Attendees of the Fenestration Canada annual general meeting last week in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, got a cross-country overview of building and energy code changes—and a lot is happening north of the border.

Skip MacLean of Tru Tech addresses the Fenestration Canada meeting.
Skip MacLean of Tru Tech addresses the Fenestration Canada meeting.

Jeff Baker, the technical consultant for Fenestration Canada, walked attendees through updates to the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS-11) and Energy Star. Baker said NAFS is now in use in all Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island and Nunavut. British Columbia is strong in NAFS enforcement, Baker said, while Quebec’s enforcement is limited. Most provinces fall somewhere in between.

British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have unique provincial energy codes, Baker said. In British Columbia, the standard is tied to U-factor only, while Quebec uses a combination of U-factor and Energy Ratings (ER), a Canadian energy-efficiency metric defined in the CSA A440.2‐09 Fenestration Energy Performance standard. It’s a single number rating that evaluates the energy performance under winter heating conditions and factors in the balance between heat loss through thermal transmittance and air leakage, and solar heat gain through the door or window. Everywhere else in Canada uses either u-factor or ER.

In 2017, Ontario is looking to update its provincial code to match NAFS-11 and the Canadian supplement to that standard.

Baker said Canada’s National Energy Act has provisions that created some chaos in the market. For example, windows made outside of Canada must meet the requirements of the act, but windows made in Ontario and shipped in Ontario don’t. However, a window made in Alberta and shipped to Ontario would have to meet the requirements.

He also discussed Ontario’s five-year climate-change action plan that sets stricter carbon standards for new buildings. “The key phrase here is ‘zero carbon emission small buildings,’” Baker said. “To cut through everything, it means triple-glazed windows will be standard in Ontario.”

As far as Energy Star, Baker said there are no significant changes on the horizon. Something that is changing, however, is the Canadian Supplement to NAFS and the Performance Calculator. The most recent update came with higher wind load and water-infiltration requirements. Last fall, it was reviewed and revised, and now it’s closer to previous values.

Also at the event, Heather Knudsen of the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology (CCHT) gave a presentation about a study her organization conducted on dynamic windows. It found energy savings of about 13 percent from dynamic glazing, but the payback periods are long, ranging from 13 to 27 years. That’s expected to go down in the future, Knudsen said. The study also found that dynamic glazing can reduce peak demand in winter by about 17-27 percent and in summer by 9-12 percent.

Planning for the revitalized WinDoor North America trade show was a focus for the meeting, as well. In February, show organizers announced that the 2016 event will be held in Montreal for the first time after a long run in Toronto. WinDoor also is under new management. Zzeem Inc. is taking over operations.

A major goal of the new WinDoor is to attract more machinery companies, and it also looks to increase engagement with contract glaziers via educational programs.