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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 02 / Summer 2012

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 02 / Summer 2012

  1. 1. BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 WWW.BETTER BUILDER.CA IN THIS ISSUE • Dinner of Champions • Radon in Basements • Better Envelopes Smaller Mechanical Systems • Site Specific • Cross Border Challenge Goes to Denver Brookfield HomesBUILDING COMMUNITIES, PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER Brookfield HomesBUILDING COMMUNITIES, PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER
  2. 2. Comfort and control. 71 Innovation Drive, Unit 8 & 9, Vaughan, Ontario L4H 0S3 Tel. 905.264.1414 Fax: 905.264.1147 Flowmax condensing wall hung water heaters with on-demand domestic water production represents the latest technological know-how in producing space heating and domestic water production. The efficient Energy Star approved compact design products allows for ease of installation for new construction and retrofit applications. The availability of three model capacities and burner modulation affords flexibility in design and the ability to meet varying requirements for domestic water.The Flowmax water heaters can be used with multiple hydronic heating systems incorporating radiators, fan coils or in-floor heating while maintaining high efficiency levels and control. The products are manufactured with a corrosion resistant stainless steel heat exchanger for long life. The units also have a built in expansion tank, circulating pump and a flat plate heat exchanger.These Energy Star approved products offer a 10 year warranty on the main heat exchanger and 5 years on parts. The direct venting for these units can be installed with 2” or 3” PVC ULC S636 pipe and fittings with a maximum length up to 100 ft. These units have been certified by Intertek. Tankless condensing combination water heaters from Flowmax
  3. 3. BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source COVER STORY 15 Brookfield Homes - Building Communities, Putting the Pieces Together BY TRACY HANES FEATURES 02 Publisher's Note - Building Communities Through Partnerships BY JOHN GODDEN 03 Building on What We’ve Got BY BRYAN TUCKEY 04 Lot 170 - Getting It Right BY TRACY HANES 06 The Energy Pimp: Trick #1, The Bump-out BY GREG LABBE 08 High Performance HVAC for HP Homes BY GORD COOK 10 The Cross Border Challenge From Toronto to Denver and Back BY JOHN GODDEN 12 The Greening of York Region BY LOU BADA 20 Site Specific: A “Site Level” Look at Those Individuals Making a Difference in Sustainable Building BY SHARON CREASOR 21 The Plane View: Dedicated to Getting to the Point BY WENDY SHAMI 22 The June 11th Cross Border Challenge Event BY CRAIG BACKMAN, PHOTOS BY NICK SEGUIN PHOTOGRAPHY 25 Ontario’s Building Energy Code – How Builders Can Save Money BY GERALD VAN DECKER 27 Panelized Systems: Better for the Environment, Better for Homebuyers, Better for Builders BY BETTER BUILDER STAFF 29 Builder Note: Radon BY MICHAEL LIO 32 A More Forgiving Basement Wall (Part 2): Outward Bound Vapour Diffusion BY DOUG TARRY 1 15 4 COSTSTANGIBLE BENEFITS 22 12 JEFF MARTINO JIMMY NETO JOHN GODDEN SHEILA MOFFAT BRIAN COUPERTHWAITE CARL KOLBE JASON THOMSON ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 WWW.BETTER BUILDER.CA | ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012
  4. 4. PUBLISHER BETTER BUILDER MAGAZINE 12 ROWLEY AVENUE TORONTO, ON M4P 2S8 416-481-4218 - FAX 416-481-4695 SALES@BETTERBUILDER.CA BETTER BUILDER MAGAZINE IS A SPONSOR OF PUBLISHING EDITOR JOHN B. GODDEN JOHNG@BETTERBUILDER.CA ASSOCIATE EDITOR WENDY SHAMI To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact FEATURE WRITER TRACY HANES COPY EDITOR WENDY SHAMI CREATIVE ANNA-MARIE MCDONALD LITTLE GREEN BAG CREATIVE SERVICES CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS LOU BADA, CRAIG BACKMAN, GORD COOKE, JOHN GODDEN, TRACY HANES, GREG LABBE, MICHAEL LIO, DOUG TARRY, GERALD VAN DECKER, WENDY SHAMI PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission obtained at The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine can not be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. UNDELIVERABLE MAIL BETTER BUILDER MAGAZINE 12 ROWLEY AVENUE TORONTO, ON M4P 2S8 BETTER BUILDER MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED FOUR TIMES A YEAR BY 2 PUBLISHER’S NOTE Building Communities Through Partnerships Why is Better Builder talking about communities? The simple answer is communities are things we build. To be successful, communities take effort and planning. When