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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017

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Better Builder Magazine brings together premium product manufactures and leading builders to create better differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. The magazine is published four times a year.

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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017

  1. 1. ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017PUBLICATIONNUMBER42408014 Probuilt’s Future Dream Home How Much Insulation is Enough? RESNET Cross Border Challenge High Cost of Net Zero Homes Exterior Insulation Options The Benefits of Net Zero-Ready IN THIS ISSUE The InsulationIssue
  2. 2. Tankless water heaters are the future of hot water supply. They save energy, take up less space, and offer an endless supply of hot water. At an ultra-efficient Energy Factor of 99.2%, the future is now with the ENERGYSTAR® -approved Glow BrandT180.The only system of its kind, the Glow BrandT180 has on board storage of one gallon of hot water within a stainless steelheatexchanger,firingupautomaticallyto95FinComfortMode.Insteadofwaitingforhot water,you’retreatedtoendlesson-demandhotwater.TheGlowBrandT180isfullymodulating andcanbeinstalledforcombinationspaceheatingapplications. Glow Brand T180 Tankless Condensing Water Heater Brand TM ENDLESS ON-DEMAND HOT WATER ONE-OF-A-KIND TECHNOLOGY 99.2% ENERGY FACTOR 98.4% UNIFIED ENERGY FACTOR 5 USG @ 77 F RISE 10 TO 1 MODULATION PVC VENTING UP TO 100FT CANADIAN MADE Manufactured by Glowbrand Manufacturing GLOWBRAND.CA | 905-264-1414
  3. 3. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 16 1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2 How Much Insulation is Enough? by John Godden THE BADA TEST 3 Blame Builders for Being Left Out in the Cold on Furnace Issues by Lou Bada INDUSTRY NEWS 4 An HVAC Contractor’s Take on Construction Heat by Alex Newman 11 The High Cost of Net Zero Homes by Paul De Berardis BUILDER NEWS 6 Home Energy Efficiency Maximized Again Through 2017 RESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge by Better Builder Staff INDUSTRY EXPERT 13 Exterior Insulation Options by Gord Cooke SITE SPECIFIC 25 In the Spotlight – Naturally by Alex Newman FROM THE GROUND UP 30 The Benefits of Building a Net Zero-Ready Home… It’s Not All About the Energy! by Doug Tarry FEATURE STORY 16 Making Dreams Come True How’s this for a dream home? With all its energy features, Probuilt’s pays for itself. by Rob Blackstien 22 The 2017 Future Dream Home 6 13 ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 On our cover: Probuilt’s 2017 Future Dream Home at the National Home Show in Toronto in March. Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited. 30
  4. 4. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 20172 T he Ontario Building Code, under SB-12 2017, is no longer a minimum standard for energy efficiency. Package A1 2017 annual energy represents a 44% reduction in carbon emissions from burning natural gas, compared to its 1990 counterpart. Now that the bar is set relatively high, how much insulation should we be using when building a new home in Ontario? The new OBC promotes the use of continuous insulation (CI) and considers effective R-values to account for the difference between cavity and assembly losses. An R-22 batt placed in a 2x6 without a CI layer has an effective value of R-17.03. Add R-5 insulated sheathing and that value increases to R-21.4 (see the chart on page 14 for all the configurations). A higher effective R-value is better – but what is the cost? After all, unionized framers receive a 20% material surcharge and 11 cents more per square foot when installing foam sheathing. Typically, foundation wall thickness moves from eight inches to 10 inches at a premium cost. The incremental cost, not counting the foun­ dation, would be $720. The annual estimated savings from space heating would be $30. The simple pay back (costs divided savings) is 24 years. Obviously, simple payback is not the only factor to consider. CI adds to the durability of the structure by reducing the chance of condensation damage. A cash flow positive approach, where the energy savings exceed the costs of borrowing on a mortgage, makes more sense. As energy prices rise, the cash flow position improves. This is the platform of the Future Dream Home at the 2017 National Home Show. The energy savings from this airtight upgraded envelope, coupled with a gas-fired combination space, hot water heating system and a 6.75 kW solar array, are more than $2,000 annually. These savings support an additional $30,000 of borrowing power on a mortgage. My position is that the 10/20/30/40/50 walls exposed from attics (R-10 under slab, R-20 basement wall, R-30 main wall, R-40 exposed floor and R-50 attic) rule makes sense, given current energy prices and interest rates. The net zero home concept takes a different approach and uses balanced, “modelled” energy and does not consider only costs and savings. The goal is zero. The insulation levels are determined by the reduced heat loss and plug loads that 10 kW to 12 kW of on-site solar production would offset. This threshold is described as net zero ready, at roughly 80% better than the current National Building Code. Doug Tarry Homes is currently offering this level to their customers and hoping it will gain market acceptance (read more about Doug’s insights on page 30). Congratulations to them and all the award winners in this year’s RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge (page 6)! Each builder puts serious consideration into how much insulation is enough. Whatever the choice, less energy consumed means less CO2 . Any way you slice it, more insulation is better. BB How Much Insulation is Enough? PUBLISHER Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 416-481-4218 | fax 416-481-4695 sales@betterbuilder.ca Better Builder Magazine is a sponsor of PUBLISHING EDITOR John B. Godden MANAGING EDITOR Wendy Shami editorial@betterbuilder.ca To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact sales@betterbuilder.ca FEATURE WRITERS Rob Blackstien, Alex Newman PROOFREADING Carmen Siu CREATIVE Wallflower Design www.wallflowerdesign.com This magazine brings together premium product manufacturers and leading builders to create better, differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine cannot be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. UNDELIVERABLE MAIL Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 Better Builder Magazine is published four times a year. publisher’snote / JOHN GODDEN John Godden Alex Newman Gord Cooke Michael Lio Lou Bada Doug Tarry CONTRIBUTORS
