In last month’s article, we stated that the new BC Building Code 2018 will come into effect on December 10th, 2018.  The most significant change from a mechanical standpoint is the adoption of the newest version of the energy code – ASHRAE 90.1-2016. As usual, the updated code has numerous increases in efficiency for HVAC equipment.  However, there are also new requirements that change construction.

Here are the most significant changes that will affect both new construction and building owners/operators:

  1. Prohibition on Uninsulated warehouses. In the current code, it was possible to build a “semi-heated” building with no wall insulation. The majority of these buildings were tilt-up concrete panel construction and were limited to 15 BTU/SF. The limited heat allowed the buildings to maintain an indoor temperature of around 10 deg C. The new code revises this number to less than 8 BTU/SF. Effectively, it will be impossible to maintain the temperature above freezing with this little heat. Insulated sandwich panels will be required for all new tilt-up buildings in the new code.
  2. HVAC Unit Replacements. Traditionally, it has been assumed for a direct unit replacement, the original conditions would be grandfathered in. This is no longer the case; ASHRAE now has new requirements for unit replacements. For example, if you are replacing a large roof top unit in a conference room, you are now required to have demand controlled ventilation (controlled by a CO2 sensor) even if it is a direct replacement of a unit that did not originally have this.
  3. Economizer Fault Detection. An economizer is a device on a roof top unit (RTU) that allows the use of outside air to cool a space without mechanical cooling. It is a great energy saving device that works well in our relatively mild local climate and is standard on almost every RTU. The new code requirement adds diagnostics and fault detection to the economizer unit.  The purpose is to alert the service provider if the economizer is not working properly.

If you are interested in a more detailed list of changes to ASHRAE 90.1-2016, BC Comfort would be happy to come to your office to discuss further.

For more information, please contact BC Comfort.