In April 2017, the provincial government adopted the BC Energy Step Code. While the Step Code has been embraced by many Cities, Builders, Designers and Homeowners, there are some people who have asked why it was created in the first place.
Here at Draft On Site, we believe in the importance of Step Code and want to share why we see it as such a positive development.
How BC Energy Step Code Will Change Your Home
Some Homeowners wonder what the Step Code can do for them. Here are just a few of the advantages of the Step Code for Homeowners:
1. Lower bills
Heating can be expensive. With the average home losing all its heat upwards of 10 times per hour, it is no wonder Homeowners are paying steep Hydro bills. The Step Code includes increased insulation and more airtightness. At the higher Steps, the requirements can mean losing heat as little as just once every hour. That is a massive difference that will lead to significant savings over the course of a year.
2. More comfortable homes
Better build practices also make homes more comfortable as temperatures are consistent. You no longer have hot and cold spots. Similarly, your home does get less hot in the summer and less cold in the winter. Instead, it maintains an ideal temperature year-round.
3. Safer homes
Old building practices allowed more drafts and moisture in homes, leading to wood being damaged and mould growing. Step Code requirements will make homes more airtight and will lower the moisture level inside them. This will allow home to last longer and will prevent the growth of health hazards like black mould.
4. Fewer renovations down the road
By 2032, all new homes in BC must be Net-Zero ready. After that, all existing homes need to be upgraded to be Net-Zero ready by 2050. The Step Code moves toward that goal now, reducing the number of renovations you will have to do down the road. In fact, even if Step 4 or 5 is not required in your area, you may want to build to one of those levels, preventing you from having to do major upgrades later on.
How The BC Energy Step Code Will Change The World
In Europe, Net-Zero and green building practices are already the norm. Canada is now working to catch up to the rest of the world. This is a vital development as climate change is reaching critical levels. The only way to protect the planet is for all of us to reduce our environmental footprint. One of the best ways to do this is by having a Net-Zero home.
It is hard to go from current practices to Net-Zero builds, though. This is where the Step Code comes in. It allows Designers, Builders and Homeowners to learn green building practices, embracing them over time. This means that, by the time the federal regulations come into place, BC Designers, Builders, and Homeowners will be ready, and will lead the way in Net-Zero housing in Canada.