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Engineering and Construction Technology

Government of Canada offers Latest Edition of the National Energy Code for Canada for Buildings for Free!

November 29, 2018

From the National Research Council Canada.

Free access to the code online lowers costs for the building industry

November 28, 2018 – Ottawa, ON ─ Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint. At the same time, providing free codes to the construction industry has been linked to strong gains in productivity and the economy in other countries.

That’s why the National Research Council of Canada and Natural Resources Canada are providing Canadians with free online access to the 2017 edition of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB 2017).

The NECB 2017 builds on Canada’s commitment to work closely with the provinces and territories on the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to meet emissions reduction targets, grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate. Provinces and territories may adopt the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings, or adapt it to create a regulation that meets their specific regional needs.

This pilot project marks the first time that a national building code has been made freely accessible, and will provide the Government of Canada with the opportunity to evaluate the benefits of moving towards such a model.

Through this process, we hope to leverage the information gathered, and compare the results to the experiences of other countries. For example, providing free codes to the construction industry in Australia has been linked to strong gains in productivity and the economy.

The NECB 2017 is published by the National Research Council and developed by the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes. Users can access the new edition online at


“Energy efficiency is the ultimate win-win, helping improve Canada’s economy while protecting the environment. It leaves more money in consumers’ pockets and creates quality jobs for Canadians, while reducing pollutants and stimulating innovation in our growing building sector.”
— Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“For small businesses, the cost of purchasing building codes has made it harder to succeed and grow. That’s why we are making access to the National Building Codes free across the country, starting with this pilot project. This will reduce the costs to business, encourage innovation, increase Canadians’ comfort and wellbeing, while reducing pollution. Everybody wins.”
— Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Heating, cooling, running appliances, and powering our homes and buildings accounts for 17% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reducing energy consumption through better insulation, high-efficiency equipment and systems, and minimal air leakage will help Canada meet its climate commitments.
  • The long-term strategy for the NECB includes developing a series of incremental energy performance targets to guide industry in planning and building capacity in energy-efficient technology, design and construction practices.
  • The strategy also includes developing a model code for existing buildings that will address the energy efficiency of buildings when they are renovated – another important step in supporting the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.
  • Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment, in the Fall Economic Statement, to make access to the National Building Codes free across the country.

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