Wall Thermal Design Calculator

Architects and others in the building industry now have a tool to quickly assess the energy efficiency of walls in low-rise housing: the Wall Thermal Design Calculator. The purpose of this online tool and calculator is to provide designers with prescriptive wall assembly solutions that comply with national energy efficiency requirements.  The online calculator provides enough information that architects, designers, engineers, consultants and contractors can quickly and confidently determine suitable insulated wall assemblies for each climate zone in Canada.

While the focus is complying with 2010 National Building Code (NBC) December 2012 amendments for houses and 2011 National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) for larger buildings, the calculator is a handy reference for complying with any building code that requires either a minimum effective thermal insulation, a minimum total thermal insulation through the cavity (Quebec) or a minimum nominal insulation value (Ontario).  The calculation of effective thermal resistance is performed in compliance with NBC Subsection 9.36.5. of Division B.

The tool was designed in consultation with numerous housing and building envelope experts who participated in an advisory committee. To create it, a hygrothermal and energy analysis was performed on over 150 wall assemblies. Thecalculator includes information on assembly components, energy and thermal performance, and notes that address ease of construction, affordability, aesthetics, and potential moisture concerns.

“The Wall Thermal Design Calculator represents a new form of construction reference material and makes possible the ability to explore options, compare features, and determine the exact wall assembly that can perform across the range of Canadian climates,” says Michael Lio, President of buildABILITY, the firm created the calculator for the Canadian Wood Council. “The interactive portal allows housing professionals the ability to access current information from their office, in a meeting, or even on-site through any internet connection.”

“This tool provides builders and designers with the appropriate solutions for insulated wall assemblies,” explains Robert Jonkman, P.Eng, Canadian Wood Council, “and ultimately makes it easier for them to specify wood in their projects.”

To access the calculator visit: www.cwc.ca/wtd

DISCLAIMER: The Canadian Wood Council’s Wall Thermal Design Calculator has been developed for information purposes only. Reference should always be made to the Building Code having jurisdiction. This tool should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or design advice, and the user is responsible for how the tool is used or applied.

Provided By: Ontario Wood WORKS! / a program of the Canadian Wood Council

Interest(s): Architecture, Construction, Design, Renovation Date: November 24, 2014