BC building code – HRV – The new efficiency for heating

Last October I interviewed Rob, owner of R&B Plumbing and Heating, to ask him why HRV or Heating Recovery Ventilators seemed to be the new buzz word in home heating products.  Here is what he said; “HRV is an acronym for Heat Recovery Ventilation. Which is really just a way of trapping heat from exhaust air that would normally be lost. I think it is a technology that will find its way into building codes in the near future.”   How right he was!

Just a few short months later in December 2014, the BC Building Code introduced new legislation, which included standards for ventilation.

One of the primary efforts of the latest changes to the BC Building code has to do with efficiency and options for future alternative energy sources, such as solar.  Higher efficiency leads to new homes that are built with more insulation and fewer drafts.  Because of this they must have more mechanical ventilation built into them.  If they don’t, things like excess humidity inside the home will lead to other problems down the road.

So we want our homes to be warm, however when we draw air in from outside it is usually cold – this is Vancouver after all.  The HRV or Heating Recovery Ventilation system is a way for the fresh air coming in to be warmed by the heat transfer to the fresh air from the exhaust air moving out of the home.

Another interesting addition to the BC building code is the provision for future solar alternatives that are being built directly into homes.  I was just out to visit one of our job sites yesterday and my technician drew my attention to two 2-inch pipes running from floor to ceiling in the kitchen.  He explained that they run from the basement to the attic and are for future solar installation.

Do you need to know the BC building code?  No.  The only thing you need to know is a great plumbing company who knows the code inside and out and for that, it is R&B.