  5. 5. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 3 Our industry recently faced a regulatory/liability challenge involving the use of furnaces during the construction of a new home. Modern furnaces are increasingly sophisticated (let’s face it: older furnaces were basically barbecue grills with fans attached). The industry wants to build through all seasons and use furnaces for heat during cold-season construction. However, the furnace manufacturers, through the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), and heating contractors contended that not enough was being done to protect heating equipment from the perils of use during construction. Quite frankly, builders were slow to react when the matter was brought up a number of years ago. Let me give you some perspective on this development. The Technical Standards Safety Authority (TSSA), charged with the responsibility of regulating the use of gas appliances, looks to manufacturers’ operating and installation instructions for guidance. The TSSA released bulletins and engaged the industry on the construction heat issue to mitigate the impact on equipment warranties, but to little avail. When manufacturers and the HRAI noticed that these efforts were not being taken seriously, they felt they had no choice but to protect their interests by changing operating and installation procedures to forbid the use of furnaces during construction. Heating contractors agreed, and builders were going to be left out in the cold – literally. Let me make one point of clarification: this was never a health and safety issue for our workers or our clients, and the exact magnitude of the problem was never fully disclosed to our industry. However, these latest moves finally kick-started an earnest attempt at resolving the matter to everyone’s satisfaction. With some goodwill and common sense, an acceptable solution was derived. The building industry (CHBA, OHBA and RESCON), HRAI, the Residential Heating Venti­lation Contractors Association (RHVCA), Enbridge and the TSSA came together and worked something out. In a nutshell: a home had to be substantially complete and clean, with the walls primed to keep fine dust down and the furnace protected with a MERV 11 filter during use. The furnace and ducts also had to be cleaned before turnover. Not all parties came out of this negotiation completely satisfied (this is the hallmark of a good deal). Builders would have preferred to continue with the status quo, as we have enough battles to fight. Manufacturers, on the other hand, would have preferred that a furnace be installed the day before customers move in. Heating contractors were stuck in the middle, not liking either option. But back to my initial point on what I’ve learned to consider a “win” in negotiation: in my book, a win is when you don’t get necessarily everything you want, but you make your situation much better than it would have been otherwise. As difficult as it may be to accept at times, it’s often the best you can do. A “win” in negotiation always requires people with common sense and goodwill to come together to look for solutions – I cannot say this is always the case, and when that hap­ pens, a win becomes a loss for all. BB Lou Bada is Vice President of Low Rise Construction at Starlane Home Corporation and serves on the board of directors for the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). Blame Builders for Being Left Out in the Cold on Furnace Issues thebadatest / LOU BADA I ’ve learned a few things during my three decades in the residential construction industry. One of them is that the act of learning motivates me to carry on, even in those frustrating times when I want to pack up my tent and go home. Another lesson learned is the definition of “success” in negotiation. It’s rarely a matter of win or lose. Let’s face it: older furnaces were basically barbecue grills with fans attached. RONJOE/DEPOSITPHOTOS
  6. 6. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 20174 industrynews / ALEX NEWMAN W hen you buy a new house, you should get a new fur­ nace to go with it, says Mike Martino of Martino HVAC in Concord, Ontario. “When you buy a new car, it’s checked out before delivery – but that’s not happening in homes.” With the increase in wintertime construction, trades need heat while they work. That makes for a lot of drywall dust and construction debris circulating through a forced air furnace, causing the furnace to not perform to standards or to not last as long as it should. That’s why, after fielding hundreds of home owner complaints, the Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) has recommended all furnace manufacturers revise their furnace installation manuals to prohibit gas furnaces from being used for construction heat, effective September 1. Martino, who commissions HVAC systems in new home developments, says this has been an issue for almost 20 years, and a mandate in the early 1990s “stipulated what the industry needed to do but it wasn’t followed and it wasn’t monitored.” Things have changed, however, and gas furnaces manufactured on or after May 1, 2017 are not permitted to be used for heating buildings under construction. This clearly leaves build­ ers in a dilemma – if trades can’t work in the cold, houses don’t get built. And so, in March of this year, industry reps got together to discuss possible solutions. “No one wants home owners getting used or damaged goods, but the reality is you need heat inside a home you’re working on,” Martino explains. They came up with a middle- ground solution, allowing trades to turn the furnace on once the drywall has been installed, taped and primed (the dirt and debris generated before that point is what really damages furnaces). In order to keep trades warm during the earlier construction work, temporary heaters (also known as gas “salamanders”) can be used. “They aren’t a great solution, but they are the best under the circumstances, short of putting in and removing furnaces,” Martino says. He believes extra checks should be in place, like affixing a copy of the inspection to the furnace, so everyone – especially the home owner – can see what day the start-up was done and how the furnace performed. A copy should go to the builder, and the utility as well. Although this solution means construction teams will still be working in unheated spaces during the winter, at least it’s for a significantly shorter time period. BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com. An HVAC Contractor’s Take on Construction Heat Construction heat requires a Merv 11 filter and can be used after drywall is primed. BANKSPHOTOS/ISTOCK
  7. 7. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 20176 buildernews / BETTER BUILDER STAFF T he award winners of the 2017 RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge (which helps promote the utilization of the HERS [Home Energy Rating System] Index) have been announced by Steve Baden, executive director of RESNET, and John Godden, president of the Canadian counterpart CRESNET, at the RESNET annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. “With well over one million homes rated in the U.S., the HERS Index is the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is now being measured in the U.S. and Canada. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home’s energy performance,” notes Baden. “The Index is based on an assessment by a certified Home Energy Rater, who evaluates the energy efficiency of a home and assigns it a relative performance score. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the home. The energy efficiency score is based on variables such as exterior walls (both above and below grade), floors over unconditioned spaces, ceilings and roofs, windows and doors, vents and ductwork, HVAC systems, water heating systems, and your thermostat, among other elements,” Baden explains. “The RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge is a friendly competition between American and Canadian home builders to determine just how energy efficient builders can build,” says Godden. There were a total of nine builder awards presented for this year’s competition: five were based on having the lowest HERS score for their specific category, sponsored by Power-Pipe® ; two were Jim Sanford and Brian Stamm of the Colorado Division of Brookfield Residential; Paul Duffy of Icynene; Tiago Moura and Jimmy Neto of the Toronto Division of Brookfield Residential; John Godden of CRESNET Home Energy Efficiency Maximized Again Through
