Holland College instructor Josh Silver says revisions to Canada's building code will help ensure new homes are safer, more energy-efficient, and able to endure more intense weather linked to climate change.
Prince Edward Island (PEI) is Canada's last province to implement the National Building Code province-wide. Silver acknowledges that the changes will likely mean consumers will spend more money building, but those costs will be offset by long-term savings. He says, "The main focus of the new building code is specifically around changes in our environment, so we are going to have much harsher weather, stronger winds, more rains, more flooding, things of that nature, so we're making a house more waterproof and more wind-proof." Holland College is offering training four times a year on changes to the code, available to contractors and homeowners. Each PEI municipality will have the option to enforce the code, or shift that responsibility to the province.
Roy Vandermaar with Greenfoot Energy Solutions in Charlottetown says many of his clients are now building beyond the code's minimum re-quirements. He says, "First and foremost, people want to save money. But there is also the comfort factor — not having cold spots, being comfortable in your home." He adds, "People are more and more concerned about their footprint." Changes to Canada's building code include stricter insulation standards that involve basement walls and floors. Silver prefers using inter-connecting foam. The national code also requires the use of stronger roofing materials and more insulation for the roof, he says.