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What Are Building Codes? Why Are They So Important?

September 29, 2016

Every residential home is different - built in a different era; with different specifications; and with different building materials. As such, Building Codes allow for standardization and consistency in building practices. This would apply to everything from a newly constructed home, to a basement reno, to insulation retrofitting. However, for the most part, these codes are considered minimum requirements. And while this may suffice for many homeowners, it's far better to go beyond the minimum, employing a quality contractor who builds with quality materials and products. When it comes to energy efficiency in a residential home, the Canadian National Building Code defines minimum standards for insulation performance and air tightness. These standards apply to the Provincial Building Code as well, and are updated on a regular basis. In fact, many changes are being made on an annual basis, particularly because of the emphasis on energy consumption and climate change. Needless to say, Building Code changes like these will have a major influence on new construction and on renovations and retrofits. Clearly, the changes are for the better. With home insulation, changes to the Building Code are especially relevant. Indeed, over the years, there has been much discrepancy about the definition of R-Values. Evolving definitions will better address R-Values to reflect the true value of a "whole" installation, rather than reflecting the insulation value of a product prior to installation. Importantly, new codes will encompass both insulation performance and air sealing. Hence, conventional insulation techniques will likely not meet the new standards. It means installing better products that are higher performance. For the average homeowner, Building Codes ensure acceptable standards, designed to deliver a good outcome. But whether it's a new build or an energy retrofit, it's important to do the research and to choose high performance insulation materials and superior installation techniques. Today, Spray Foam Insulation leads the way in high performance insulation materials. And in majority of cases, SFI will meet and usually exceed Building Code requirements. The same thing applies for installations like HP+� Wall Systems (insulation that provides superb control of air/moisture). In future, government benchmarks and building standards will dictate the importance of energy efficiency in a residential home. In an ongoing effort to reduce energy consumption, there will be minimum requirements set for both air tightness and insulation performance. And although the minimums are only guidelines, many homeowners will choose to do more, and actually retrofit for the future. This is achievable by taking a quality approach to both product and installation, and hiring professionals who provide superior installations, along with high quality products. Bottom line, an energy-efficient home is going to be more comfortable, more healthful, and more cost effective for a homeowner. And that means doing it right from the start - keeping up with the Building Code, and choosing professionals who can ensure the very best long-term outcomes. As well, manufacturers and contractors will have to keep up with changing demands, standards, and expectations.

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Phone: 1-800-265-1914

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Nepean, ON
K2R 1H4

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Sarnia Ontario
Canada, N7T 2H3

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Niagara Region

6260 Don Murie St
Niagara Falls, ON
L2G 0B4

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Best of 2017

From reputation to responsiveness, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thanks to everyone for the great ratings! 

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Best of 2018

For the second year in a row, HomeStars consistently ranks Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction. Thank you again to everyone!

Homestars Best of 2019 Award

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For the third year in a row, HomeStars ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

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For four years now, HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation at better than 95% for customer satisfaction.

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HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2021.

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HomeStars has ranked Great Northern Insulation as a company that goes above and beyond in every aspect of business for the year of 2022.


GNI is the Authorized & Trusted Insulation and Air Sealing Installer for Lowe’s

Enenrgy Savers

Energy Saving

Energy saving and energy efficiency is easier than one might think. Great Northern Insulation helps to identify performance issues, while taking advantage of improvement opportunities.

100% Canadian

100% Canadian

Great Northern Insulation is recognized as Canada's largest full-service insulation contractor. GNI is 100% Canadian owned, proudly serving Ontario customers since 1980.

Foam Masters

Do it right the first time
- with foam mastersTM

WALLTITE® ECO™ is a high-performance system, professionally installed by certified and approved specialists. Its C.C.M.C. approved (Canadian Construction Materials Centre) - with product quality guaranteed - and with installation by highly trained experts with the technical know-how to do the job right, the first time.

Insulthane Extreme

Insulthane® Extreme

For the ultimate in high performance spray foam insulation, Insulthane® Extreme is the professional choice for residential, commercial, and industrial application. With improved thermal performance over other products, Insulthane® Extreme has an exceptionally low Global Warming Potential (GWP). Considered environmentally friendly, this next generation spray foam insulation is non-ozone depleting, and exceeds specifications of other HFC product alternatives.


3MTM products.
Quality + Performance = Savings

3MTM energy-saving products are designed to keep warm air in, and cold air out, while keeping energy bills down. Products optimize energy efficiency in buildings and homes; improve indoor environment for occupants; and effect the reduction of seasonal energy costs. 3M products are authorized for LEED credits (Leadership in Energy/Environmental Design).


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Baeumler ApprovedTM gives you peace of mind when connecting with contractors, trades and home service providers. All Baeumler Approved members have demonstrated high quality work for customers and other trade professionals. Members must also have Workers Compensation, liability insurance of at least $1,000,000 and prove professional certification.

Holmes and Holmes

Holmes and Holmes


Mike Holmes and his son Mike Jr. (MJ) convert MJ’s bachelor bungalow into a two-storey home for MJ and his girlfriend Lisa. Choosing the newest materials and build techniques, the father and son team follow Mike’s famous motto – “Make it right.” The show can be watched on HGTV and DIY Network.


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The Energy Conservation Program provides incentives of up to $1,600 to customers who achieve energy efficiency and fuel savings – and Great Northern Insulation can pave the way.


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