  8. 8. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 special President’s Awards based on a fleet of HERS new home ratings, sponsored by Icynene; and two were Net Zero Awards including PV solar applications, sponsored by Dow. The big news is that Brookfield Residential won the lowest score for the Production Builder category on both sides of the border. Congrats! Lowest HERS score American Production Builder: Brookfield Residential with a HERS 42 (second year in a row) (> 50 homes HERS rated per year) Lowest HERS score Canadian Production Builder: Brookfield Residential with a HERS 34 The winners are: 1. CRESNET President’s Award: Starlane Homes with a HERS 44 2. RESNET President’s Award: KB Home (fourth year in a row!) 3. Lowest HERS score Canadian Mid Production Builder: Highmark Homes with a HERS 43 (10 to 49 homes HERS rated per year) 4. Lowest HERS score Canadian Custom Builder: Signature Communities with a HERS 44 (<10 homes HERS rated per year) 5. Net Zero Canadian Builder: Doug Tarry Homes with a HERS 1 6. Net Zero American Builder: Greenhill Contracting with a HERS –11 (second year in a row) 7. Lowest HERS score American Custom Builder: Garbacik Construction with a HERS 22 (<10 homes HERS rated per year) 7 CANADIAN PRESIDENTS AWARD Scott Bullock of Enbridge; Lou Bada of Starlane Homes; Michelle Vestergaard of Enbridge CANADIAN LOWEST SCORE John Godden of CRESNET; William Greig and Brian Couperthwaite of Brookfield Residential Canada; Michelle Vestergaard of Enbridge 2017 RESNET Cross Border Home Builder Challenge CANADIAN LOWEST CUSTOM SCORE John Godden of CRESNET; Sebastian Mizzi and Mauro De Simone of Signature Communities; Michelle Vestergaard of Enbridge CANADIAN LOWEST MID PRODUCTION BUILDER SCORE John Godden of CRESNET; Joe Messina and Marcus Nolan of Highmark Homes; Scott Bullock of Enbridge HERSSCORE 44 HERSSCORE 44 HERSSCORE 43 HERSSCORE 34
  9. 9. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS! Sebastian Mizzi and Mauro De Simone of Signature Communities; Doug Tarry of Doug Tarry Homes; Lou Bada of Starlane Homes; Joe Messina and Marcus Nolan of Highmark Homes; William Greig and Brian Couperthwaite of Brookfield Residential Canada 8 Winners in all Lowest HERS Score categories each won a free Power- Pipe® Drain Water Heat Recovery System from Renewability Energy Inc. as part of their awards. The Power- Pipe® Drain Water Heat Recovery System is a leading technology for reducing water heating costs for home owners, yet increasing the water heating capacity within the house. The Power-Pipe® can help builders reduce their HERS score between 1 and 3 points, depending on climate zone and efficiency of unit selected. Enbridge Gas Distribution has a vision to transform the housing industry by delivering unique and energy-efficient programs to our existing and new construction homes and buildings. We are engaging builders through our Savings by Design (SBD) program to build 20% above the 2017 code. This program is driving labels in our marketplace, helping customers understand the energy rating on new homes, and eventually increasing the demand for energy efficient homes. Prime examples are two builders who graduated from the SBD program: Brookfield Residential and Starlane homes. Brookfield was the first graduate of SBD and offers their home buyers a minimum of 15% better than code on every home. This year, Brookfield Residential captured the honour of lowest HERS score for a production builder, both sides of the border. Starlane Homes recently participated in the SBD program and, as a result, scored the lowest average score of 44, which exceeds ENERGY STAR performance. Enbridge would like to congratulate all the winners. BB NET ZERO Scott Bullock of Enbridge; Doug Tarry of Doug Tarry Homes; Michelle Vestergaard of Enbridge HERSSCORE 1
  10. 10. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 9
  11. 11. Builder Benefits • Turnkey Installation Services • Flexible Right-Size Solutions • Co-Branding & Marketing Support Homeowner Benefits • Control: Use More Solar in the Home • Backup Power: During Blackouts • Savings: Reduce Monthly Electricity Bills energystorage@ca.panasonic.com Contact us today to include solar and battery storage in your next project. RESIDENTIAL SOLAR AND BATTERY STORAGE SOLUTIONS Solar Only | Solar + Battery Storage | Battery Only
  12. 12. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 Without providing a definition, the Ontario government’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) lays out plans for all new small buildings (including low-rise homes) to meet net zero energy standards by 2030. Well, who wouldn’t want to do their part for the environment by buying a home like that? But here’s the catch: by our estimates, net zero could cost between $75,000 and $100,000 for a new single-detached home. Last year, a federally subsidized four-year project, made up of 26 net zero homes across Canada, was completed. The approximate cost was just over $4 million. The five builders involved were mostly able to meet net zero status by using upgraded materials and equipment. The net zero upgrades included: • solar panels (photovoltaic system) • triple-glazed windows • extra insulation (exterior building envelope insulation) • heat pumps (electrically powered space- and water-heating equipment) • nearly airtight building enclosure • training for skilled trades • extended building timelines (net zero takes longer to build) Builders discovered quickly that few buyers were willing to pay extra for net zero, which leads to another question: why do we need a net zero requirement when new construction standards are already very high? Using 1990 as a baseline, the Ontario government set overall greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets of 15%, to be achieved by 2020, and 37%, to be achieved by 2030. But as of January 1, 2017, per Package A1, new low-rise homes in Ontario will reduce GHG emissions by 43.5% compared to the 1990 baseline year (thereby exceeding the 2030 target) through the evolving Ontario Building Code. RESCON has provided recommendations to the various ministries overseeing climate change initiatives. Until this point, nobody on the policy side understood this. The added cost to buyers, especially millennials and working families, will cause a knock-on effect on our economy. New-home buyers and renters are already squeezed and have less disposable income. This added cost also reduces Ontario’s ability to attract new jobs and investments, which are already suffering because of a rising cost of living. Frankly, it isn’t new housing and buildings that aren’t performing up to snuff – it’s the existing stock built decades ago. The federal government recognized this with a recently proposed retrofit program, which has a better bang for the buck than net zero. But has net zero become an untouchable issue? Resisting it seems to give the perception of being anti- green. Nonetheless, I strongly believe net zero’s marginal benefits relative to its costs must be examined and explained. RESCON wrote to the government recently to let them know about the cost issue. We’d like to start a dialogue. Without one, this initiative will be imposed barring any challenge, and many home buyers will be priced out of the market. Is that fair? There are other measured approaches that make more sense in the short term. Net zero, or balanced energy, may make less sense with emerging battery technologies and falling electricity rates. Interested builders can participate in RESCON’s Low Carbon Builders Council. Please contact me at media@ rescon.com. We are planning a meeting in the near future. BB Paul De Berardis, Director of Building Science and Innovation at the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), has represented the residential construction industry in Ontario since 1991. 11 The High Cost of Net Zero Homes industrynews / PAUL DE BERARDIS N et zero is set to push the dreams of new-home buyers further out of reach. So, what is net zero? While open to interpretation, net zero is in place when your new low-rise home generates as much energy as it uses (when simulated on computer software). It isn’t new housing and buildings that aren’t performing up to snuff – it’s the existing stock built decades ago.
