Green Building Law Update Service

Center for Climate Change Law

Manitoba Adopts New Residential Building and Plumbing Codes


Posted on October 21st, 2010 by J. Cullen Howe

On October 15, 2010, the Canadian province of Manitoba announced changes to its residential building and plumbing codes.  According to government officials, these changes, which will apply to new and renovated homes, will make Manitoba one of the most energy-efficient jurisdictions in North America and will help it meet its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to six percent below 1990 levels by 2012.  Under the code revisions, an average two-story, gas-heated home will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by half, or about 1.25 metric tons per year.

The amendments to the building code include, among other things, minimum energy requirements for windows; elimination of pilot lights in gas fireplaces; a minimum R50 insulation in attics; and a minimum 94 percent fuel efficiency rating for furnaces.  Manitoba is also introducing energy modeling software to help builders implement code requirements.

The amendments to the plumbing code include reduced maximum flow rates for devices such as toilets and shower heads.  In addition, the amendments allow for the reuse of non-potable water (or greywater) for certain uses as long it meets the Canadian Standards Association’s gray water standard, which is expected to be finalized in December 2010.

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