The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) have written a joint letter, providing feedback on the proposed updates to the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) and the National Building Code (NBC).
Since 1990, wired glass has been the sole material cited in the National Building Code (NBC) for safety glazing in fire-rated applications. This is going to change soon. The change will have major implications for designers and contractors working with fire-rated glazing materials.
Earlier this month, CBC News reported that Canada’s building rules are being rewritten because of climate change according to a briefing note prepared for the deputy minister of infrastructure in 2018, and accessed by CBC under freedom of information laws.
It is an all-too-common tale: a job is finished, and it is time for the inspectors to show up and sign-off on the entire project. Unfortunately, they find the doors and hardware are not to code. This comes as a surprise. After all, the design team relied on the same code information used on its last building in Ontario and… this facility is in Québec, which has different requirements.
The efficiency of new buildings designed to meet the 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) will be significantly better than that of most older structures. It replaces the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB), and will become a requirement in the adopting provinces and territories. Consequently, it is critical architects, specifiers, engineers, owners, and other members of a project team understand its requirements.
Thermal mass is a substance’s ability to hold heat energy. It is related to density. A substance with high thermal mass stores a greater quantity of heat energy than one with low thermal mass, even if both are heated to the same temperature.
Air barriers have been a requirement of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) for many years, but not all design professionals fully understand what is involved in specifying one. An air barrier may be a material of many functions and the choice of one over another should reflect the needs of the particular project. Historically, the requirements for airtightness have been found under NBC Part 5, “Environmental Separation.”
For the last few years, the media has highlighted roofing failures caused by wind. Although these problems sensationalize the effects of global warming, they are not new and have occurred since buildings were first constructed. The major contributing factor to many of these failures is the roof or perimeter flashing was not properly designed to meet the project requirements––such as location and occupancy type. Depending on its direction, wind acts on the building in different ways. As it collides with the structure, it travels up and over, increasing in speed––similar to the effects of an airfoil on a wing.
In both Canada and the United States, there is increasing awareness of the building envelope’s role in conserving energy. New energy codes and standards include prescriptive requirements for continuous insulation to minimize heat loss associated with thermal bridging.