  13. 13. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201712 Barrie, GTA West, GTA North Eric Byle | 416-937-8793 Toronto East Al Crost | 416-676-0168 Available to water heater customers whose equipment is not operational (i.e. no hot water)
  14. 14. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 It should be no surprise that there are common themes to specific energy improvements in codes across North America; after all, the physics of energy transfer through building envelopes is universal and well known. Thus air leakage control, energy recovery ventilation, better windows and more insulation around foundations are addressed in all energy code improvements. However, perhaps the most complex of the changes – and the focus of this article – is the emphasis on the total “effective” R-value of walls. Part 9.36 of the NBC switched references away from nominal wall cavity insulation values to effective R-values of wall assemblies. The SB-12 Supplementary Standard still allows compliance by nominal insulation values, but also allows for both effective R-values of assemblies or maximum U-values of assemblies. While in SB-12 there is still one compliance package that can be accomplished with simple nominal cavity insulation of R-22, there is a very clear indication that builders should be moving towards wall designs that include a continuous insulation component to cost effectively improve the total thermal effectiveness of their walls. This direction is consistent with the understanding of building science. Properly applied, continuous insulation simultaneously improves the durability, structural integrity, energy performance and comfort performance of walls. Moreover, builders will recognize that with the way the code alternatives are written, homes with continuous insulation on walls can be built more cost effectively than simply choosing the packages with only a cavity insulation requirement. If you are uncertain about these statements above, I strongly encourage you, your designer, and even your framers, to either attend a building science training session like those offered by groups such as EnerQuality, talk to your energy evaluator, or refer to websites and apps such as constructioninstruction.com. As you review the science and consider the various alternatives made available by leading manufacturers for continuous insulation, you will need to consider a decision matrix to evaluate the appropriate solution for your home designs and build process. In my opinion, there is no one “best” option – each has strengths and challenges and, in the end, you are looking for the overall system performance. Thus on one axis of the decision matrix will be at least the following considerations (generally in order of importance and other than cost): • Structural integrity • Water management detailing – liquid water and vapour control • Fire and sound control • Long-term durability • Cladding and window attachment • Air barrier detailing • Thermal performance • Required design changes to accommodate added thickness 13 Exterior Insulation Options industryexpert / GORD COOKE J anuary 1, 2017 marked the implementation of yet another step up the ladder of energy efficiency in the Ontario Building Code. It is important to note that this Ontario move was consistent with the moves made in Part 9.36 of the National Building Code of Canada (NBC). Indeed, the direction in Canada is consistent with the progressive codes in the U.S., such as the International Energy Efficiency Code 2015, which has now been adopted by at least 10 states. Properly applied, continuous insulation simultaneously improves the durability, structural integrity, energy performance and comfort performance of walls. ROXUL exterior insulation also acts as a drainage layer that improves a wall’s thermal value.
  15. 15. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201714 Against each of these factors, you will want to evaluate the choices available to you, such as: • Extruded polystyrene (XPS) boards • Expanded polystyrene boards (EPS) • Foil and glass mat–faced polyisocyanurate boards • Semi-rigid mineral fibreboards • Wood fibreboards • Fibre-mat insulation blankets such as the DuPont Thermawrap • Composite or laminate insulation boards with a structural base There are lots of options to consider, each with strengths and challenges. For example, the great drainage and drying capabilities of rigid mineral wool board provide superior fire and sound control that needs to be combined with a structural sheathing, and is heavy enough to require careful thought as to how to mount and attach on a wall. Compare that to an XPS board, where structural integrity can be accomplished with let-in bracing or intermittent shear panels, but the low permeability of the product requires more thought given to water- resistant barrier application and the “inboard/outboard” insulation ratios of the wall assembly to avoid interstitial condensation (hint: the more foam, the better). Then, consider some of the newer laminates, where foam is combined with a structural board to minimize installation time and perhaps overall wall thickness. With these products, it would be ideal if the insulation component was to the outside of the structural layer to keep it on the “warm” side, but attaching through the foam requires an aggressive nailing pattern, which leads to concerns about over- driven fasteners and proper water management. As you consider your alternatives, it may help to take a longer-term view. It seems really clear to those of us watching code cycles and industry direction that we are driving towards net zero homes within the next 12 to 20 years. We at Building Knowledge are very excited to already be helping more than 20 mainstream builders build net zero homes. So what do walls in those houses look like? To get there, with current technology, the sweet spot for total effective wall R-value is in the range of R-27 to R-32. Here are a few wall assemblies that will get you there. Options include: 2x6 wall at 24" on-centre (OC) with R-24 mineral wool, fibreglass or spray foam cavity insulation and R-10 continuous exterior insulation – 1.5" polyiso foam, 2" XPS foam or 2.5" EPS or mineral fibreboard. OR 2x4 wall at 16" OC with R-14 cavity insulation (your choice of fibres or foam) and R-15 to R-18 exterior insulation – 2.5" polyiso foam, 3" XPS foam, 4" EPS or mineral wool. OR Certainly time to look at ICF walls – 4" foam on one side, 2.5" on the other, or a 6" or 8" structural insulated panel. The first option, the 2x6 wall with R-10 exterior insulation, has been the most common choice in the net zero projects we have worked on. You can probably do some quick math and realize the incremental cost on a typical 2,000 to 2,500-square-foot Wall Construction Framing Centres Effective R-Value 2x6 Stud R-22 Batt 16" O.C. 17.03 2x6 Stud R-19 + R-5 16" O.C. 20.32 2x6 Stud R-14 + R-7.5 16" O.C. 18.62 2x6 Stud R-22 + R-5 16" O.C. 21.4 EFFECTIVE R-VALUE OF SB-12 WALLS It seems really clear to those of us watching code cycles and industry direction that we are driving towards net zero homes within the next 12 to 20 years.
