As of November 2016, the Alberta Building Code has adopted section 9.36, Energy Efficiency, requiring stricter construction practices of new homes to ensure higher energy efficiency levels are met. The code applies to all residential new construction and major renovations and additions. There are three paths to compliance:
- The Prescriptive Compliance Pathway uses a checklist approach to ensure that minimum requirements in the energy code are met. This method is the most straightforward, as energy efficiency requirements are listed by building component, including mechanical/ventilation requirements and minimum effective R-values for all wall, ceiling and foundation assemblies. The Prescriptive Path can net significant savings to high volume home builders that use consistent construction specifications.
- The Trade-off Path allows more flexibility in the design as it allows you to trade elements within the above ground building envelope to demonstrate an equivalent level of performance without meeting every prescriptive requirement found in 9.36.2. The Trade-Off path requires a calculation to demonstrate that while the proposed design does not exactly meet the prescriptive requirements, the amount of energy consumed will be the same or less than would be consumed by following strict prescriptive compliance.
- The Performance Compliance Pathway compares the modeled energy consumption of the proposed house to the modeled energy consumption of an identical reference house. The proposed house is in compliance if its modeled energy consumption is lower than or equal to that of the Code Reference house. Once construction of the house is complete, a blower door test is performed and a Natural Resources Canada EnerGuide Rating System label is issued.
- The EnerGuide Rating System for New Homes Compliance offers the same design flexibility as the Performance Path but also includes EnerGuide labelling. A blower door test must be completed for all homes and the home’s rating must be minimum 5% better than a typical new home.
Our team uses HOT2000 energy modeling software and complete both a reference house and a proposed house. Included in our modeling fee is the completion of the required forms for the different jurisdictions.
To complete a 9.36 performance model, we will require the following:
- House plans
- Equipment specifications including the following:
- Window details
- Mechanical systems (domestic hot water, ventilation, heating system)
- Wall construction type
- Orientation of the house
- Foundation construction details
- Roof construction details
- Details of all other building envelope components such as exposed floors, cantilevers, vaulted ceilings, etc.
Contact us today to find out which compliance path best fits your needs.