NECB 2020

What has changed in NECB 2020?

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

The National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) was developed by the National Research Council and Natural Resources Canada as part of the commitment to improving the energy efficiency of Canadian buildings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The NECB covers a wide range of building components and systems, including building envelope, electrical, and mechanical systems.

Now covetool users can select the latest version of the NECB which was published in March 2022. The NECB 2020 contains multiple new changes over its 2017 predecessor, such as reducing the maximum allowable thermal transmittance for windows and doors and above-grade opaque assemblies, reducing the maximum allowable lighting power densities for interior and exterior lighting, and much more.

What has changed in the new version?

The 2020 edition is an important step toward Canada’s goal of achieving Net Zero Energy Ready (NZER) buildings by 2030. An NZER building is highly energy efficient but does not include onsite renewable energy production to offset annual energy consumption from operations.

For the first time, the NECB includes progressive performance tiers to maximize energy efficiency in new construction. This new approach sets the direction for the industry and enables provinces and territories to incrementally adopt higher levels of performance within one code.

What inputs on the baseline energy page are taken from the energy code?

The following requirements are taken from NECB:

  1. Building envelope properties – Includes thermal properties of walls, windows, doors, and roofing, and addresses air infiltration rates and thermal transmission.

  2. Lighting and sensors – Include lighting power densities and lighting controls to make effective use of available daylight.

  3. Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems – Includes heating and cooling system COP, heat recovery ventilation, and building automation and control systems to optimize equipment operation.

  4. Occupancy, Lighting, and Equipment schedules - Includes all the schedules for different types of buildings on Weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Where can one find the above inputs in NECB 2020?

The following table reference the inputs for each category on the energy code:

Building envelope properties

Table - Overall Thermal Transmittance of Above-ground Opaque Building Assemblies)

Lighting Power Density (Building Area Method)

Table - Lighting Power Density by Building Type for Use with the Building Area Method

Daylight and Occupancy Sensors

Table - Lighting Power Density Using the Space-by-Space Method and Minimum Lighting Control Requirements

Heating and Cooling COP

Table A to P

Occupancy, lighting, and Equipment Schedules

Table A- A to K

cove.tool supports all of the NECB versions i.e. 2011, 2015 and 2017, and 2020. It also takes care of selecting the default version of NECB accepted by different states in Canada when you input the location of the project.

Learn more about NECB here:

Did this answer your question?