  16. 16. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 home is under $5,000 for the wall assembly. That’s including provisions for a fully shingled, lapped and flashed house-wrap applied. Notwithstanding some groundbreaking new wall assembly technology, the end game looks something like your existing 2x6 wall with 2" to 2.5" of exterior insulation. This should help direct your more immediate wall decisions. You could invest time and effort looking for and applying a composite structural insulated sheathing with an effective R-value boost of R-3 to R-5 that provides a three- to five-year solution, or perhaps research and plan for the longer-term with thicker exterior insulation alternatives. It may even be time to follow the lead of commercial builders and head back to thinner cavity walls and more exterior insulation, or have another look at the SIPs or ICF walls you may have dismissed a decade or two ago. The great news is that continuous exterior insulation improves the durability, comfort, health and energy efficiency of your homes and can be done very cost effectively. Even better, there are large manufacturers who have done the application work to ensure you can be successful with any of the choices. Partner with them and your energy evaluator to find the solution that best fits your designs and build process. BB Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. 15 vanee.ca All these products meet ENERGY STAR’s higher standards For more information or to order, contact your local distributor. vänEE 100H vänEE 200HvänEE 60H vänEE 60H-V+ vänEE 90H-V ECMvänEE 40H+vänEE 90H-V+ vänEE 60H+ vänEE 50H1001 HRV vänEE Gold Series 2001 HRV vänEE Gold Series vänEE air exchangers: improved line-up meets ENERGY STAR® standards Superior Energy Efficiency Ideal for LEED homes and new building codes 5-year warranty* FRESH AIR JUST GOT GREENER *ON MOST MODELS. Structural insulated panels (SIPS) are airtight and fast to erect.
  17. 17. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 featurestory / ROB BLACKSTIEN Probuilt’s 2017 Future Dream Home at the National Home Show in Toronto in March. Dreams Making
  18. 18. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 17 How’s this for a dream home? With all its energy features, Probuilt’s pays for itself. ComeTrue Y ou’ve heard a lot about net zero in these pages over the last few months. Some experts say that it’s a pie-in-the-sky concept, mostly driven by government mandates to eliminate carbon. The problem is that eradicating carbon is completely impossible. That said, there are feasible solutions emerging based on common sense and a cost-benefit approach. Enter low carbon, net zero cost, a new trend in environmentally conscious home design and a perfect example of which was seen by thousands of people who traversed the 2017 Future Dream Home project at the National Home Show in Toronto in March. Designed and constructed by Bolton, Ontario-based Probuilt, the Future Dream Home is right in line with the company’s philosophy to combine sustainable technologies with traditional building techniques. “The whole idea behind these homes is to centre on the lifestyle of our clients,” says Probuilt CEO/ founder Michael Upshall. Beyond that, he explains Probuilt’s raison d’être is PHOTOSCOURTESYPROBUILTDESIGN+BUILD
  19. 19. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201718 enhancements in the construction of the home’s envelope, less fossil fuel will be consumed. “By utilizing better-performing materials in the construction of the home, it makes it a more energy-efficient environment, and healthier, too,” Brown adds. That’s music to the ears of Upshall, who discovered very early in life what his calling was. In grade nine, he took some carpentry and drafting courses, and they resonated with him. “For some reason, I just had this vision of me building homes.” Upshall left high school after the following year and soon became a labourer, transitioning into being a carpenter’s helper and beginning a four-year apprenticeship en route to becoming a master carpenter. He worked his way into foreman and site-supervisor gigs, all told spending 10 years working for various companies, all the while formulating a plan for bigger things in his head. “A lot of the companies that I was working with, I didn’t agree with – I didn’t like their style and what they were doing, so I was kind of taking mental notes on how I would run my business,” Upshall says. Even then, he knew he wanted to do things differently. In 1989, Upshall made the leap and launched Probuilt, wearing all the hats in the early days (estimating, accounting and working on the tools). He quickly learned that, as a practitioner, you can only get so far. “In business, you need to be able to let go of things,” Upshall explains. to create environmentally conscious designs that embrace innovation and experimentation while adopting new products and services. The concept of net zero energy no longer makes sense. Instead, we’re transitioning into a scenario in which houses have enough energy-efficient features that the utility cost savings will ultimately cover the increased size of the mortgage necessary to fund these innovations. “At the end of the day, it’s really a different way of making people more aware of the requirements to be more energy efficient, to be more prudent with our natural resources and to do something that will ensure that we are able to utilize our natural resources in a more effective manner,” says Gary Brown, vice president of marketing for Toronto- based Amvic Inc., a partner of the 2017 Future Dream Home. He explains that through “Early on, I got it into my head that I was going to take a big-business approach to this small business.” ROXUL’s demonstration booth was a key feature of the Future Dream Home learning centre. ROXULINC.
