Proposed Changes to SB-12 are Posted

Kyle Anders of Mindscape Innovation wrote a great blog piece highlighting the proposed changes to OBC’s SB-12. The following is an excerpted quote from their great monthly news letter:

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) is working to finalize the next version of the Supplementary Standard SB-12 (2017). SB-12 is the standard that Ontario home builders (i.e. for Part 9 buildings) must use to meet the minimum energy efficiency design requirements of Part 12 in the Ontario Building Code.  This SB-12 update will include more stringent energy efficiency requirements for new homes, in order to achieve the mandated target of 15% energy savings versus the current standard.  This is the first major SB-12 update since its inception in 2012, and it will come into effect for all permit applications after December 31st, 2016.  MMAH is requesting input from key stakeholders in the building, design, manufacturing and municipal government sectors to help finalize this standard, and has provided the following documents:

1) Draft MMAH SB-12 (2017) Version

2) Background Document and Comment Form

Anyone who cares about the future energy efficiency and cost effectiveness of new homes in Ontario should pay attention to this and have their voice heard on the issue.


Key Changes Proposed for 2017 Version

  • 15% Energy Efficiency Improvement: Each SB-12 package is designed to be 15% more energy efficient than current SB-12 packages, based on an ‘average’ home.
  • Fewer Packages: To reduce redundancy of unused packages in the current version, the proposed number of prescriptive packages will be less, e.g. 6 instead of 13 for the scenario of Zone 1 – Natural Gas.
  • Now in Metric! Metric thermal values are now included in addition to imperial.  Metric continues its slow and steady march to global domination
  • Effective Thermal Resistance: Minimum thermal performance values for various assemblies are now listed in both nominal and effective.  This will give a boost to buildings that use exterior continuous insulation, well the actual performance of the entire assembly, including thermal bridging through the studs, is recognized.
  • Mandatory Heat Recovery Ventilators: Heat Recovery Ventilators is proposed to be mandatory across all packages, in order to facilitate better indoor air quality in airtight homes.
  • Credit for Reduced Air Leakage: Recognition for demonstrating increased airtightess of the building envelope with a blower door test has been added.  Improved airtightness can be used as a substitution for various insulation upgrades.
  • Drain Water Heat Recovery (DWHR) Tradeoff has Been ‘Discreetly’ Removed: While MMAH doesn’t specifically indicate this in the list of proposed changes in their Backgrounder document, the proposed SB-12 (2017) update has been scrubbed of all traces of DWHR: where builders currently have the option of being credited for including DWHR by trading off another upgrade, they will no longer have this option under the drafted SB-12 (2017) update.