Canada Pushes Efficiency with National Building Code

June 10th, 2022 by Travis Rains

Andrew Oding, vice president and director of Building Science of Building Knowledge Canada, and Jeff Baker, president of WESTLab Canada, were two of the speakers on Tuesday, June 7 at the 2022 Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) Virtual Summer Conference.

The 2022 Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) Virtual Summer Conference highlighted Canada’s path forward to energy efficiency on Tuesday, June 7. With Canada’s 2020 National Building Code noting a future with net-zero ready homes, panelists pointed to considerations of which the industry should be mindful.

Speakers for the session included Andrew Oding, vice president and director of Building Science of Building Knowledge Canada, as well as Jeff Baker, president of WESTLab Canada. According to Oding, 20-30% of all homes could be net-zero ready in Canada within five to 10 years.

“The NBC was published in 2022 and there are plans to harmonize [the new 2020 codes] within 18-22 months, putting us somewhere in 2024,” says Oding. “It will take jurisdictions and designers some time to get used to this.”

But as efficiency increases, Oding says risks also come into play.

“As homes become more insulated, as we make them tighter to try to increase efficiency and lower the carbon production of the home, we also start to come into areas where we have more comfort risk, more wetting risk, indoor air quality risk,” Oding says.

He adds that homes in the past could get by with window installations that led to slight leakage. Those days are gone with the increased focus on efficiency.

“You could get away with a little bit of a poor install,” he says. “You can’t anymore. One of the biggest concerns we have in the industry in all North America is adequate installation and water management.”

Oding and Baker also believe that within five to 10 years, carbon emission reduction will become increasingly important. However, he noted that those discussions are in their infancy.

According to Baker, the industry is already seeing a trend of center-of-glass coating for triple glazed glass filled with argon. But Baker says glass alone may not get the job done, pointing to frames and their impact on carbon emission reduction.

“Some are trying to come up with better frame designs,” he says. “But if you are going to redesign a frame in the next few years, make sure it is scalable for the future.”

The 2022 FGIA Virtual Summer Conference concluded on Thursday, June 10.

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