News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

October 15, 2010

BUILDING CODE CHANGES TO MAKE HOMES MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT: HOWARD

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Revisions Take Effect Dec. 1

Manitoba is implementing changes to the building and plumbing codes that will increase energy and water efficiencies as well as make Manitoba homes healthier, Labour Minister Jennifer Howard,  minister responsible for the Office of the Fire Commissioner, announced today.
 
“We want Manitoba homes to lead the nation when it comes to incorporating new technology to improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality,” said Howard.  “These changes are designed to further reduce our footprint on the environment and help Manitobans have a greener future.”
 
The changes are the result of extensive consultations by the Office of the Fire Commissioner involving new homebuilders, contractors and technical experts.  When fully implemented, the codes will make Manitoba one of the most energy-efficient jurisdictions in North America, Howard said.
 
“These changes will mean that in an average two-storey, gas-heated home, carbon-dioxide emissions will be reduced by more than half or about 1.25 tonnes per year,” Howard said.
 
The new efficiencies will be incorporated into new construction and homes undergoing extensive renovations.  Building code changes include:
·         specifying minimum energy-efficiency requirements for windows,
·         eliminating the pilot light in gas fireplaces,
·         increasing the required level of attic insulation to R50,
·         requiring a minimum 94 per cent fuel-efficiency rating for furnaces,
·         specifying a mid-efficient heat-recovery ventilator, and
·         introducing energy-modelling software that will allow builders to model alternatives to the code requirements.
 
Changes to the plumbing code allow for reduced maximum-flow rates in residential water devices such as toilets and shower heads.  In addition, they will allow the reuse of non-potable (grey) water for other applications around the home if it meets the Canadian Standards Association grey water standard that is expected to be released in December.
 
It is estimated these efficiencies would save homeowners an average of $220 per year on energy and water use, the minister said.  With an estimated 5,000 or more new homes under construction yearly, this would result in more than $1 million in savings.
 
“The province has made great strides in energy and water efficiency while ensuring construction of new homes remains affordable for Manitobans,” said Mike Moore, president of the Manitoba Home Builders Association.
 
“Efficient use of our natural resources is becoming a priority for all Manitobans and we applaud the province’s leadership in this area,” said Colleen Kuruluk of the Manitoba Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council.  “It’s great to ensure that new homes will now incorporate this objective right from the start.”
 
Amendments to the Manitoba Building Code and Manitoba Plumbing Code will take effect Dec. 1.  For more information, contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner at 204-945-3322, 1‑800‑282‑8069 (toll-free) or www.firecomm.gov.mb.ca.
 
The latest code changes build on the province’s 2008 climate change action plan to help the province achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gases to six per cent below 1990 levels.
 
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