CHBA warns of new energy code costs
November 16, 2017
The proposed new federal energy building code will nail costs ranging from $30,000 to $50,000 onto the price of a new house, according to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA).
The new code is being drafted with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), which is currently in consultations to implement significantly higher energy efficiency standards into new-home construction.
Philip Rizcallah, the director of research and development at National Research Council Canada, said the cost to build an average new home could rise substantially to meet the updated building models.
“With a typical home, we could estimate it would be about a $35,000 increase on that construction,” Rizcallah said.
Preliminary research by the CHBA comparing costs building according to for a conventional 2,100 square-foot Ottawa detached house, however, shows the costs could add “$30,000, $40,000 or even $50,000” more to construction expenses.
“It is significant,” said David Foster, a CHBA spokesman. “There is no way the cost will be recovered in energy savings.”
Foster noted that full implementation of the proposed new code would not arrive until 2030, and suggested that new techniques and technologies could lower the cost.
The proposal is part of federal government policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In B.C., especially Vancouver–where current city building energy codes closely parallel the federal proposal–home builders say they are a step ahead of builders in the rest of the country.
“NRCan’s announcement will have zero effect in the City of Vancouver where advanced energy code requirements are well-ahead, chronologically, of what NRCan is proposing,” said Bob de Wit, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association. “By the time the code changes NRCan is talking about come into effect, [we] will have had of experience with the Step-code currently being rolled out across B.C.”
“This won’t impact B.C. homeowners and builders nearly as much as elsewhere in Canada,” de Wit said.