As building codes continue to evolve in the HVAC and the plumbing industry for Canada, there are going to be new waves of policy changes and regulations. This is going to affect HVAC at all levels including Federal Government, Municipal, and Provincial as they push harder for society to go green and to reduce the impact of the greenhouse gas emissions and as they focus more on climate change.
Since the federal government was chosen in 2015, there’s been a lot of attention on going greener, the climate and environmental changes that may be required.
At a recent conference for Energy Mines and Ministers’ Conference or EMMC, there was a fine example of this. The framework for the collaboration on the energy efficiency standards is picturing the future where energy is efficient. With cost-effective measures being taken to ensure that there is less greenhouse gas and to promote the conservation of energy, the impact will be huge on HVAC mechanical codes and regulations. Such changes will require small space heating loads, more efficient and air-tight buildings, with such facilities reducing the carbon footprint on the planet.
Ultimately, the target will be to reach a level of absolute Net Zero for the standard by the year 2030.
Net Zero Energy or NZE homes are designed and planned out and built to produce the energy that they will consume annually.
Newer homes will be required to comply with the current Canadian building codes. This will ensure that they increase the minimum energy performance required and update nearly every five years. At present, there are a small number of voluntary lower energy facilities. So far, there has been a surge in such lower energy homes and this is certainly helping to refine the cost-effective techniques that will meet these standards. Energy Star homes will be rated at 20% energy efficiency than their predecessors. Passive housing and other means will help to refine the costs. R2000 homes are up to 50% more energy efficient than previously built homes.
The NZE homes have been found to be up to 80% more energy efficient and will continue to make a huge impact on the energy efficiency of the region.
Fully NZE homes will also offer more on-site energy and more renewable production of energy and they’ll be even better than previously built homes. All homes will be built to the current standard of code and focus on how they can be more energy efficient. For some regions, this may include passive solar homes while in others that isn’t going to work at all.
Traditional heating systems that are utilized today consist of a furnace and often a tank water heater. This will be very different in future homes. It’s uncertain at this point what changes will take place as new technology is on the horizon. Each region will have its own technology upgrades and what works well for one region may not work at all for another. Many challenges are being faced and heating systems that are currently in use may be completely obsolete in the future. It’s important that builders focus on green energy efficient building and technology at all times. What worked last year may not even begin to work this year.
Andrew Oding, a senior building science associate who is connected with the actual NZE housing market sees the need for new trends and helps as they are ever emerging as the technology continues to evolve. The requirement for space heating will continue to drop at a dramatic rate making it vital to have appliances that are smart yet efficient.
Appliances must be able to run at different load capacities and demands.
There are also many great combo systems on the horizon that are popular with builders as they continue to offer solutions for space heating and the new demands of such energy efficient homes. Greener is clearly better.