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Energy code deadline spurs building permits in Calgary

JOC News Service
Energy code deadline spurs building permits in Calgary

CALGARY, ALTA. – In a crunch to beat the deadline for regulations, October has been a record month for building permit applications in Calgary. The total construction value of building permits in October 2016 was over $1.5 billion, the highest value in a single month on record in Calgary.

The city saw a 36 per cent increase in single family homes and a 47 per cent increase in new commercial buildings compared to the previous month.

This beat last October’s record of $1.47 billion, which was when an updated Alberta Building Code was implemented.

According to the city, the spike in applications can be attributed to the Nov. 1 implementation of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings and Section 9.36 of the Alberta Building Code, both of which bring in energy efficiency requirements.

"Many of those applying for a building permit prior to the Nov. 1 energy code deadline have been in the planning stages for a long time," says Justin Pockar, energy and environmental co-ordinator at the City of Calgary.

"If they were to follow the new energy efficiency requirements, they would face significant design changes that could result in increased cost and time delays."

For those applying after the Nov. 1 energy code deadline, the city has developed tools, checklists and resources to help builders adopt these new standards for both commercial and residential buildings.

The initial deadline for energy code compliance was May 1, 2016, but was extended by the Government of Alberta in order to give builders more time to familiarize themselves with the requirements.

As a result, both the city and builders have been preparing for these changes for over a year.

Construction projects that have taken out building permits, while not a guarantee of completion, are a strong indicator that projects are moving forward in 2016 and 2017.

They could take two or more years to complete. Here are some of the projects the city saw come in this month:

  • Intergulf developments, a mixed use tower in the Beltline. Total construction value: $95,321,510
  • Crosstown, residential towers on Macleod Trail. Total construction value: $111,118,472
  • The Orchard, a mixed-use development in the Beltline. Total construction value of tower 1: $57,876,300
  • Marriott Hotel in the downtown commercial core. Total construction value: $57,487,700
  • Skyview Ranch, a multi-phase apartment complex and retail. Total construction value: $55,725,500.

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