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Updates coming to BC Energy Step Code


British Columbia’s Office of Housing and Construction Standards is revising the province’s building code. Among the changes are three updates to the BC Energy Step Code that will take effect on Dec. 12.

First, there will be two options for demonstrating residential buildings’ compliance with performance requirements for their building envelope: (a) revised thermal energy demand intensity (TEDI) metrics or (b) a ‘per cent better’ approach.

While TEDI targets remain unchanged, builders operating in colder parts of a climate zone will be allowed to adjust their TEDI based on the heating degree days (HDDs) of their specific project’s location, rather than using a single value for the entire climate zone.

Alternately, builders have the option of demonstrating a percentage improvement in their project’s building envelope performance over a reference building. This is based on a similar approach being considered for the model National Building Code (NBC).

The second update involves adjusted targets for Part 3 buildings outside Climate Zone 4, again to better reflect colder conditions.

Finally, the third update establishes preliminary requirements for energy modelling and testing for Part 3 public-sector buildings, including schools, hospitals, community centres and post-secondary classrooms. At this time, however, there are no specific energy-intensity targets for these buildings.

These changes, among others, will be reflected in an updated online edition of the 2018 BC Building Code. Professionals who use hard-copy binders of the code will soon be able to print the updated sections from www.bccodes.ca.