The Step Code - The Emergence Of Passive Buildings & Energy Efficiency

At PowerHouse, we come to work to make a positive contribution to healthy, sustainable buildings and processes. Luckily, building codes across Canada are changing rapidly to deal with climate change and create more energy efficient buildings. British Columbia’s "Energy Step Code" is an example of this. This area highlights some of the products we deem specifically to help deal with these challenges.

AIR BARRIERS & TAPES – Reduce air leakage and improve energy efficiency

  • VYCOR enV-S - Vycor env-S, a vapour permeable, fully adhered water & air barrier membrane will seriously improve a building’s energy efficiency when properly installed over the exterior substrate (i.e. sheathing). Third party independent reports suggest up to a 5X greater air barrier versus common building wraps.

  • PASSIVTAPE - PassivTape is an air barrier sealing tape designed to reduce air leakage the building’s exterior envelope. Builders will tape housewrap joints, seams in plywood, interior poly and virtually any other penetrations in order to drastically improve their “blower door test” results. PassivTape also holds the Emicode EC1 Plus European standards label put forth by GEV which means the product meets the strict standards for excellent indoor air quality.

  • TYPAR HOUSWRAP/METROWARP - It’s still important to highlight Typar Housewrap and Metrowrap (commercial), when taped at all seams and detailed accordingly, makes for a great, vapour permeable exterior air & water barrier.

EXTERIOR INSULATION – Improve Energy Efficiency & Building Durability

  • POWERWOOL RIGIBOARD ONE - Fire and moisture-resistant while maintaining vapour permeability to allow for drying, Powerwool’s Rigiboard One Insulation was designed to be a more compression resistant exterior insulation than the leading mineral wool product. In any event, the R/RSI value and ultimately the energy efficiency of a building greatly increases using mineral wool as an exterior insulation.

  • VERTIBREAK RAINSCREEN INSULATION - A PowerHouse invention! This rigid exterior insulation (expanded polystyrene) with embedded rainscreen channels virtually eliminates the need for wood furring and offers the applicator time and labour savings while draining moisture and promoting drying. Although our hope is that a commercially viable alternative to foam plastics becomes readily available in the future, in the meantime, EPS is a good locally-sourced material expanded with steam (water) making it one of the lower carbon footprint foam plastics available.


We offer a number water based and/or LOW VOC primers and adhesives including a number of Primer’s by GCP and sealants by Lepage (QuadMax). We do our best to promote LOW VOC options for the health of end-users. For more information on these products please visit the pertinent areas on our website.

What you can expect from
the experts at PowerHouse

Pre Footer 1 Inventory and stock are readily
Pre Footer 1 Innovative products that are easily stocked and sold
Pre Footer 1 Friendly and helpful customer support on all products
Pre Footer 1 We’re always available in-personby phone, by email