the word community is used it refers to physical space; a location made up of houses, buildings and parks connected by roads etc. Community is defined as a “body” of people who share common rights and interests. Community could be defined by how people relate to others in common surroundings, buildings and parks connected by roads etc. When a house is purchased, people “buy in” and this reflects their trust that it is a worthy place to live. This issue showcases Brookfield Homes who builds master planned communities not only in the GTA but in US cities like Washington, Denver and Boston. Master planning and executing requires cooperation at all levels from land development through construction, right through to occupancy. Tracy Hanes talks to the players in the community building and approval process who have made Brookfield a success in Bradford, Ontario. Welcome to Bryan Tuckey from BILD who offers a unique perspective from the planning side of the process. Lou Badda comments on the development of York Regions new ‘green’ policy from a builder’s perspective. With the new 2012 OBC there are changes for basements and Doug Tarry shares his experience on managing moisture below grade. Michael Lio discusses measures to reduce radon in basements. Greg Labbe talks practically about how to reduce the effect of bump-outs on heat loss through air leakage. Two new additions this month: Site Specific, a column that focuses on the people who influence sustainability on the ground, and The Plane View, a column that gets to the point. JOHN GODDEN
  5. 5. 3ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS Building on What We’ve Got At the Building Industry and Land Development Association, we have a number of members who are pushing the limits, stretching expectations and asking the people they work with to think differently about sustainability. In building 40,000 homes every year across the GTA, the industry is required to meet a myriad of standards but the real go-getters set out to exceed them. Since this magazine issue focuses on communities, relationships and the importance of working together through the planning, development and home building process, I decided to phone up one of our members who did just that about five years ago. In 2007, Rodeo Fine Homes began construction on its EcoLogic community in the Town of Newmarket. At the time, I was the Commissioner of Planning and Development Services for York Region and I remember the Town’s intention to sell the land to a builder that would work with them to set the sustainability bar a little higher. Well, these guys certainly did that. I strolled through the development with William Mauro, son of Frank, who owns Rodeo with partner Vince Naccarato, a few weeks ago. It was encouraging to see and hear how Canada’s first residential subdivision to be certified as LEED platinum is doing years later. These 34 homes achieve and exceed specific environmental targets. Including a 50 per cent reduction in household water draws, a 35 per cent reduction in overall discharge flows and a 60 per cent reduction in solid waste, greenhouse gas production and energy consumption when compared to conventional homes. To meet these targets, the builder had to work with Town staff to do research and get educated on new technologies and practices. Then it was a matter of educating the trades as well. From the eco concrete foundation walls with heavy-duty damp proofing, drainage layer and weeping tiles, to the increased insulation levels throughout the building envelope, to the rainwater harvesting cistern for every home, the structure set the stage for the holistic re-thinking of resources, waste and energy use. Each home is also outfitted with solar thermal hot water preheat, vinyl casement low-e² thermo pane windows, three-foot overhangs for solar shading and interlocking permeable concrete stone for driveways. I could go on but I have to say that when I asked William about the homeowner’s perspective on all of the features, he told me that residents will often remark on their low gas, electric and water bills—and for our industry, that says a lot. In the beginning of a sustainable project, whether it is building one home, a community or renovating an existing home, the most frequently asked questions from buyers and homeowners are about quantifying savings. With these EcoLogic homes and other projects that have reached beyond, we’ve got some answers—and with the recent changes to the Ontario Building Code to increase standards for energy efficiency, we can show examples and work with our municipal, regional and industry partners to meet and exceed them. BRYAN TUCKEY IS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE BUILDING INDUSTRY AND LAND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (BILD) AND CAN BE FOUND ON TWITTER (TWITTER.COM/BILDGTA), FACEBOOK (FACEBOOK.COM/BILDGTA), YOUTUBE (YOUTUBE.COM/BILDGTA) AND BILD’S OFFICIAL ONLINE BLOG (BILDBLOGS.CA). BRYAN TUCKEY Because of their efforts, Rodeo Fine Homes was given the Sustainable Housing Foundation’s Hall of Fame Award. Each one of these houses achieved a HERS score of 43 which is 25% better that the 2012 building code. CRAIG BACKMAN PRESENTS THE SUSTAINABLE HOUSING FOUNDATION AWARD TO WILL MAURO & VINCE NACCARATO OF RODEO FINE HOMES
