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Talks on energy codes

National standards don't meet Yellowknife needs

Thorunn Howatt
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Feb 27/02) - Yellowknife's winter is a harsh testing ground when it comes to trying out new ways to save energy. The cold-weather city might not be a realistic place to try energy preservation.

nnsl photo

Diamond Glass owner Bryan Rendell was at a recent energy codes conference in the city. "A window won't necessarily work the same in Vancouver as it will in Resolute Bay," he commented about the standardization of national energy building codes. - Thorunn Howatt/NNSL photo

"We brought in building inspectors, mechanical engineers, contractors, building suppliers and everybody in the building energy industry," said project consultant Richard Bushey referring to participants in an energy conservation workshop forum last week. The forum was organized by the government of the Northwest Territories and the NWT Construction Association, who wanted to see if it made sense to apply model national energy codes to the North.

"The general conclusion was that, in most aspects, the existing building practice in new construction here in the Yellowknife area is good," said Bushey. The city's building codes already meet the requirements of the national model, he said.

Ventilation causes the biggest problem in meeting national specifications.

"There's a problem here in the North because when it gets 35 or 40 below out they have to go on defrost cycle," he said, referring to heat recovery ventilation -- a method that brings air inside and heats it up by exchanging it. "There are some parts of the code that are difficult to meet because we have unusually harsh climatic weather."