Are you ready for the changes to the Ontario Building Code?

  • 10/5/16

As of January 1st, 2017 building codes are changing, do you realize the cost of building these changes into every home? It won’t be cheap and you need to be considering this now with your designer on anything you plan to put in for permit after January 1.

I recently went to a seminar held by Buildabilty to find out about the new changes for the energy efficiency design in Supplementary Standard (SB-12) of the Ontario Building Code and I was introduced to a new chapter. Welcome Chapter 3.

Here is a synopsis of what I learned.

  • HRV (heat recovery ventilators) will now be required IN EVERY HOME 
  • DWHR (drain water heat recovery) will now be required IN EVERY HOME 
  • Previously you could choose one of 14 packages from table that best suited your construction needs. Now there will only be 6 packages in table (IP) A1 thru A6. When choosing a compliance package, you can now follow the Nominal R Value OR you can follow the Effective Value. You now have a choice as to which way you prefer to conform. There is even a wall system with 2×4 wood construction! But you need to provide R7.5 ci (continuous insulation). You will also find a metric chart (SI) and an imperial chart (IP) for each zone. Table is for Space Heating Equipment. This chart is practically setting your home up to be net zero ready.

Roughly 90% of the builders in Ontario who are not Energy Star are currently using Package J from the compliance package assemblies. You can continue to use a similar package A1 increasing your basement R-value to 20ci. This can be done in combination such as R12 + R10ci. You just have to ensure you meet or exceed the values specified.

If you are unsure of which package to use, please speak with the local CBO or contact a building specialist such as Building Knowledge. You can also find a wall thermal calculator on the Canadian Wood Council website. This can be a useful tool for wall recommendations. It provides the Effective Value as well as the Nominal Value. There are upwards of 1600 wall types to choose from and this is a very user friendly website.

For more information, please refer to the Code News website for the free PDF download of the new SB-12 chapter and all of the changes that will be applied. A few notes to highlight once downloaded are as follows: Energy Efficiency (5), (8), (13), (14), (16), (19), (20) and (21) Energy Efficiency for Buildings Located in Zone 1 (7) Thermal Performance of Windows, Skylights and Sliding Glass Doors (3), (4) Additions to Existing Buildings Table (IP)
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