Alberta cuts requirements for hydronic slab insulation
The cost of installing underfloor heating in Alberta is set to fall after the province issued a Standata addressing slab insulation requirements.
The Canadian Hydronics Council (CHC) has been engaging with the province since the new regulations (Section 9.36. of the Alberta Building Code 2014) were adopted in late 2016, arguing they were greatly increasing construction costs while offering little in the way of performance benefits. As a result, radiant floor slab heating remained out of reach for many Albertans who may have otherwise considered it as a way to heat their homes.
The recently published Standata update acknowledged that ”current under slab-insulation code provisions are excessive and jeopardize the availability of hydronic heating as an option for Albertans,” and that as a result a ”province-wide variance will allow an alternative solution to the provisions under 9.36. and is strongly recommended for use in installations.”
This variance will not remove the insulation requirement from Section 9.36. of ABC 2014, but the variance will allow, as an alternative, less than the 4” of under-slab insulation where hydronic or radiant heating is installed in the province.
The guidance now states that ”a minimum RSI 0.88 (R-5) under-slab insulation is in compliance when installed for a heated floor in contact with the ground where the floor is fully below frost line,” and that ”a minimum RSI 1.32 (R 7.5) under-slab insulation is in compliance when installed for a heated floor in contact with the ground where the floor is above the frost line.”
The variance is applicable throughout the province of Alberta.
You can read the full Standata update here.