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9.36 Energy Code Compliance

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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 

To complete a 9.36 performance model, we will require the following:

  • House plans
  • Completed Checklist
  • 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.

    National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB)

    The NECB became mandatory on November 1, 2016. As of December 1, 2019, new buildings must meet the requirements of NECB 2017. Meeting the NECB 2017 will help to ensure a high level of energy efficiency in new buildings, save on energy bills, reduce peak energy demand and improve the quality and comfort of your building’s environment.

    Incorporating energy efficiency measures into a building during the design and construction stage is more cost-effective than retrofit later. NECB focuses on five key building elements typically considered during the design phase: 

    1. Building envelope
    2. Lighting
    3. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)
    4. Service water heating
    5. Electrical power systems and motors

    Compliance Paths:

    The following paths are available under NECB to demonstrate compliance with Code:

    Prescriptive Path – follows the prescriptive requirements of each section of the code. You may be required to submit a checklist as part of your building permit application. This path is rarely used for new buildings as the building envelope requirements make this path not economically viable. Tenant improvement may need to meet prescriptive requirements for lighting and HVAC.

    Trade-off Path – provides some flexibility by allowing certain elements within the same part of the code to be traded. 

    Performance Path – also known as NECB Part 8, the Performance Path offers the most design flexibility. The proposed building must demonstrate that it will not consume more energy than an equivalent building built to prescriptive requirements of the Code. For this path, a building energy simulation tool compliant with ANSI/ASHRAE 140 “Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs” must be used. Both of the modelling programs we use meet these criteria.

    HAP and eQUEST are the typical energy modelling software that we use to complete energy evaluations for Part 8 compliance. Included in our modelling fee are the reference model, the proposed model, and consultation, if required, to assist with ensuring code compliance and meeting the required energy performance. 

    To complete the NECB code compliance model, we will require the following:

    • Building plans
    • Equipment specifications including the following:
      • Window details
      • Mechanical systems
      • Wall construction type
      • Orientation of the building
      • Foundation construction details
      • Roof construction details

    The details required are typically found on architectural, mechanical, electrical, and sometimes structural drawings.


    EnerGuide Evaluations

    What is an EnerGuide Rating?

    An EnerGuide Rating and Label demonstrate the energy performance of your home. It estimates the net amount of energy a home consumes in a year. Our energy advisors produce a rating by collecting house information during an on-site evaluation and entering the data into Natural Resources Canada’s energy simulation software, HOT2000. The calculation uses standard operating conditions to ensure the rating focuses on the house rather than the occupants’ behaviours. 

    An EnerGuide evaluation can help you make informed decisions when operating, renovating or purchasing a home. An evaluation is the first step to help you better understand your home’s energy usage so you can make the best energy efficiency choices to save on utility costs and improve the comfort of your home. 

    Planning to renovate? An evaluation will help you make informed decisions on which upgrades work best for your home, how to prioritize them and which upgrades will save you most on energy costs. There is no obligation to undertake the recommended upgrades, our advisors simply provide a non-biased consulting service that provides you with the best information on how to increase the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. 

    Purchasing a home? Look for the EnerGuide label on the electrical panel to get a snapshot of the home’s energy performance. 

    What is included in an EnerGuide evaluation?

    During the on-site evaluation, our advisors will collect the following information:

    • A complete review of the building envelope (windows, doors, ceilings, walls, foundation)
      • Visual inspection and measurement to determine surface area and insulation levels
    • A complete review of mechanical systems (heating system, air conditioning system, ventilation system, and domestic hot water)
    • Blower door test
      • Depressurization test where required (combustion spillage)
      • Measurement of air changes per hour at 50 Pa
      • Location of major air leakage areas
      • Compared to a new home built to 2010 NBC National Building Code
      • Individual recommended upgrades with associated potential energy savings
      • ERS certified label for your home as it currently stands
      • Intensity rating of your home energy modelling of all components to determine the energy efficiency of your home
    What will you receive from an EnerGuide evaluation?

    Our advisors will provide you with detailed information about your home’s energy performance and will consult with you which retrofit options are best for reducing your energy consumption. You will receive the following after the evaluation:

    • An EnerGuide rating label that shows the rated energy consumption of your home in GJ/year per square metre 
    • A detailed Homeowner Information report that includes information about your home’s current energy use
    • A Renovation Upgrade Report that includes a customized roadmap that will help you make decisions about which renovation options save the most energy and money and which upgrades improve the overall comfort of your home.

    If you are planning energy efficiency improvements, a follow-up evaluation may be required if you wish to use the revised and improved EnerGuide rating to demonstrate how the upgrades have increased your home’s energy performance. This may be particularly useful when selling your home. A follow-up evaluation may also be required for available rebates on energy efficient upgrades. 

    We currently serve the following areas: Calgary and surrounding area, Edmonton and surrounding area, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Vancouver Island.

    Contact us for pricing, available rebates, and to schedule an appointment.

    *EnerGuide and HOT2000 are official marks of Natural Resources Canada.

    Contact Us

    Getting in touch with us is easy, call at one of our office numbers or fill out the form below:

    Calgary: 403-251.0683
    Toll-Free: 1-866-241-6804

    Edmonton: 587-991-8257

    Medicine Hat: 403-251-0683

    Central Alberta: 403-251-0683

    British Columbia

    Vancouver Island: 778-441-3838

    Lower Mainland: 1-866-241-6804

    Revelstoke: 1-866-241-6804

    Okanagan: 1-866-241-6804

    Smithers: 1-866-241-6804


    Greater Toronto Area: 1-866-241-6804

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    Qualistat Building Performance Consultants - Head Office Address
    514, 3208 8 Avenue NE
    Calgary, AB

    Phone: 403-457-7828
    Office Hours: 8 am - 5 pm, Mon - Fri