Environmental Efficiency Changes to the Quebec Building Act as of August 2012

 

Delays of 2 to 4 additional days for the receipt of house plans purchased in Quebec (Canada) in order to update the plans to meet new codes in effect will not affect clients elsewhere as these changes are exclusive to the province.

In order to upgrade the environmental efficiency of new home constructions in the group C class which is 3 storeys or less and 600 sq. m. (6,460 sq. ft.) maximum, revisions to the Quebec Building Code came into effect as of August 31st 2012.

Builders and designers of house plans must adhere to the new law and even do it yourself owners who are planning a new build or a renovation which enlarges an existing building have no choice but to conform to the new code if…

 The building permit is requested after August 30th 2012

or

The build will start after November 28th 2012

  If your permit was requested prior to the August deadline and  the build will start before the November deadline, your project does not need to meet the new energy efficiency criteria.

Although it has not yet been translated into English, you can access the RBQ site, on which all of the technical details are available, through this link

http://www.apchq.com/abitibi/fr/publications-information-construction-editions-speciales.html

At the time of publication of this blog, the only pertinent thing that I found in English at

http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=2&file=/E_1_1/E1_1_A.HTM

was the following

 “R.S.Q., chapter E-1.1

AN ACT RESPECTING THE CONSERVATION OF ENERGY IN BUILDINGS

 This Act has been replaced since 30 August 2012 by the Building Act (chapter B-1.1) in respect of buildings and facilities intended for use by the public to which Part 11 of the Code adopted by Chapter I of the Construction Code (R.R.Q., c. B-1.1, r. 2) applies. (Order in Council 857-2012 dated 1 August 2012, (2012) 144 G.O. 2, 2613).”

 A brief résumé of Part 11 Ch.B-1.1 of the Quebec Building Act  at

http://www.rbq.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/medias/pdf/Publications/francais/Info-RBQ-reglement-favoriser-efficacite-energetique.pdf

states that the changes are to ensure an improvement of 20% to 25% over the previous criteria in the air tightness of the construction to inhibit the loss of heat through openings to the outside.

  

The maximal space for windows, doors and other elements which lead to the outside of the dwelling are subject to a limit of 30% of the surface area of the walls above the ground in the new construction code.

  This enhanced air tightness will necessitate the installation of an appropriate air exchanger in order to prevent excessive condensation within the walls, floors and attic. There is however no detailed specification with regards to how much air circulation is required per hour.

  These changes will inevitably have an impact on building costs but the RBQ estimates that these costs will be recovered in the 3 to 4 years following the build, after which the homeowner  will continue to benefit from substantial reductions in energy consumption costs.

Ensure that the contractor you hire is up to code and has taken the appropriate courses through the A.P.C.H.Q. and the R.B.Q. to ensure that your home will pass post build inspection.

You can rest assured that plans purchased from Drummond House Plans will conform to the new building codes. If purchasing plans from another source you will need to perform due dilligence in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later.

 

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