  20. 20. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 19 He says you must find out what you love to do and do very well, concentrate on that, and outsource/ offload all the things you don’t like to do or that you’re not good at. “That’s all part of growing a business.” Upshall threw himself into studying the industry and business, taking professional courses and joining industry groups. “Basically, I wanted to be a poster boy for what professionalism is like in our industry and to do everything at a high level of professionalism.” His approach was simple: “Early on in my career, I got it into my head that I was going to take a big-business approach to this small business.” That translated into setting up process- oriented systems for every aspect of his business. For instance, Probuilt has developed its own proprietary project design and management process, called PROPLAN. “Let’s say I was to get hit by a bus,” Upshall says. “Anybody could come in and pick up our systems and procedures, fill my spot because we’ve got a flowchart that shows how everything connects together for each component.” Probuilt has grown into an eight-employee, full-service design–build construction firm, spe- cializing in mid- to high-end renovation projects that vary in size from $400,000 to $600,000. And while renovations of that size essentially trans- late into a custom home, the company also does homes from scratch. In fact, Upshall says they love building new because it’s so systematic and tends to avoid the scope creep and production slippage that’s more inherent in a reno. The company is ramping up, with plans to add four to six more employees over the next three years, as Upshall transitions out of the full-time sales position into concentrating on the bigger picture for Probuilt. The highly decorated Upshall (he was the first two-time BILD Renovator of the Year winner) is very active in the industry, and he’s not shy about sharing his displeasure about how people perceive renovators. “People will take half a day off to get their teeth cleaned at their dentist, but they won’t take off any time to talk to me about their half- million-dollar renovation. Hello? Hello, people?” Roof truss and wood sill connection. Simpson Strong Tie MGT system shown Drywall screwed into amvic polypropylene webs as per building code Electrical outlet Wood sub-floor installed as per local building Simpson strong tie ICFLC and wood floor joists connection Amvic insulating concrete forms Amdeck floor & roof system Exterior wood siding installed as per local building code Amvic high impact polypropylene webs Acrylic, standard ptucco or eifs applied to exterior face of Amvic ICF Brick veneer Parge face of exposed brick ledge Grade Peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane (or equivalent) as per local building code Perforated weeping tile INSULATED CONCRETEFORMS FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: AMVIC.COM
  21. 21. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201720 But his approach has certainly earned its share of fans. Gary Brown gushes that Probuilt are “phenomenal builders, [who are] very organized [and] understand how to build, understand the principles of building better, but just an excellent builder to work with.” Derek Tse, who purchased the Dream Home along with his wife, Keiko Koga, was equally impressed with Probuilt. “They are very refreshing. Michael is also very passionate about what he does.” This is the fourth time Probuilt has been chosen to build the Dream Home (for more on this year’s home, see sidebar on page 22, “The 2017 Future Dream Home”), but new this year was the creation of a learning centre designed to educate show attendees about the actual technologies that make this home 50% better than Code. Upshall’s innovation not only provided a value-added experience for attendees, but he also created a platform to showcase some of the “unglorified things like lumber and drywall and vapour barriers and insulation” because “without those parts, everything else doesn’t exist.” To the surprise of many, consumers really are interested in more than simply granite counter- tops and light fixtures – and when you explain the impact that improved insulation technologies and other energy-efficient features can have on their utility bills, and how that can easily be quantified as a return on investment, suddenly the public becomes very attentive. “What we found is that people are super interested in what[’s] underneath, [if] they [are] exposed to it,” Upshall says. This line of thinking dovetails perfectly with Upshall’s bigger-picture view that the house is actually a system, as opposed to being a bunch of parts that are simply hammered together. Always thinking big, his ultimate goal is to get to a place where the house actually produces more energy than it uses. Plus zero, here we come... BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca
  22. 22. 21BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 ProjectFutureProof:ACanadianHERSProviderusingthe BetterThanCodePlatform This Platform helps Builders with Municipal Approvals, Subdivision Agreements and Build- ing Permits. Navigating the performance path can be complicated. A code change is coming in 2017 which will cause more confusion. The new code will be notionally 15% better than 2012 (HERS 51). How are you getting there? Let the BTC Platform including the HERS Index help you secure Municipal Subdivision Approvals and Building Permits and enhance your marketing by selling your homes’ energy efficiency. projectfutureproof.com BetterThanCodeusestheHERSIndextomeasureenergyefficiency–thelowerthescorethebetter–MeasureableandMarketable. OBC2012 OBC2017 100 80 60 40 20 0 Formoreinformationemailinfo@projectfutureproof.comorcallusat416-481-7517 Better ThanCode This rating is available for homes built by leading edge builders who have chosen to advance beyond current energy efficiency programs and have taken the next step on the path to full sustainability. PROJECTFUTUREPROOF.COM HOMEADDRESS 123 Stone Street, Toronto, ON M6K 2T0 RATINGDATE July 23, 2015 HOME ENERGY RATING 45 HERSSCORE 100 80 60 40 20 0 OBC2012 NearZero YOURSCORE
  23. 23. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201722 The 2017 Future Dream Home is “basically [a] high-end [home] on steroids,” explains Michael Upshall, as home owners Derek Tse and Keiko Koga will be getting a luxury home for a high- end price. This marks the first time that the Dream Home is an actual design-build project for a client, as the home will be reconstructed near Yorkdale Mall in North York later this year, with occupancy expected by spring 2018. The 2,700-square-foot home was assembled on the National Home Show floor in a mere seven days – made possible because of the panelization and post-and-beam construction. The low carbon, net zero cost home is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the energy savings – driven by features like high-performing insulation, the high- efficiency combination heating system, airtightness and solar battery storage – will actually exceed the additional mortgage costs, thereby paying for themselves. Watching his future dream home being built at the National Home Show and anticipating its reassembly later this year was “the experience of a lifetime,” Tse says. He’s been told that the estimated annual energy savings will be in the range of $2,100 to $2,300. Among the energy-efficient features of this home are: • Walls above grade: R-30 main walls with R-7.5 silverboard graphite exterior insulation from Amvic, a relatively new product to North America, Gary Brown says. This expanded polystyrene insulation product has graphite material in it, which reduces thermal bridging and condensation. R-22 Roxul cavity insulation provides a perfect fit to reduce convection. • Foundation walls: Amvic insulated concrete form (ICF), providing higher R-values (R-22) and a dry basement. The 2017 Future Dream Home
  24. 24. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 • Below-slab insulation: Amvic insulated PEX panels, allowing for faster installation of radiant floor heating. “This is a panel that’s been specifically designed to hold PEX hydronic tubing in place, then concrete is poured over it,” Brown explains. The radiant heating is effectively heating all of the floor and all of the furniture. “So it’s a much more effective and economical use of energy.” • Attic: R-50 Roxul with stone wool insulation, providing superior R-value in the vented flat roof. • Velux skylights: Low-e glass provides 23% better performance with more natural daylight. • Solar: Panasonic solar battery storage system. The 6.75 kW solar array saves electricity for a rainy day, while acting as a backup system and storing electricity at night. • Drain water heat recovery (Power-Pipe): R3-60 on two showers, recovering 50% of the heat from the shower’s 23 waste water to pre-heat incoming cold water. • Domestic water heating: The combination system provides abundant hot water at 34% higher efficiency. • Exhaust fans: Eco Vent improves indoor air quality while reducing energy consumption with a high air displacement. • Space heating: The natural gas combination space and hot-water heating system provide maximum efficiency with a single modulating boiler. This system was provided by EnerCare. • Energy recovery ventilator (ERV): The home uses Panasonic’s brand new ERV, which is 81% efficient – the highest rating on the market. — R.B. This marks the first time that the Dream Home is an actual design-build project for a client, as it will be reconstructed in North York later this year. PHOTOSCOURTESYPROBUILTDESIGN+BUILD
