Build a new home in the Yukon

  • Follow building codes
  • Choose a design for your home
  • Plan for an energy efficient home
  • Hire a contractor to build your home

  1. Follow building codes

    You must follow the National Building Code (NBC) to build your home. In the Yukon we also have Yukon-specific laws and regulations.

    Request a copy of the National Building Code

    The City of Whitehorse has developed codes for construction in the city.

    All new heated buildings and additions must have the minimum R value for home construction. This does not apply to residential accessory buildings such as unheated sheds and garages.

    City of Whitehorse Green Building Standards

  2. Choose a design for your home

    Yukon homes have special design requirements for our northern environment.

    Consider liveability, energy consumption, long-term sustainability and accessibility as you design your home.

  3. Plan for an energy efficient home

    Aim for a design that means you will lose the least heat possible per square foot of house.

    Follow these basic principles of energy efficiency to help you plan to build your home.

    Size and shape

    The smaller your home, the less area there is to heat. Higher ceilings, extra hallways and low-use areas use more heat. For example: a cube house has a smaller exterior surface area than a rectangular house with the same floor area.


    Choose the most energy efficient windows for your home. Have most of your windows south-facing so you can maximize solar gain.

    Leaking air

    The building envelope needs to be well-sealed so you can control ventilation. A simple leak can account for a large portion of total heat loss.


    Ventilation is the exchange of stale air inside the house with fresh air from outside.

    Watch our video on super-green homes to hear Yukon owners and builders talk about living in energy-efficient housing.

    Air exchange

    A home ventilation system manages indoor air quality. Fresh air from outside exchanges with stale air inside a home. Proper ventilation also protects your home from moisture and mould.

    View the NRCan's publication on Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) systems
    See our HRV systems and HRV controls videos


    Your building envelope design determines your well your home retains heat.

    Yukon houses should have high R value insulation in the roof, walls, doors, windows and foundation.

    Heating system

    Contact a certified energy advisor to assess your home. They will help you figure out which heating system will work best for you. 

    Oil and gas fired heating appliances

    There is not a huge efficiency advantage between oil and gas fired heating appliances. Most of these appliances operate at 75 to 90 per cent efficiency. 

    Most oil and gas fired appliances are over-sized for the heating needs of most homes. This is especially true for energy efficient houses. These appliances run inefficiently and they use more fuel than necessary.

    Electric heat

    You can size an electric heat system to match the smaller heating needs of an energy efficient home. 

    Electric heat is one of the most reliable forms of heat. There are no maintenance issues and no chance of exhaust gas spilling.

    Find out more about heating system options in the Yukon.

  4. Hire a contractor to build your home

    There is a range of experience and professionalism among builders. Be sure to ask for references.

    Check their references. Speak to their past clients to learn about their experiences building a home. Choose a builder whose construction methods and housing ideals suit you best.