January 19th, 2015

2010 National Building Code of Canada effective January 1, 2015


The Building code requirements limit unnecessary demand and consumption of energy for heating and cooling, as well as service water heating which will lead to Energy Efficiency and Lower Operating Costs.

The Province has adopted the 2010 National Building Code of Canada effective January 1, 2015, including enhanced standards for Barrier Free Design.   The new Building Code WILL effectively change the direction of construction in New Brunswick, with intended changes over the next few Code cycles to increasingly demand more energy efficient buildings.  What has been commonly known as an R-2000 home or having an ENERGUIDE rating of E80, will now resemble the minimum standard, with future incremental demands every 3-5 years, predicted to achieve ratings up to E100 by 2030, effectively constructing “NET Zero” energy buildings.

All new homes will have to comply with Section 9.36 Energy Efficiency of the new Building Code. Calculations are now needed to show that ceilings, floors and walls (including basements) all meet MINIMUM levels of Effective Thermal Resistance for Zone 6 (4570 Heating Degree-Days), as well as recording the energy performance of doors, windows, heating and cooling mechanical equipment, including the water heater!

2010 National Building Code of Canada effective January 1, 2015
Provision of future RADON Gas control is required for all new buildings (except garages, carports, accessory buildings or industrial uses requiring large openings in the winter).

Radon Gas is a radio-active gas that is colourless, odorless and tasteless.  It is formed by the breakdown of a natural radio-active materials found in MOST soils, rock and ground water.  Our atmosphere is typically composed of a base level of Radon gas.  It is naturally occurring and is diluted to low levels in the open air.  It does not seem to affect human beings unless experienced in higher level doses, over extended periods. This is important when buildings strive for higher levels of air tightness in an effort to gain energy efficiency.  The 2010 Building Code requires that all new construction include measures to further restrict soil gas (including air, water vapour and pollutants, including Radon gas) in a building and to provide for possible future remediation to reduce elevated health risks by providing:

a capped 4” diameter PVC pipe (marked “Radon”) to extend below the concrete floor slab at or near the center of the slab into a 4” layer of clear crushed stone (if future depressurization is required, the pipe can be extended and combined with a fan to draw Radon gas away from the conditioned living space)
a minimum 6 mil polyethylene air barrier continuous seal of joints in the air barrier (12 inch overlap) & along edges of footings
continuous seal around all penetrations. No openings for “future” plumbing)
once concrete is cured, a caulked seal around the floor slab perimeter

Radon Gas Inspection kits are available to monitor your home (suggested monitoring over a minimum winter period of 3 months).  In 2007 Health Canada revised its established Guidelines for exposure to Radon gas down to a maximum of 200 Bq/m².  If you have tested your home, Health Canada RECOMMENDS that you take remedial action when the Radon gas level is above the Canadian recommended limit.  While the health risk from Radon gas exposure below the Canadian Guideline is small, there is no level that is considered RISK FREE.  It is the choice of each home owner to decide what level of Radon gas exposure they are willing to accept.