  25. 25. Save more. Worry less. Professionals who install Uponor PEX plumbing, radiant floor heating, and fire sprinkler systems report faster installation times, fewer callbacks and greater peace of mind. Exceptional products, tools and support. Uponor. Tested in the lab. Proven in the field. Connect with Uponor. Connect with confidence. PEX PLUMBING FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS RADIANT HEATING COOLING PRE-INSULATED PIPEFind your solution at www.uponor.ca
  26. 26. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 On the other hand, at their lovely Victorian home in Dundas, Ontario, the girls had jockeyed for a place in front of its only large window. The fact is, humans crave light – and the Ibbotsons’ test home had it in spades. As much as the family loved their first home and its walkable small-town neighbourhood, they didn’t love how dark it was – so they installed eight skylights. As manager of Velux’s technical department, Ibbotson is no stranger to skylights – their history and their challenges, as well as the incredible solutions they offer. While modern Canadian open-concept interiors provide much more light, the shrinking pool of available land and subsequent higher densities means builders are hard pressed to keep interiors well lit. The answer, Ibbotson says, is skylights. They bring light in, but they also solve other builder issues by allowing “windows” on zero lot lines and introducing light to interior parts of the home. This translates into money – creating another bedroom means adding an extra $50,000 to the purchase price. How it works, Ibbotson explains, is that changes to the Ontario Building Code in 2014 resulted in skylights being tested for structural durability, air and water penetration, which “raised the bar on the quality of skylights.” He adds, “SB-12 ensured a baseline energy performance which cut out the old dome-style skylights from part 9 construction. Long story short, a builder has to use better quality skylights to meet code – much less chance for leaking, condensation, heat gain and noise concerns.” 25 In the Spotlight – Naturally sitespecific / ALEX NEWMAN R ussell Ibbotson is a great believer in the effects of contrast. After the mechanical engineer and his family lived in the Great Gulf Active House for a few weeks, he saw the stark contrast of living with light – and living without it. With a rear bank of windows and an interior courtyard in the new Etobicoke home, where the builder was testing energy efficiency and light values on a real-life family, Ibbotson noticed how peaceful his three daughters were at play. Russell Ibbotson is manager of Velux’s technical department.
  27. 27. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201726 Deck mount and curb mount are the two main skylight styles in North America. Deck mount, Ibbotson says, is 10% to 24% more energy efficient than curb mount and has a lower profile; the install is also less affected by the quality of the installer. Curb mount is recommended for roof slopes less than 3:12 or where there may be a lot of snow and the attic has poor ventilation. Velux has introduced triple-pane options that reduce the U-value but still meet ENERGY STAR Zone 2 requirements with double panes.  Not related to the 2014 code change, but found elsewhere in the OBC, are zero-lot-line and skylight bedroom opportunities. That is, skylights are allowed on a zero lot line (unlike windows, which are prohibited) if the roof is less than a 60-degree pitch. The skylight bedroom opportunity means a builder can put bedrooms back to back using a skylight to meet the code’s glazing and ventilation requirements, as long as there is egress (an exit) on the floor of the bedroom. Skylights can also be used over the stairs, interior bathrooms and walk-in closets. Doing this puts money on the table as well, Ibbotson points out, because so much of Velux’s business comes from new home buyers who install skylights within the first three years. But the real challenge with skylights is dealing with the bad reputation. Everyone has a skylight story – either theirs or someone they know. Issues of leaking, condensation and overheating are real, and Ibbotson admits product quality has been inconsistent in the past. Fortunately, the code changes in 2014 (adding skylights to the list and to the National Fenestration Standards) have effectively eliminated bad companies, bad installations and bad product. Velux, he adds, is in good shape because it’s such a large company and has been able to offer a high-end product with a competitive price tag. Velux also does extensive installer training, which is a large part of Ibbotson’s job. His experience in this area started when a research stint during his mechanical engineering degree at Queen’s turned into a job with EnerWorks, a solar hot water heater manufacturer. There, he not only designed and marketed the product, but developed the installer training program. While it’s important to learn how to install, knowing where to install is just as important, Ibbotson says. For example, if you put a skylight in a bathroom that has no exhaust, there’s no way it can perform properly. If you reinstall a 20-year-old skylight it likely has old seals and will leak. If the roof is very steep (pitch of 12:12 or 45 degrees), a skylight won’t perform as anticipated. Much of Ibbotson’s time is spent reviewing skylight location with architects and builders. “Skylight energy efficiency is very important. If the light shafts (the walls from the ceiling to skylight) are much more than five to six feet, then you're getting less light, but also losing more heat from the light shaft than the skylight. For long shafts, we recommend Sun Tunnels.” Sun Tunnels, or tubular skylights, are the easiest skylights for builders to use and offer the most energy- efficient skylight option. They require no structural changes – making them excellent for existing home renovation – and can extend up to 25 feet from roof to ceiling. Light enters the top, bounces down the mirror-like tube and exits into the room, making daylight available Sunlight is captured on the roof Light is distributed in the room Light travels through a highly reflective tunnel VELUX Sun tunnels are the easiest and most energy efficient options for builders to increase natural light in town houses.
  28. 28. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017
  29. 29. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201728 deep into the home. Their energy efficiency comes from a multi-lens diffuser at the ceiling level, so there’s roughly one square foot of reduced attic R-value. The thermal break is in line with the attic insulation. Velux has even installed tunnels that extend through a floor, bringing light even deeper into the house.  Condensation is the second biggest concern with skylights, and people often refer to it as a leak when it’s not. “Condensation happens when the indoor humidity is still high and the outdoors have gotten really cold. But this is something that can be dealt with in the design, by installing a return fan in the ceiling shaft, thus creating air movement in the skylight,” Ibbotson says. Sometimes you see ice damming if there is insufficient attic ventilation below the skylight, so when Ibbotson talks to architects and builders about skylights, he emphasizes the need for adequate attic ventilation near the skylight. Heat gain is another important factor to consider when considering new skylights. The older, clear glass skylights had about 75% solar heat gain. The new glass has reduced that to 25%, which is significant on a sunny day and results in much less drain on the air conditioning. Technical advancements aside, Ibbotson says skylights are one of those products best experienced. That’s why Velux supports pretty much any chance to expose consumers to the product in action, and that’s why they participated in the Future Dream Home initiative at the 2017 Toronto National Home Show. Thousands of people walked through the dream home and saw solar-powered skylights that would close automatically in the rain and come with a programmable remote control. BB  Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com.
