The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2020, developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes with the support of Natural Resources Canada, and published by the National Research Council of Canada, sets out technical requirements for the energy-efficient design and construction of new buildings and additions.
Several technical changes have been incorporated in this new edition, improving the level of energy efficiency provided by the Code and expanding compliance options.
Significant changes in the NECB 2020
- The application of the Code is extended to cover alterations, such as tenant improvements, to buildings originally constructed in accordance with the NECB.
- Maximum overall thermal transmittance values for opaque building assemblies and fenestration are reduced to improve the thermal performance of the building envelope.
- Whole-building airtightness testing is introduced as an option for complying with air leakage requirements.
- Lighting power densities are updated to reflect improvements in the efficacy of lighting products.
- Performance requirements for heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) and service water heating equipment are updated to align them with relevant standards and regulations.
- The trade-off compliance paths for HVAC and service water systems, which were complex and not widely used, are removed.
- A new compliance path with 4 energy performance tiers is introduced to provide a framework for achieving higher levels of energy efficiency in buildings.
The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2020 (NECB), together with the National Building Code of Canada 2020 (NBC), the National Plumbing Code of Canada 2020 (NPC) and the National Fire Code of Canada 2020 (NFC), has been developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) as an objective-based national model code that can be adopted by provincial and territorial governments.
In Canada, provincial and territorial governments have the authority to enact legislation that regulates building design and construction within their jurisdictions. This may involve the adoption of the NECB without change or with modifications to suit local needs, and the enactment of other laws and regulations regarding building design and construction, including requirements for professional involvement.
The NECB is a model code in the sense that it helps promote consistency among provincial and territorial energy codes for buildings. Persons involved in the design or construction of a building should consult the provincial or territorial jurisdiction concerned to find out which energy code is applicable.
This edition of the NECB succeeds the 2017 edition. The development of the NECB 2020 has been supported by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Natural Resources Canada and other stakeholders. The NECB 2020 will help to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to long-term benefits for both Canada's economy and the environment.
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