Environmental/Utilities Issues

October, 30 2023 Published by Manitoba Chapter - By Denise Turnali

Building envelope upgrades save you energy — and money

From the CCI Manitoba Fall 2023 Condominium News and Views Magazine

Creating an energy-efficient building envelope is one of the most effective ways to save energy in condominium buildings. 

The building envelope — the roof, walls, windows and doors — separates the outside environment from the inside, ensuring that occupants can enjoy optimal comfort no matter the season.  

Efficiency Manitoba, a Crown corporation dedicated to energy efficiency, has programs and rebates to help customers save energy. Its Building Envelope Program offers financial incentives to owners who complete energy efficiency upgrades to their commercial buildings. These incentives include rebates for roof and wall insulation, window and door upgrades, and curtain wall upgrades.  

Benefits of building envelope upgrades  

A high-performing building envelope is crucial in any climate but it’s especially important in Manitoba, with its extreme heat and extreme cold. Besides keeping warm air in during the winter and warm air out during the summer, a strong building envelope protects residents from snow, rain, lightning and strong winds. By reducing condensation and drafts and lowering heating and cooling costs, an upgraded building envelope helps condo building owners and suite owners save energy, money and the environment. 

Building envelope upgrades can improve the airtightness of a building. They can improve indoor air quality for residents by providing a barrier to outdoor pollutants such as dust, smoke and pollen. Airtightness also helps to soundproof a building, reducing neighbours’ noise.

A high-performing building envelope enhances a building’s durability, improves a building’s aesthetic and value, and leads to improved resident comfort. It will encourage current residents to stay and attract potential future residents.

How much you can save 

Before starting any energy efficiency project, check with Efficiency Manitoba first.  

Efficiency Manitoba offers free technical support and advice as you undertake your project. Taking part in the Building Envelope Program saves you money not only in the short term with Efficiency Manitoba’s incentives, but also in the long term, as you’ll see savings year after year on your energy bills.  

Through its Building Envelope Program, Efficiency Manitoba will cover up to 100 per cent of roof and wall insulation material cost, up to 100 per cent of the incremental cost of a punched or in-fill window replacement, and up to 100 per cent of the incremental cost of the glazing on a door replacement. Eligible doors include sliding patio, garden, single-swinging, rolling or folding style. 

For curtain walls, the Building Envelope Program offers up to $3,000 in energy modelling support plus incentives for the upgrade or replacement.  

Start saving today 

To qualify for the Building Envelope Program, the building owner must be renovating an existing building that’s heated primarily with electricity or natural gas. Renovations must include energy-efficiency upgrades.

A contractor or consultant can assist with the planning and scope of your project. Efficiency Manitoba recommends getting estimates from at least three contractors before deciding which is the right fit for your project. Your contractor of choice must be registered with Efficiency Manitoba through its supplier network, which can be found at efficiencyMB.ca/suppliernetwork. 

Once you apply, Efficiency Manitoba will review your project and let you know your estimated incentive amount. Projects must be approved by Efficiency Manitoba before any work starts. 

For insulation projects, a minimum of 1,000 square feet of roof or wall insulation must be installed for each incentive application. For window and door projects, a minimum of 10 square metres of window or door area must be installed for each incentive application. 

After your project is complete, you must submit a completion declaration and invoices to receive your incentive.  
Efficiency Manitoba offers a number of programs from which condo building owners and suite owners can benefit. 

Learn more about Efficiency Manitoba’s Building Envelope Program at efficiencyMB.ca/buildingenvelope and browse Efficiency Manitoba’s website for other programs and rebates to help you save.  

Denise Turanli is the Business Development Manager at Efficiency Manitoba and can be reached via email at Denise.Turanli@efficiencyMB.ca.



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