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News: Codes & Standards

Industry Responds to Increased Insulation Requirements in Alberta

May 29, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Caitlyn Stewart
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The Issue:
Contained within the most recent National Model Energy Code for Buildings are significant insulation requirements for buildings with a heated slab, common to hydronic heating systems (in some cases up to 4"). These over-regulated insulation requirements are making it difficult for hydronic heating to compete in the marketplace due to the additional cost upfront costs.

Our Concern:

There is little technical evidence that the increases in insulation prescribed, in isolation, will materially impact building performance. Therefore this requirement appears to only add to the cost base of hydronic heating systems while letting other competing forms of space heating avoid additional insulation costs. Over the past 6 months this has already had a significant negative impact on hydronic sales in the Province of Alberta.  

The Canadian Hydronics Council has been communicating with Alberta Municipal Affairs on this matter and has officially requested a variance to this code citing technical and costing data, plus feedback from close to 100 professionals in the industry in the province. The Council is advising that the insulation requirements contained in CSA B214 (1") be the standard and that no additional regulation is required unless it is applied more uniformly or can demonstrate greater technical merit. 

Going Forward:
This request for variance was issued on May 17, 2017 to James Orr, Director, Standards Development, Building and Fire, and the Council looks forward to working with the province on this matter. Further the Council is eager to engage in dialogue on all progressive programs that will enable residents to heat their homes efficiently, comfortably and cost effectively, in the future. 

The Council will update the members once a response from the government is received. 

For more information contact:

Matt Wiesenfeld
Program Manager

Rob Waters 
Technical Consultant

The Canadian Hydronics Council is dedicated to the interests of the hydronic heating industry in Canada, and has been so for more than 40 years. The CHC mandate allows us to participate in: Education and Certification of national training standards; Government Relations including participation in codes and standards development; Industry and Consumer Marketing .


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