Increase in Development Applications Reflect Code Change Deadlines
The good news is that development applications in the County of St. Paul were up in 2016. The bad news is that development was not in oil and gas or other industries, so the total value of the developments was actually down.
180 applications were made in 2016, with a value of $33 669 098.50, as opposed to 127 applications in 2015 with a value of $54 242 852.73.
According to county CAO, Sheila Kitz, “Residence builders were pushing to get their permit applications in before the November 1 deadline” when changes to the energy efficiency element of the Alberta residential building code came into effect. Homes built after that deadline must include, among other measures, insulation with higher R-values, better air tightness, and more efficient heat recovery systems and water heating systems. However, these improvements increase the cost of construction, so builders were motivated to move quickly and keep costs low.
Qualistat Building Performance Consultants provide a summary of the energy efficiency section of the Alberta Building Code. Qualistat presents a comparison of costs with pre-November and post-November standards, showing a $3500- $5000 increase in the cost of construction of a new home in the Calgary to Edmonton corridor.
The county looks forward to more industrial development in 2017