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Building Science Links

Insulation R values and the building envelope

Houses in the north require more effective envelope insulation than those in warmer climates. Insulation is expressed in R value to measure ‘thermal resistance’.

Insulation is only one part of a building’s envelope and the correct type of insulation must be selected in conjunction with the building’s design and construction style. The building designer/architect or building technologist can assist with determining the type and optimum amount of insulation for the particular design of the building.

Walls may be built with many different construction techniques and insulation types to achieve a specific R value. Variables include a number of insulation types paired with a range of wall structure options which may be erected in a variety of ways, each with features and benefits a building designer considers when designing the building.


 

National Building Code (NBC)

The NBC is the standard to which dwellings must be constructed for safety, reliability and systems standardization. The NBC is the model building code that forms the basis for all of the provincial building codes. Some jurisdictions create their own code based on the NBC, other jurisdictions have adopted the NBC often with supplementary laws or regulations to the requirements in the national code. Yukon has adopted this approach for application throughout the territory, however the City of Whitehorse has a local code governing construction within its boundaries.

A certified energy advisor can advise if any components or systems in your home should be upgraded to comply with the pertinent NBC criteria to maintain a reliable health and safety condition in your home.

Please be advised that on December 21, 2012 Revisions and Errata were made to the 2010 Edition of the National Building Codes. These Revisions, are being administered as of January 1, 2013, and will be fully implemented Yukon wide as of April 1, 2013.

Designer/Builder information package
General information on the December 21, 2012 Amendments
National Building Code Conforming Example Diagrams


Local Code

The City of Whitehorse Energy Conservation Bylaw stipulates minimum R values in new home construction. These apply to all new buildings and additions that are heated except residential accessory buildings such as sheds and detached garages.

View City of Whitehorse Green Building Standards.

View the list of City of Whitehorse verifiers in Yukon

Learn more about insulation from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.


Retrofitting existing homes to achieve greater energy efficiency

Older homes may be upgraded to be more energy efficient; the information below describes how this may be achieved by building style.

CMHC’s Renovating for Energy Savings Information Series: