Canada

Link to full info sheet as PDF

Code Development

Summary

Canada’s federal government does not have authority to pass mandatory building codes. Thus, both of the residential and commercial codes are model codes and have to be adopted by provinces and territories. The first attempt at a national energy code in Canada dates back to 1978, when the government approved Measures for Energy Conservation in New Buildings. Much of the code was designed based on the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard. The most recent version of a model energy code, National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB), was released in 2011 and covers residential and commercial buildings. Smaller buildings are covered by energy efficiency provisions under Part 9 of National Building Code of Canada (NBC) that dates back to 2010. The most recent revision of the energy efficiency provisions of NBC Part 9 for Housing and Small Buildings took place in 2012.

Start Year

Exact Start Year

1978

Start Year Range

< 1980

Revision Schedule

Yes, a revision schedule exists

Revision Schedule Explanation

In Canada, model national building, plumbing and fire codes are updated on a five-year cycle. The next energy code will be published in 2015, which will align with the publication of all other national model codes. Such timing of the process is meant to simplify the adoption process for provinces and territories. 

Existing Code Coverage

  • Commercial
  • Residential
Stakeholder Engagement

  • Websites
  • Public Meeting or Conference or Newsletter
Best Practices

Code Implementation - Compliance & Enforcement

Administrative/Enforcement Structures

Enforcement model: Mix of approaches (local government and third party). Typically, a local government inspector checks major phases of construction to completion. Provincial government provides training and certification for building practitioners. The national government provides tools and training resources. Some jurisdictions in Canada use third-party enforcements to ensure compliance with the local code. 

Compliance Checking on Design

Yes, compliance is checked on Design

Compliance Checking on Construction

Yes, compliance is checked on Construction

Compliance Checking on Pre-Occupancy

NA, compliance varies by jurisdiction – refer to country information sheet for details

Air Tightness testing

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Commissioning before occupancy

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Commissioning after occupancy

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Software Residential

Yes, Software exists

Name of Software

CAN-QUEST

Short description

Canada has CAN-QUEST software from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) for modelling building energy use. It is based on eQUEST 3.62 – the popular United States tool. CAN-QUEST was created to demonstrate performance path compliance with the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011.

Compliance Software Non-Residential

Yes, Software exists

Name of Software

Screening Tool for New Building Design

Short description

Users of whole building performance-based approaches may use other building energy simulation tools for assistance, such as Screening Tool for New Building Design, managed by EnerSys Analytics, Inc. for Natural Resources Canada. www.screeningtool.ca 

Penalties for non-compliance

  • Refusal Permission to construct
  • Refusal Permission to occupy
  • Publication of names of property owners who fail to comply
Incentives and Recognition program for compliance

  • Awards/Grants/Tax Breaks
  • Finance/Loans/Ratings

Short description

Canada offers tax credits, low-interest loans for building energy efficiency, and building energy rating programs. Buildings can apply for Building ENERGY STAR scores and get recognition for good performance. 

Compliance Rate monitoring

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Rate Publicised

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Lessons Learned

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Energy Use Statistics

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Compliance Rate in %

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details

Capacity Building and Education

Awareness Raising

  • Awareness raising
  • Resourse kits
  • Compliance Training
  • Online resources -

Short description

Online resources include: www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/buildings/capacity-building-resources/...

www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/solutions/advisory/codes_centre_index.html

Guide for energy auditing: www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/oee/pdf/publications/infosou...

Building materials

Building Materials Ratings

  • Reference standards included in codes
  • Tested by certified test labs

Short description

Energy performance of buildings materials is tested and certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Energy efficiency verification labels from CSA Group demonstrate that a product met the energy efficiency requirements outlined by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Canadian provincial energy efficiency regulations, California Energy Commission (CEC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Energy Performance Certificates

EPC Implementation

NA, Check Country Information Sheet for details