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The 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings now 25% more energy efficient

By NRC   

Construction Law

Some 245 technical changes have been made to the 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings to accommodate new technologies and construction practices that have emerged in Canada over the past 15 years. 

“We are working with the provinces and territories to support the adoption of the 2011 Code to reduce energy consumption in buildings and make Canada a global leader in energy-efficient building construction,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. “Energy-efficient construction is one of the fastest, greenest and most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases, save money and increase energy security.” 

A key characteristic of the Code is its overall performance improvement compared with the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings. The goal was to improve the energy efficiency of the Code’s technical requirements by 25 percent from the previous version published in 1997. 

“In September, our government announced a $78-million investment over the next two years to create jobs in the energy sector and improve energy efficiency through ecoENERGY Efficiency initiatives,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “The Code reflects the changing needs of Canadians and will deliver long-term benefits for both our economy and environment.” 


The Energy Code sets the minimum requirements for the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings and covers the building envelope, systems and equipment for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, service water heating, lighting, and the provision of electrical power systems and motors. It applies to new buildings, except housing, and additions to existing structures. 

The Code must be adopted by individual provincial and territorial governments before coming into effect in a province or territory. It was updated using an extensive cross-country consensus-based process involving stakeholders from Canadians, governments and industry. Once adopted by authorities, the Code will significantly reduce costs in energy for buildings. 

The 2011 National Energy Code was prepared by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes in partnership with the provinces and territories. Both the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provided technical support and NRCan supplied funding as part of their commitment to improving the energy efficiency of Canadian buildings through the ecoENERGY initiative.


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