy modelling.

Prescriptive Path

The Prescriptive Path requires that each and every component of the proposed project meet or exceed the effective thermal resistance requirements set forth in section 9.36.2. These requirements are expressed as effective RSI values for opaque assemblies, and effective U values for windows and doors.

It is not necessary to engage a Certified Energy Advisor to submit a building permit application under the Prescriptive Compliance Pathway but their input in working out the effective insulation values for more ‘unique’ components can be of value.

Prescriptive with Trade-Offs

The Prescriptive Path with Trade-Offs allows for a limited number of assemblies to be constructed to effective RSI values below those specified in section 9.36. This option is intended to allow for a minor reduction in the thermal performance of one assembly (or component) by compensating with increased performance of another assembly (or component).  

Performance Path
The Performance Path allows for more extensive trade-offs between assemblies, components and mechanical systems. The Performance path requires the creation of two energy models: The first models the house as if it were built to the prescriptive requirements (as defined by the “reference house” standards in Section 9.36); the second models the “actual house” as detailed on the submitted drawings. If the energy models show that the actual house will consume the same, or less, energy than the reference house, then the building permit application can go ahead.

As many log homes will not be fully code compliant under the Prescriptive Path the Performance Path would  be the compliance option used. This allows for all energy efficient components to be utilised to off-set what is usually a below code wall assembly.

Projects pursuing the Performance Path much engage an independent Certified Energy Advisor.The Homeowner Protection Office has produced some excellent guides to the new codes that are climate zone specific




Related Links: HPO Guide, EnerguideBuilt Green, Canadian Homebuilders Association BC FortisBC, Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation BC Hydro Power Smart for New Homes

Contact Ray Smith, Certified Energy Advisor in the Kootenays     office:  250-427-0008   cell:  250-427-6616    kootenayenergyadvisor@gmail.com
Ray Smith, certified energy advisor, serving the Kootenays in BC - Radium, Rossland, Cranbrook, Creston, Kimberley, Kootenay Lake, Nelson, Castlegar and Trail.

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