Helping to improve energy efficiency of buildings and reduce their environmental impacts

Buildings are significant producers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to Natural Resources Canada, 78% of building GHG emissions come from space and water heating systems¹. Improving building energy efficiency is an important component of Canada's plan to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels).  

There are many energy-efficient solutions and practices that can be implemented in the design and construction of new buildings or during repairs, renovations, retrofits, and recommissioning of existing buildings. Such solutions can bring significant cost savings to building owners and occupants. CSA Group standards support these efforts. 

Leading the way toward system-level standards 

CSA Group's Energy Efficiency program has a long track record of developing discrete performance-based standards for use and application in buildings. These standards address HVAC and refrigeration systems in buildings, as well as many residential and industrial products. Many of these standards are referenced in Canada's federal and provincial energy efficiency regulations and harmonized with the United States. While the development of this type of standards continues, there is a strong need for broader, system-level approaches.  

Under the oversight of a new Technical Committee on Building Energy Systems, CSA Group launched several initiatives considering the interaction of various building components and subsystems to derive an overall system efficiency. These new system-level standards address building commissioning, thermal bridging, and standardize energy modeling methodologies. They purposefully tackle both new and retrofit construction and various building types. Currently, some of these standards are being considered for incorporation by reference into the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) and provincial energy codes such as the BC Energy Step Code. 


Figure1: Summary of CSA Group Building Energy Systems Standards currently published or in development. 

Effective commissioning and modelling can help save energy 

While buildings have to meet the requirements of the national and provincial codes and standards, it is also important to ensure that, once in use, the energy systems operate as they were designed. Effective commissioning of these systems can save 5 to 15% of energy annually²,³

CSA Z5000-18, Building commissioning for energy using systems and CSA Z5001:20, Existing building commissioning for energy using systems, provide protocols, best practices, and recommendations for commissioning of the energy and water system components in new and existing buildings, respectively. Consistent with current building management practices, these Standards can help you reach optimal performance and efficiencies of energy systems to conserve energy and reduce costs. 

The soon-to-be-published standard CSA Z5020:23, Building energy modelling standard, will address the need for a consistent methodology for modelling of building energy systems that can be used to determine compliance with building codes, incentive programs, and energy utilization certification.  

Facilitating the deployment of new technologies 

New emerging technologies, from renewable energy production to thermal storage and connected devices, have the potential to further improve energy efficiency of buildings and reduce their environmental impacts. New standards can help high-performance, intelligent buildings reach their full potential. CSA Group recently launched a project that will help standardize requirements for information and communication technology infrastructure and data management for buildings. One of the overarching purposes of this systems-level standard is to support the safe and secure interconnection and communication of intelligent building systems, such as HVAC, lighting, security, or elevators. 

To learn more about standards for improved energy efficiency of buildings, visit CSA Group website. 



¹ Green Buildings, Natural Resources Canada, 

³ Recommissioning for existing buildings, Natural Resources Canada, 


CSA Group always strives to provide up-to-date and accurate information. However, no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made that this information meets your specific needs, and any reliance on this information is at your own risk. Please contact CSA Group for more information about our services. 

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