Meeting the BC Energy Step Code with the Pacific SmartWall
One of the key benefits of building a home with Pacific Homes is the energy efficiency that our Pacific SmartWalls provide. This month, Pacific Homes worked with Enertech Solutions Ltd. to test the energy efficiency of our Pacific SmartWall System to see how it performs in accordance to the new BC Energy Step Code.
BC Energy Step Code
The BC Energy Step Code was created to help British Columbia reach its goal that by 2032, all new buildings will be net-zero-energy ready. A net-zero-energy building consumes zero energy overall, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on or nearby the site. Every building can be rated on the BC Step Code anywhere from Step 1 to Step 5, with Step 5 representing a net-zero-ready home. The Pacific SmartWall can help achieve an effective Step Code rating by reducing the loss of heat, therefore reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Testing the Pacific SmartWall System
To test its efficiency in regard to heat loss, we worked with Enertech Solutions Ltd. who visited one of our completed homes to do a series of tests. The home tested is a Shawnigan package located on Vancouver Island that was made with 2 x 8 Pacific Smartwalls. Enertech Solutions Ltd. performed a series of tests measuring not only how energy efficient the home is in general but also specifically what areas of the house are leaking heat. In the case of our Shawnigan package home, Enertech Solutions Ltd. found that it landed in Step 4 of the BC Step Code. Heat leakage within the home was found mostly through certain light fixtures which hurt its ACH (Air Changes per Hour) metrics, which are a measure of the movement of air within the home in a given hour. Its ACH was still much better than an average home at an impressive 1.12. The Pacific SmartWalls themselves were incredibly effective at retaining heat. Enertech Solutions Ltd. stated that if the ACH was lowered to 1.0 by fixing some of those heat leakages and the windows were upgraded to being triple glazed, the home would land within Step 5 of the BC step code and would be considered a net-zero-ready build.
If you’re interested in learning more about this testing, contact one of our build specialists and we’ll happily share the test reports with you.