Language selection


Proving code compliance

If your authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) has adopted an energy code or a standard such as the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB), it will want confirmation that your building design complies prior to issuing a building permit. To ensure that your building complies, it is important to know the energy code in your province or territory because provinces and territories can adopt different energy codes from one another. There are three compliance paths available when using the NECB: prescriptive, trade-off and performance.

Prescriptive path

This path involves following the prescriptive requirements of each section of the code. Your local building permit office can provide the prescriptive path checklists required for your jurisdiction, which must be submitted with the construction drawings and mechanical specifications as part of your building permit application.

Trade-off path

If you need some flexibility in your design, a trade-off path allows you to trade elements within the same "part" of the energy code. For example, if your design calls for more window area than prescribed by the code, you may be able to compensate by improving the insulation in the building envelope.

Performance path

You can also choose to use a performance path. This approach offers the most design flexibility. For this compliance path, you must simply demonstrate that the proposed design will not consume more energy than an equivalent building built to the prescriptive requirements of the NECB version in use. If a computer program is used for the compliance calculations, the program’s calculation methods employed in the energy model must conform to ASHRAE Standard 140, or an equivalent test method.

Using software and tools to prove code compliance

Various computer programs and tools can assist you in demonstrating compliance with the NECB. See energy software for new buildings for some tools that can be used to demonstrate compliance with the energy code.

NECB User’s Guide

The User’s Guide to the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings is designed to complement the NECB and can assist you with code compliance for various editions of the NECB:

The User’s Guide – NECB 2020 will be available by end of 2022.

Page details

Date modified: