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Efficiency Canada

Why should you care about building codes?

The places where we live, work, play, and gather are a critical piece of Canada’s transition to a net-zero economy. We can greatly decrease greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in our building sector. To do so, we need to transform how we design and construct buildings in Canada.

This gives a new role for building energy codes, and this new role is exemplified in Canada’s proposed 2020 national model codes which offer a tiered path to improved energy performance. Lower tiers are similar to today’s minimum standards. Each higher step moves towards the end goal of a net-zero energy ready standard.

Why a toolkit?

To help accelerate the adoption of these advanced building energy codes, we have developed Codes4Climate: A Building Code Advocacy Toolkit. This toolkit is designed for anyone interested in reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings sector.

The Canadian buildings sector accounts for about a quarter of Canada’s total final energy consumption and approximately 17% of greenhouse gas emissions when emissions associated with electricity used in buildings are included. This places building energy codes as one of the critical paths we can leverage to increase the energy performance of our buildings.

Codes4Climate outlines the role of building energy performance as a tool for climate action. It provides information and tools that advocates can leverage to help their municipality better prepare for the adoption of the model codes in the coming years through grassroots building energy code campaigns.

 Codes4Climate provides:

      • Terms and definitions related to the net-zero energy ready model codes.
      • An overview of different types of building codes and the benefits they provide.
      • An outline of the national model code development and adoption process.
      • Tips to make the case for model codes adoption, and higher building performance standards.
      • Templates and tools to advance adoption efforts and get people engaged.

This building code advocacy toolkit for provincial/territorial champions is intended to help climate advocates, municipal advocates, and local organizations demonstrate the importance of advanced energy codes, like the 2020 national model codes, and the urgent need for provincial/territorial governments to adopt the model codes.

Building energy codes can help your province or territory

How to use Codes4Climate: A Building Code Advocacy Toolkit

This guide breaks down everything you need to know about model code adoption into easy-to-understand modules. You can use these modules as your go-to guide to develop your own building energy code adoption advocacy plan, answer questions related to building code adoption, and to apply the advocacy tactics provided in the tools to take action section.  

Included in this toolkit are specific policy asks advocates can make of policymakers as well as an outline of the strategic role for municipalities as they seek to adopt a tier of the proposed 2020 model codes that meets their energy efficiency and GHG emissions reductions objectives.

This project was made possible with funding from The Atmospheric Fund (TAF)

© Efficiency Canada 2021

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