BC Comfort Insights Newsletter February 2018

In this month's newsletter, we share more important insights on the BC Energy Step Code, some staff announcements, a new "upcycling" technology, along with 5 reasons to make your building smarter in 2018.
The BC Energy Step Code - Revisited
Last year, we wrote a brief article about the BC Energy Step Code. Since then, there’s been a few updates about this upcoming standard.
What is the BC Energy Step Code?

The Step Code is an energy code that sets performance targets rather than the traditional prescriptive approach. In other words, the code requires an energy use target, rather than a certain type of envelope construction or mechanical system type. This gives designers and contractors more flexibility and innovation potential to achieve the desired target.

For example, under step 2, the code requires a building envelope energy demand of less than or equal to 45kWh/m2-year. Only performance targets defined, instead of prescriptive targets, like insulation values.
This is a big departure from the current energy code requirements (such as ASHRAE 90.1-2010) which is much more prescriptive.

Ok, but why should I care?

Effective Dec 15, 2017, cities no longer have legal force to set technical energy requirements. They must adopt some version of the BC Energy Step Code. 
Note that the City of Vancouver is exempt from the code as Vancouver has its own Building By-Law. However, they have adopted very similar standards to the BC Energy Step Code.

So which cities have currently adopted the step code?

To date, only the City of North Vancouver has adopted the code for Part 3 buildings. 
However, 17 cities in BC, including almost every city in the Lower Mainland has notified the province that they are intending to implement the code.

How does this affect me as a Builder / General Contractor / Developer?

It depends on which level of the code is implemented. One of the options is to go with a Step 0 code, which is the same as current energy code. 

Step 1 is also the same as the current energy code with enhanced commissioning;  i.e. energy models will be required to verify energy targets. If that’s the case, current construction standards (complying with ASHRAE 90.1) will be sufficient. 
However, if higher steps are required, there will need to be better envelope and more efficient mechanical systems than currently required in buildings.
How does the Energy Step Code compare to the current code (ASHRAE 90.1)?

Unfortunately, this cannot be directly compared. ASHRAE 90.1 sets prescriptive requirements for construction, whereas the new energy code sets overall energy use levels per square meter per year.
I’ve heard I can avoid the BC Energy Step Code by using “Passivhaus”.  What is this?
Passive House is an alternate compliance path for the BC Energy Step Code.
Passivhaus, or Passive House in English, is a high performance building envelope standard.  It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for spacing heating or cooling. 

While it has been applied for larger buildings, it is almost always used for smaller residential buildings.

Help!  I need more information.

More information can be found here:
Please also feel free to call BC Comfort's Design team at 604-439-3344 for specific questions.
Contact Us Today
Feature Staff 

BC Comfort is pleased to introduce Leonard Chiu as our new Controller effective
February 1, 2018.

Leonard has most recently worked for a number of years in a similar position for a general contractor.

He is a CPA, CMA and comes to us with valuable experience and energy.

We are also pleased to announce that Steve Mulholland will be moving from the field into a new role with us doing Sales/Project Management effective March 1st, 2018.

Steve is an electrician and a refrigeration mechanic.

Please join us in wishing Steve success in this exciting new career opportunity.

Feature Project

BC Comfort recently completed a Mechanical and Plumbing installation at the new La Cantina restaurant located at 722 Nelson Street in Vancouver. 

The HVAC systems features a high-efficiency heat pump, supplemented by a gas-fired furnace for heating.  The plumbing system included a grease interceptor for the kitchen sanitary and a high-efficiency instantaneous hot water heater.

Industry Insights 

Using "Upcycled Concrete" to Tackle Emissions

Imagine turning the world’s greatest waste products into their most essential building blocks. UCLA researchers at CO2NCRETE have created an "upcycled concrete" to help combat carbon emissions 

UCLA’s breakthrough technology first captures CO2 from power plant smokestacks. Then, the captured CO2 is “trapped” to produce a new type of CO2-neutral building material that can be used like cement.

By removing CO2 from power plant smokestacks this technology reduces the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. By creating a CO2-neutral building material it also displaces cement, which is one of the largest industrial sources of emissions, responsible for approximately 5% of global CO2.

Once commercialized, this technology offers a much lower-CO2 emissions trajectory for the construction and power sectors across the globe while promoting environmentally sustainable growth.

Click here to read more
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Building a Sustainable Future
For several years, we've committed to making business improvements to reduce our environmental impact and meet our sustainability goals. 

BC Comfort is actively working with Climate Smart to reduce carbon emissions. 
BC Comfort's website is also powered by green energy. 

Our web host purchases wind energy credits to offset the energy they consume from the grid. 
We'd Love Your Input
We encourage you to provide feedback on related topics, articles, or advice you’d like us to write about. You can send us a note by clicking here

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