Higher Energy and Water Conservation Standards Take Effect in Ontario

A number of changes to the Ontario Building Code that further support energy efficiency and water conservation in new residential dwellings have taken effect in Ontario.  Coming in to force on January 1, 2014, these new provisions include:

Energy Demand Management

  • Requirements for programmable thermostats;

Energy Efficiency

  • Fully sealed ducting required on the supply side of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system;
  • Hot water pipe insulation requirements;

Water Conservation

  • Lower maximum water consumption for toilets and urinals;
  • Lower maximum flow rates for shower heads;
  • Allowing for drainless composting toilets in areas with municipal services;
  • Expanding the end uses of rainwater and other non-potable water; and
  • Clarifying the design requirements of non-potable water systems.

Specific legislative details about these energy and water conservation measures, as well as other Ontario Building Code changes that are also now in effect, are available through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (access an overview here).

Beyond 2014, additional energy efficiency requirements for homes will incrementally take effect.  These include requirements for furnaces to be equipped with an electronically commutated motor (ECM) and natural gas piping options (both effective January 1, 2015), and increasing the energy efficiency benchmark for houses and low-rise residential buildings by 15% from the 2012 Ontario Building Code level (effective January 1, 2017).

Priority Green Clarington is challenging designers and builders to begin learning about and implementing higher energy efficiency and water conservation measures today!

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about the Priority Green Clarington Green Demonstration Project.  This initiative will provide local examples of builders leading the charge to construct “Better Than Code” houses that consider energy efficiency, water conservation, improved runoff water quality, improved indoor air quality, and resource conservation, as well as future sustainability measures.

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