BC On Its Way to Net-Zero by 2032
The Province of British Columbia is on an exciting path for all new construction to be net-zero energy ready by the year 2032.
Last year, the Province of British Columbia adopted the new BC Energy Step Code to help unify local government policy and bylaws with the ultimate goal of achieving highly energy-efficient buildings throughout the Province. The BC Energy Step Code is a unified and transparent code with a primary focus on overall building performance.
As a BC-based window and door manufacturer, we’re excited to be part of a progressive Province that is committed to a sustainable future. And here’s why:
In the past, the BC Building Code required buildings to demonstrate compliance through a prescriptive approach, where buildings needed to meet specific requirements for various building components. While these specific requirements provided a clear guideline for manufacturers, they did not take into account the overall performance of a building.
The BC Energy Step Code relies on a performance approach to compliance. The performance approach establishes a desired outcome and offers flexibility to the building team to decide how it will achieve the outcome. Instead of focusing on specific components within a building, building professionals need to consider the building as a system, ensuring each component will work together to achieve a high-performance building.
Whole-Building Energy Modelling
In the BC Energy Step Code, licensed energy advisors are responsible for whole-building energy modelling. The building envelope and heating/cooling systems need to be carefully designed to work together to achieve increasing levels of energy-efficiency.
One of the key components in whole-building energy modelling is on-site airtightness testing during and after construction. Using a blower door test, building professionals are able to determine if the building is constructed as designed and meets airtightness objectives.
Step 5: Net-Zero & Passive House
The BC Energy Step Code is part of BC’s Climate Leadership Plan. When buildings account for 12% of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada*, it makes sense to design and build buildings that consume as little energy as possible. In 2032, all new construction in British Columbia will need to meet net-zero energy and/or Passive House performance standards.
One Code for All
The BC Energy Step Code unifies all municipalities within the Province under one building code. It simplifies requirements for the industry and makes it easier for our clients to design and build in multiple cities.
The lack of prescriptive requirements does create some uncertainty for building product and system manufacturers. However, the BC Energy Step Code goes hand-in-hand with our mission – in fact, it only further reinforces it.
Since our inception, Innotech has been committed to manufacturing architectural windows and doors with outstanding thermal insulation, superior air, water and sound resistance, and remarkable durability. Our products are specified by leading building professionals for performance-driven projects that already achieve – and may even surpass! – the BC Energy Step Code’s Step 5 performance target. We invite you to browse our project portfolio to see many examples of Passive House, net-zero energy, LEED®, BuiltGreen® and other highly energy-efficient, airtight and durable projects.
We are excited to be a manufacturer in a Province that has big sustainability goals. As municipalities move up the steps of the BC Energy Step Code, we will continue to manufacture high-performance windows and doors that contribute greatly to a building’s overall performance.
BC Energy Step Code Seminars
BC Housing is hosting several seminars throughout the Province for government officials, building professionals and industry to learn more about the BC Energy Step Code. Visit their Building Smart website for event details and locations.
* Source: Canada’s Emissions Trends