buildABILITY Blog Series: Catching Up with Michael Lio
We recently had a chance to test drive the energy efficiency provisions of the National Building Code. For builders in many parts of the country the transition to effective R-values I predict will be a significant challenge. New tools like the Canadian Wood Council’s online Wall Thermal Design Calculator (http://cwc.ca/resources/wall-thermal-design/) will help, but builders will need to navigate the many pages of guidance within the NBC to master the new approach.
Some parts of the country have already adopted the NBC provisions while others like Alberta have committed to adopting them next year. In Ontario, the Ontario Building Code has taken a very different course, sticking to nominal R-values and predefined construction packages that blend envelope insulation and mechanical system efficiency. Despite Ontario’s simpler rule set, Ontario’s transition was supported by a very significant training effort before the rules came into effect.
Training which we developed and delivered reached over a thousand Ontario builders and made the transition to Ontario’s rules almost seamless. We also developed targeted training for building official and architects, giving each industry stakeholder the same knowledge platform. Regions that adopt the national rules will need to consider industry training in a similar way. Training will allow builders to understand the NBC provisions and to harness the potential to innovate which exists within the rule set.
– Michael Lio