In 2016, the Lio & Associates team undertook a study for the Ministry that examined a future roadmap to net zero energy levels of performance for new housing in Ontario. In January 2012, the OBC required new housing to be built to an energy efficiency performance level equivalent to that of EnerGuide 80 (ERS 80). The 2012 edition of Ontario’s Building Code indicated that energy efficiency levels would be increased by 15% in January 2017. In the Summer of 2016, the prescriptive energy efficiency packages to be in effect for 2017 were released. With these requirements finalized, the focus will soon switch from the 2017 Code to the requirements for the next Code cycles.
The objective of the study was twofold. The first was to examine the prerequisites required for the Ontario market to build net zero energy (NZE) houses. The examination led to the development of a roadmap that outlines the major milestones for the market in order to achieve NZE construction. The roadmap is grounded in evolving market capacity and ability. The second objective was to evaluate potential new energy conservation levels that would exceed the level that can be obtained by complying with the energy efficiency requirements that will come into force in the 2017 Code.
The results of each task attempt to advise the Ministry in the development of prescriptive options for the Building Code in response to consumer and building industry demand for higher energy efficiency.