Last week, I attended an EnerQuality/BILD course on the new Ontario Building Code (OBC) that will come into effect on January 1, 2012. This blog post is a summary of what I learned.
Please note that this summary refers to low-rise builders operating in southern Ontario.
First, the majority of the changes in the new OBC aim to improve energy efficiency and water management.
Second, builders will be given 10 practical choices of packages on how to comply with the 2012 OBC. Four of these choices appear most practical, meaning they are the simplest as well as the most economical. All four require increased insulation.
So, depending on the package chosen, builders will have to ensure that:
- the attic’s insulation increases to R50 (from R40),
- exterior walls’ insulation goes up from R19 to either R22 or R24 (depending on the package chosen),
- the furnace’s annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) increases from 90% to 92% or 94%, again depending on the package. The heat recovery ventilator (HRV) may or may not be required, depending on the package, and…
- the insulation of basement walls either stays at R12 or goes up to R20 (depending on the package).
Also, windows will have to be more energy efficient regardless of which package is chosen.
Builders can choose to ignore these compliance paths, provided they build to Energuide 80 (which is what the current Energy Star stipulates. See my previous blog post).
What are your thoughts on the new OBC and the compliance paths given to builders?