National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC
Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

December 05, 2011 08:00 ET

245 Changes to Help Canadians Build Greener: The 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings Now 25% More Energy Efficient

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 5, 2011) - Some 245 technical changes have been made to the 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings to accommodate new technologies and construction practices that have emerged in Canada over the past 15 years.

"We are working with the provinces and territories to support the adoption of the 2011 Code to reduce energy consumption in buildings and make Canada a global leader in energy-efficient building construction," said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources. "Energy-efficient construction is one of the fastest, greenest and most cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases, save money and increase energy security."

A key characteristic of the Code is its overall performance improvement compared with the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings. The goal was to improve the energy efficiency of the Code's technical requirements by 25 percent from the previous version published in 1997.

"In September, our government announced a $78 million investment over the next two years to create jobs in the energy sector and improve energy efficiency through ecoENERGY Efficiency initiatives," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "The Code reflects the changing needs of Canadians and will deliver long-term benefits for both our economy and environment."

The Energy Code sets the minimum requirements for the design and construction of energy-efficient buildings and covers the building envelope, systems and equipment for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, service water heating, lighting, and the provision of electrical power systems and motors. It applies to new buildings, except housing, and additions to existing structures.

The Code must be adopted by individual provincial and territorial governments before coming into effect in a province or territory. It was updated using an extensive cross-country consensus-based process involving stakeholders from Canadians, governments, and industry. Once adopted by authorities, the Code will significantly reduce costs in energy for buildings.

The 2011 National Energy Code was prepared by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes in partnership with the provinces and territories. Both the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provided technical support and NRCan supplied funding as part of their commitment to improving the energy efficiency of Canadian buildings through the ecoENERGY initiative.


The 2011 National Energy Code of Canada now available

The 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings replaces its previous version published in 1997. The update provides model energy efficiency requirements for almost all types of buildings, except smaller buildings and residential housing.

The 2011 National Energy Code is objective-based and in the same format as the 2010 National Building, Fire and Plumbing Codes of Canada. This allows engineers, architects and designers to follow multiple paths to ensure that their proposed building designs are compliant to the outlined standards.

The Code is developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), which is an independent body established by the National Research Council with representatives for regulating, industry and public interests. It does not become law until adopted by regulatory authorities. Regulation of building design, construction, operation and maintenance is a provincial and territorial responsibility (except for federal property, federally regulated industries and aboriginal lands). NRCan is working with provincial and territorial governments to encourage the adoption, implementation and enforcement of the Code.

An important characteristic of the 2011 National Energy Code is its flexibility. As with all other national model codes, provinces and territories will be able to adopt the Code as is or make adjustments to suit their particular jurisdictional needs. The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes will offer detailed guidance to those jurisdictions who, for policy reasons, may want to amend the Code.

The 2011 National Energy Code addresses energy consumption by buildings. As lighting in unoccupied interiors is an unnecessary use of energy, the new code requires the installation of automatic lighting controls for many applications. It also requires the installation of heat recovery equipment for most occupancy types (self-contained residential units in some climate zones are exempted) since this produces significant energy savings and minimizes wasted heat.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) both contributed technical support while NRCan also invested in this project by providing $4 million as part of the Government of Canada's ecoENERGY initiatives.

The 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings is published and sold by the National Research Council of Canada on behalf of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes. Information on how to purchase the Code is available at

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    National Research Council Canada

    Stephanie Thomas
    Special Assistant (Communications)
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)

    Media Relations
    Natural Resources Canada

    Patricia Best
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Honourable Joe Oliver
    Minister of Natural Resources