Meeting the Updated Ontario Building Code

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The Ontario Building Code SB-10 section has been updated as of Jan 1, 2012. This new energy code for Part 3 buildings enforces ASHRAE 90.1-2010 with OBC specific revisions—largely the building envelope performance values from ASHRAE 189-2009, ASHRAE's High Performance Green Building's standard.

Learn more about the updated OBC here.

The new code allows for two major paths to demonstrate compliance:

  • Prescriptive compliance to the requirements of the building code (including envelope trade-off paths)
  • Performance compliance through the use of whole building energy modeling (where you can choose between 25% better than MNECB-1997, 5% better than 90.1-2010 or 0% better than current OBC code)

In particular, the performance path is often required for buildings where the following is incorporated:

  • Predominantly curtain-wall and/or window-wall façades
  • Wall constructions that utilize z-girts or other metal framing system to structurally bear the load of the wall finishing system
  • High fenestration (greater than 40%) to wall ratio building façades

Many building designers may wish to use the energy modelling path in order pursue specific, desired energy saving solutions to improving the overall building energy performance when particular OBC prescriptive requirements are not viewed as cost effective

Enermodal provides whole building energy modeling services to the Ontario building community. Through our LEED and sustainability energy modeling experience, we have found that once energy modeling becomes a part of the design process, exceeding the minimum requirements is often cost-effective and desirable given the return on investment. Also, using energy modeling as a design tool early on in the design process minimizes costly redesigns or the implementation of expensive technologies late in the design process when too many elements of the design are fixed.

Enermodal's service includes four major tasks:

Task 1: Concept Design Workshops and Energy Model: Enermodal works with the design team and use energy modeling as a part of the design process. Energy goals are set and energy modeling is used to evaluate the design and propose alternatives to achieve the decided upon goals.

Task 2: Energy Efficient Design Basis: Based on the results of Task 1, Enermodal develops an energy efficient design basis for the project designers to follow to aid in achieving the stated energy goal of the project.

Task 3: Review Design Drawings: During design development and construction drawings, Enermodal will review the progress of the design team against the energy design basis. We will alert the team of deviations and suggest alternative options where appropriate.

Task 4: For Building Permit Energy Modeling: The final energy model will be developed for code compliance. Enermodal will draft a letter for the building code authority, declaring the building's performance as well as a modeling report substantiating the building's performance and the methodology used to demonstrate compliance.

Learn more about the updated OBC here. Sign up for a half-day course on the updated OBC.

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Ontario Energy Performance Incentive Programs

As a part of their demand side management programs, many of the major energy utilities (OPA, Enbridge and Union Gas) provide financial incentives for exceeding the minimum energy performance of the building code. For projects seeking to improve their performance, often Enermodal's services can be significantly paid for through the pursuit of these incentive programs. Additional information can be found here.