  30. 30. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201730 fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY Our net zero home has also been named as a finalist for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence in the Net Zero Home category. So it would seem that we are in the ball park for being able to build our net zero homes to a standard that is highly regarded, and we are honoured by the recognition. That being said, I thought that this was an appropriate opportunity to discuss some of the benefits of building a high-performance/net zero- ready home that seem to get lost in the discussions of carbon footprints, using the grid as a battery, net zero carbon, net zero energy, net zero this, net zero that…and do people even know what it really means? Let me be clear: I’m not jaded (yet) but I do like to pull back and think about both what we’ve accomplished and what it all means. Let’s start by outlining what I am using as the definition of net zero for new home construction. Simply put, a net zero home is one that creates as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year, based upon energy modelling simulations. This assumes a certain consumption pattern from home owners. If you add that hot tub, you might not get to net zero. However, we cannot predict all the different scenarios of how occupants will use their homes – so we need to have guidelines that assume typical consumption to calculate the loads for the home. Because solar panels are still somewhat expensive and you need a fair number of them, we must first look to creating a really tight building envelope (1.0 ACH or equivalent NLR); install highly insulated walls, floors and ceilings; and then use high- performance HVAC and plumbing systems. For a net zero–ready home, it means that you have done all of the above (including designing the space for the future solar panels), but have not installed the renewables, which can easily be done by the home owner at a later date. This past weekend really brought my thinking about net zero into greater focus. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend time with some The Benefits of Building a Net Zero-Ready Home …It’s Not All About the Energy! D oug Tarry Homes’ first net zero home was recently recognized as the Canadian winner of the CRESNET Cross Border Challenge, with a HERS score of 1. As net zero would be a 0 HERS score, it looks like we have a little fine tuning to do – one more solar panel would have likely gotten us there. However, for our first net zero home, I would say that’s a pretty cool accomplishment. Doug Tarry Homes won the Net Zero Canadian Builder category at this year’s RESNET Awards. 1
  31. 31. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 2017 of the best minds in the building industry and also with many people that honour me with their friendship. Yes, it was time for the annual Spring Training Camp Session for Advanced Building Science and Practical Application put on by Tex McLeod, John Straube and Gord Cooke. In addition to Tex, John and Gord, we also had some incredible sessions, beginning with Suzanne Shelton of the Shelton Group providing key marketing insights, to the always entertaining (live, no filter) Joe Lstiburek, and finishing with Sam Rashkin discussing the future of how homes will be built and the need to learn lessons from other industries about production efficiencies. It was a great conference. What was most interesting to me was the fact that, for so many of the topics that were being raised as issues, we at Doug Tarry Homes had already worked out the solution: from tighter homes having greater humidity issues, to the need to control solar heat gain, all the way through to high-performance HVAC that meets the comfort and lifestyle needs of the occupant as well as the performance needs of the home. So I’ve used our experiences to develop a holistic design checklist that, for me, should be how we design and build high-performance or net zero-ready homes. How many of the following can you say yes to? Our homes: 1. Are extremely energy efficient and future proofed against rising energy costs. 2. Are built to be durable, with high- performing air barrier, drainage plane and window flashings, with one-fourth the air leakage of a code-built home. 3. Are designed to be healthier for the occupant, with continuous fresh air and balanced humidity. Our basements are not prone to mould, mildew or moisture buildup, and are built to resist radon/soil gas ingress. 31 Dow’s full house of insulation, air sealants and adhesives work together to create an airtight, moisture resistant structure from roof to foundation, helping builders and contractors meet or exceed building codes, reduce callbacks and create a comfortable, durable, energy efficient structure for their customers. Dow BuilDing SolutionS 1-866-583-BluE (2583) www.insulateyourhome.ca ®™The DOW Diamond Logo is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company © 2014 Whole-House SolutionstHAt HElP BuilDERS AnD ContRACtoRS outPERFoRM
  32. 32. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 22 | SUMMER 201732 4. Are quiet, including the mechani­ cal system. 5. Are comfortable with a uniform temperature throughout the home, and no excessive hot or cold swings in temperature. Even the basement is an enjoyable space. 6. Do not have drafts. You don’t feel cold sitting beside a window, and our floors feel warm and cozy all year round, even though they are not heated. 7. Do not have rooms that overheat due to excessive solar heat gain. 8. Have mechanical systems that are easy to operate, using set-it-and- forget-it technology. 9. Do not have air distribution problems, including cold, air condi­ tioned air blowing across your legs. 10. Do not have furniture placement issues due to mechanical distribution vent locations being in the way. If you’re looking to move to a high- performance/net zero-ready home, finding ways to ensure the design and construction of your home meet the points on this checklist will help ensure you are building your customers a healthier, quieter, more comfortable, more durable and more energy- efficient home that they will enjoy from the moment they first move in. Currently, we are looking to our customers to ask if it is time to move to a net zero-ready spec as our new construction standard. We’ve gotten the additional costs down to approximately $17,000 to $18,000, and the added costs look to be cost-neutral (providing slight annual savings when you compare the added mortgage costs against the operational savings). We are working on our marketing position. If I could give you, as my customer, all the above benefits for no additional net cost, would you buy it? It is an interesting time. BB Doug Tarry Jr is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ontario.
  33. 33. Your reputation is built, or crumbles, long after the keys have been handed over. That’s why projects like The Edelweiss Home – Canada’s first LEED® v4 home, and second in the world to achieve Platinum status – rely on the continuous insulation of ROXUL® COMFORTBOARD™ exterior sheathing. Its vapour permeability enables your wall assembly to dry to the outside, providing your clients with durability and comfort. See why ROXUL is a better fit for your next project at roxul.com/comfortboard A BETTER WAY TO BUILD YOUR HOMES – AND YOUR REPUTATION. CAVITYROCK ® and COMFORTBOARD TM . For a better way to build. COMFORTBOARD™ . For the better way to build.LEED® is a registered trademark of United States Green Building Council.
  34. 34. Together,wemakebetter energyperformancepossible. Building energy efficient buildings doesn’t need to be costly and complicated. Savings by Design can help, whether you’re a residential or commercial builder. This comprehensive program gives you free access to industry experts and performance incentives for constructing energy efficient, sustainable buildings beyond code requirements. Learn more at savingsbydesign.ca

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