Thursday, September 4, 2008

Flywheel - Green Code - Okanagan requirements

The new green requirements in the Code come into effect on September 5, 2008 and will apply to all new construction and renovations in BC. The new requirements will apply to building permit applications submitted on or after September 5, 2008. These changes revolve around new Building Code requirements to increase energy and water efficiency.

But what does this mean to us here in the Okanagan and are they enough?

Unless you are building commercial or high-rise projects, there is little change to what is required under the basic provisions of the 2006 BC Building Code and local Building Bylaws.

Energy Efficiency

Increased engergy requirements for residential projects under 5 storeys have only seen an increase for Attic insulation values from R40 to R44.

Water Efficiency

As most jurisdictions have already adopted measures towards water efficiency - 6 litre flush toilets. It should not be a large leap towards meeting the maximum flow and flush cylcles required by code. These would include:

Maximum Flow Rates

Kitchen & Lavatory - 8.3L/min

Shower Heads - 9.5L/min (I am not sure how multiple head shower stalls could be considered "green")

Maximum Flush Cycles

Water Closets (Toilets) Tank Type - 6.0 Litres

Water Closets Direct Flush - 6.0 Litres

Urinal - Tank and Direct Flush - 5.7 Litres

Ensuring that your builder, suppliers and sub-trades have the corret information and product on hand will be the key factor to ensuring you meet the new green codes. Do I feel that these changes will make a significant impact - NO. But at least we are moving in the right direction.

Details on the new requirements are available in the Summary and Text of Code Changes.

If you are wondering what is in store for more improvements to green codes you may want to look at the City of Vancouver's Building Bylaw.

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