MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has released the 2006 Building Code, which requires that higher energy efficiency standards be met. Gas and propane furnaces will be required to meet a 90 percent AFUE as opposed to the current minimum of 78 percent under the Ontario Energy Efficiency regulations. More stringent requirements will also be adopted for ceiling and basement wall insulation levels and windows.

The energy conservation changes to the Ontario Building Code include over 700 technical changes including higher accessibility standards, green technology opportunities, and a dramatic shift from a prescriptive to an objective-based code.

According to the Ministry, over the next eight years alone, the Building Code's increased energy-efficiency requirements will save enough to power 380,000 homes.

For large residential buildings, the Code calls for immediate compliance with the National Energy Code for Buildings, 1997, or ASHRAE 90.1, 2004, modified, and an overall energy-efficiency increase 25 percent higher than the model National Code by 2012.

With respect to transition, building permits issued up until the end of this year fall under the existing code. In addition, where the working drawings, plans, and specifications are substantially completed before Dec. 31, 2006 and an application for a permit is made before March 31, 2007, the old code applies.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be hosting code information sessions. Details are pending. Copies of the Ontario Regulation 350/06 are available for purchase from Publications Ontario at a cost of $35.00. Please note that this is a special printing of the regulation only, not the complete Office Compendium of the Building Code. An Office Compendium of Ontario's 2006 Building Code will be available in the fall of 2006.

For more information, visit www.publications.gov.on.ca or contact Caroline Czajko at 800-267-2231, ext 234.

Publication date: 08/14/2006