The New Energy Codes as part of The Alberta Building Code.
has adopted the latest version of Canada's National Energy
Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011 edition as part of the Alberta Building Code
enforced as of November 1st, 2016. Moose Mountain Log Homes Inc. was
instrumental in the effort to insure that this new code was not inadvertently
biased against log homes. The issue was that almost every material used in
conventional construction had a insulation value applied to it and was
referenced in the prescriptive portion of the code. Logs as a building material
were not referenced and are unique as each log home company often has a
different method of joinery and may greatly vary in the species and size of log
used, often offering different options within the same company.
To have their log homes comply to the new energy codes each builder would have to go through the difficulty of trying to find a Building Envelope Engineer for each and every building, that also understands the specific properties of their logs and joinery, to be able to certify compliance and/or have to do performance testing on their logs, joinery and sealing methods. That would have meant achieving compliance would be an extremely costly process perhaps running into the hundreds of thousands dollars for each variation a builder may offer. It likely would have forced log home builders in Alberta out of business.
Moose Mountain Log Homes Inc.'s concern was not the Energy Code itself, we believe building a better and more energy efficient and sealed home is an important goal. However we were only able to offer examples of how our homes compared to somewhat similar conventional homes in a similar climate/area based on home owner experiences and actual heating bills. Energy codes were not designed to accommodate this approach. Experiences and heating bills from our clients indicated that our homes generally cost between one half and in some cases only one third as much to heat as a similar sized conventional home in the same climate/area. While there may be other factors that were effecting those results such as client choices in heating systems, better than average insulated basements and ceilings in some of the cases, however it was obvious that the log walls were definitely a major contributing factor in the consistently great performance of our homes compared to other homes. Below is the response we received to our request to exempt log walls in our homes from the new energy code.
Building a Super Energy Efficient Log Home
Why Building a Moose Mountain Log Home is the best
environmental decision you can make!
Why Building a Moose Mountain Log Home is the best environmental decision you can make!