2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

Energy Code-Compliant Housing Design: A Cost and Energy Perspective

Ms. Regina Dias Ferreira, University of Alberta (Presenter)
Dr. YuXiang Chen
Mr. Haitao Yu, Landmark Building solutions Inc.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein, University of Alberta

The residential sector is the third highest end-user of energy in Canada, accounting for ~17% of all energy consumed in the country. Moreover, housing in Canada consumes approximately 214 kWh/m2 per year, and ~63% of this consumption results from space heating. Thus, in an effort to improve the energy efficiency of housing, the provincial government in Alberta, Canada, recently updated its building code, including a section dedicated entirely to energy-efficiency requirements applied to new housing and small buildings in the province. Housing built compliant to this improved energy standard will have better energy performance. On the other hand, code-compliance is also expected to lead to an increase in initial housing construction cost due to changes in construction practice. In this context, this paper investigates the impacts of code-compliance on housing construction practice and operation costs for housing in Edmonton, Alberta. Selection of least-construction-cost upgrades for building envelope (attic ceiling, above- and below-grade walls, and windows) that meet code-specified thermal insulation values is discussed. Then, a 30-year lifecycle analysis is conducted using HOT2000 simulation to estimate the energy performance and operation cost of a home built using current construction practices and using the proposed least-construction-cost upgrades. The results obtained indicate that a reduction of ~12% on energy consumption is achieved by deploying the upgrades proposed by this study.