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National Energy Code for Buildings ‑ Tools for Compliance

Introduction to the CAN-QUEST Software

Upcoming Courses

The Province of Nova Scotia has adopted the National Energy Code for Buildings. Enforcement of the Code will start on December 31, 2014. The National Energy Code 2011 (NECB) as adopted under the Building Code Act in Nova Scotia, and as would be the case in most jurisdictions, requires that the design demonstrate compliance to the code in order to obtain building permits. In most instances financial incentive programs will also require evidence of compliance. This newly developed course will give participants an overview of the NECB and how to meet the requirements using all three path options: prescriptive, trade-off and performance. While the first day’s main focus will be on the first two compliance paths, the second and third day will cover the basics of the performance path and train participants in the use of the newly released CAN-QUEST modelling software that generates the NECB referenced building.


Attendees should have some working knowledge of energy codes and standards (ASHRAE, MNECB, etc). While prior energy modelling experience is not required it will be helpful to have a strong background in building systems (HVAC, electrical and building envelope).

Who should attend

Day 1 was developed for anyone who will be required to work with the NECB: this includes compliance reviewers, building code officials, those who hire energy modellers (architects), builders, contractors, developers and new energy modellers.

Days 2 and 3 are geared towards beginner energy modellers, engineers or individuals with a strong knowledge in all building systems and for those who would be responsible for generating the energy model to show code compliance when the prescriptive and trade-off paths are not viable options.

Benefits to participants

  • Application of new NECB 2011
  • Learn the three compliance paths of the NECB 2011
  • Gain hands on experience using CAN-QUEST
  • Learn how to use energy models as a design tool to influence decisions

Participants will be required to bring the following

  • The National Energy Code for Buildings 2011
  • A laptop with CAN-QUEST software
  • Use of a mouse rather than laptop cursor pad is highly recommended


Day 1 - registration/check-in will start at 8:00 a.m. with sessions to begin at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. Days 2 and 3 will commence at 8:30 a.m. and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. There will be 15 minute mid-morning and afternoon breaks. Lunch is provided (12 noon to 1:00 pm).

Program outline

Day 1

  • Overview of NECB-2011
  • Prescriptive requirements
  • Trade-off paths
  • Performance path – overview, managing the process and reviewing energy model reports
  • Introduction to CAN-QUEST

Day 2

  • Prepare an energy model in CAN-QUEST
  • Use the wizards to set up preliminary models
  • Understand the limitations to the wizards
  • Learn how to zone a building
  • Run a compliance model that generates the referenced building
  • Troubleshoot errors

Day 3

  • Review of Day 2
  • Go into the detail interface
  • Learn about tips and tricks to help set up models faster
  • Set up and run parametric runs to evaluate the benefits of energy conservation measures
  • Run hourly reports and learn to read the reports generated by the software


Renee Baker, Dipl. T, has worked for MMM Group Limited (previously of Enermodal Engineering Ltd.) for 8 years with energy modelling as the main focus of her career.  She was introduced to energy modelling through a Co-op position at Energy Advantage where she prepared a number of Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP) applications for large food retail stores.  She has modelled over 70 buildings of varying building type and size.  She is the secretary for the IBPSA – GTHA chapter and is listed on the CaGBC’s Experienced Modellers List.  


Steve Kemp, PEng, MASc, LEED® AP BD+C, is manager of the  Buildings-Sustainability group at MMM Group Ltd. His career has touched on nearly all aspects of sustainable buildings and has included developing and using energy models as well as daylighting, human comfort models. As real world low energy projects have come to fruition, Steve was involved in monitoring their performance as well as troubleshooting and commissioning their energy systems. Since 1999 Steve has been developing and delivering continuing education workshops to building designers for NRCan, RAIC, the CaGBC and other industry organizations. The topics have included energy modeling, renewable energy, building enclosures, high performance HVAC systems and sustainable design. Steve has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Engineering as well as a Masters of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from Dalhousie University. He is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, a past-president of the IBPSA-Canada, and chairs the Energy & Engineering Technical Advisory Group for the CaGBC.