The Province’s adoption of the Energy Step Code provides a powerful new tool to achieve significant progress towards the City’s sustainability objectives. The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial program that municipalities may choose to adopt, giving the building industry a clear sense of where the province is heading on energy efficiency over the next decade. It also establishes consistent standards that builders can design and build to across all local governments in the province.
The Energy Step Code includes performance targets for the airtightness of new construction. These targets measure the amount of air which enters or leaves the building in an uncontrolled manner through gaps in a building’s air barrier (as opposed to deliberate ventilation through vents, windows, and doors). To date, builders have not been required to achieve specific airtightness targets, and relatively few have had the opportunity to benefit from training that focuses on building airtight homes.
To address this issue, the City of Richmond is implementing a program to make airtightness training available to local home builders directly responsible for installing air barriers: insulation sub-contractors, sheathing sub-contractors, and general contractors associated with an active Building Permit issued by the City of Richmond. Qualifying individuals will be able to have pre-drywall blower-door tests conducted at detached, semi-detached or row houses under construction in Richmond, or take a one-day airtightness techniques training course.