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New Building Code requirements come into effect on January 1, 2012. These relate to energy efficiency and occupancy permits.
If you apply for a building permit on or after January 1, 2012, the proposed construction must comply with enhanced energy efficiency requirements of Ontario’s Building Code.
The 2006 Ontario Building Code set out a “roadmap” for energy efficiency to be implemented from January 1, 2006 through to December 31, 2011. As part of that roadmap, the Code set out energy efficiency benchmarks for houses and for large buildings. Subsequent Code amendments provided additional compliance paths that are consistent with those benchmarks.
The Building Code provides that construction for which an application for a building permit is made on or after January 1, 2012 must meet the following energy efficiency requirements:
- Houses and other Part 9 residential buildings intended for occupancy on a continuing basis during the winter months must meet the performance level that is equal to a rating of 80 or more when evaluated in accordance with EnerGuide80 (based on the Hot 2000 V9.34c1,2 software) or conform to Supplementary Standard SB-12, which is referenced in the Building Code. The alternative compliance paths set out in this Supplementary Standard are referenced in an amendment to the Building Code which came into force on January 1, 2010. For more information about the updated Supplementary Standard SB-12 follow the link to Service Ontario’s publications site at http://www.publications.serviceontario.ca/ecomlinks/510090.pdf.
- Other buildings Iincluding Part 3 residential and commercial buildings)must conform to Supplementary Standard SB-10 (July 1, 2011 update), which is referenced in the Building Code. This Supplementary Standard indicates that the energy efficiency of these buildings shall be at least 25% greater than the energy efficiency levels attained by conforming to the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings, but provides additional compliance paths to achieve them. The updated Supplementary Standard SB-10 is referenced in an amendment to the Building Code which came into force on July 1, 2011. For more information about the updated Supplementary Standard SB-10 follow the link to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Building Code website at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page9528.aspx
If Code Users haven’t done so already, they may wish to participate in technical training courses on the Building Code’s energy efficiency requirements developed by MMAH and offered by stakeholder organizations such as the Ontario Building Officials Association and community colleges. For more information follow the link to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Building Code website at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page8526.aspx
Other technical training may also be offered by professional and building sector organizations. The Ontario Home Builders Association, for example, can help builders to find out about such opportunities. For more information follow the link to the Ontario Home Builders Association website at http://ohba.ca/ontario-building-code-training.
Occupancy Permits for Certain New Residential Buildings
Amendments to the Building Code which come into force on January 1, 2012 will also require an inspection to be made and a permit be issued prior to persons occupying certain new residential buildings for which an application for a permit is made on or after January 1, 2012. The amendments to the Code include criteria that must be met for such an occupancy permit to be issued.
The new occupancy permit requirements will apply to buildings intended for residential occupancy that are: three or fewer stories in building height and have a building area not exceeding 600 square metres; have no accommodation for tourists; do not have a dwelling unit above another dwelling unit; and do not have any dwelling units sharing a common means of egress.
These requirements will not apply to existing buildings, or parts of existing buildings, that have been subject to renovation, including an extension to the building, a material alteration or repair. Please see Section C 188.8.131.52 of the Building Code (2006 edition, as amended by O. Reg. 503/9) for details. For more information follow the link to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s Building Code website at http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page8810.aspx.
Next Edition of the Building Code
The development of the next edition of the Building Code continues. The timing and development of the next edition does not affect the timing of the energy efficiency and occupancy permit requirements of the 2006 Building Code described above, which will take effect on January 1, 2012.
 the EnerGuide rating system was developed by Natural Resources Canada to evaluate the energy efficiency of houses