  6. 6. 4 BUILDER NEWS Lot 170-Getting It Right Brookfield’s “community” approach was evident when homeowner Jason Thomson bought a new house in Grand Central and wanted to incorporate environmentally friendly features. He and his wife have a blended family of six children and desired to reduce their carbon foot- print as well as cut costs. “A decade ago, energy efficiency wasn’t on the table. The awareness wasn’t there,” says Thomson who previously bought two new homes. He and his wife opted for the GreenHouse label, which encompasses energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality features and will yield about 30 per cent utility bill savings. Some of their house’s features include a grey water recycling system, dual-flush toilets, a hot water heat recovery pipe, upgraded insulation and a tankless hot water system. “I was one of the first homeowners to do this and we all learned together,” says Thomson, referring to Brookfield’s site supervisor, the subcontractors and the town’s building officials. “We’ve been here nine months and are pretty happy. The research isn’t comprehensive yet, for example on the hot water on demand. I probably would have gone a different way with that. My hope is to continue to work closely with the builder. We are all still new to this. With the (GreenHouse) label, it tells me this is not a marketing ploy, thought goes into it and I feel we are saving energy and not screwing up the environment more.” He estimates his family will save about $1,000 a year in energy costs. One of the challenges with the new Code and better energy efficiency is “right sizing” HVAC systems to reflect the smaller loads created by improved insulation and air tightness. HVAC contractor Jeff Martino of Martino Contractors says the equipment supplied for Thomson’s house was based on stock drawings of the home plan; when the builder and contractor realized the furnace installed was actually twice as large as what was required, it was replaced with a smaller unit. “It’s a big learning curve for the HVAC industry learning to downsize systems,” says Martino. “There’s an issue finding furnaces small enough for new energy efficient houses. It’s easy to find 70,000 BTU systems but when you get to 38,000 to 40,000 BTUs, it’s tougher.” TRACY HANES Reliable, customized, maRtinoHeating • air conditioning • indoor air Quality • HVac design 1-800-465-5700 ™ GREYWATER RECYCLING REDUCES WATER DEMAND BY 40%
  7. 7. 5ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS Martino says there is also inconsistent education among municipalities as some officials are telling builders and HVAC contractors the systems they want to put in are too small. “One of our goals is to educate different municipalities across the board.” Thomson was pleasantly surprised by the cooperation between those who worked on his house and that he was part of the process. “I was surprised by the amount of collaboration,” he says. “The builder worked with us to try to find solutions. I can’t say enough good things about Brookfield.” Thomson says that his suggestions for Brookfield would be more training for sales people to educate them about energy efficient features so they can explain them knowledgeably to potential buyers, and to create a homeowner’s manual. This would explain things such as where to buy “pucks” for the grey water recycling unit and how often to clean the filter in the HRV. And in the spirit of Brookfield’s community spirit, Thomson says he’d be happy to work with the builder to explain the features of his home to future buyers. TRACY HANES IS A FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER FOR THE LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN CANADA AND SEVERAL MAGAZINES. WWW.TRACYHANES.CA
  8. 8. 6 BUILDER NEWS The Energy Pimp: Trick #1, The Bump-out A QUARTERLY SERIES THAT WILL EXPLORE THE HOTTEST HOUSING TREND FEATURES AND WILL MASSAGE MORE EFFICIENCY- WITH LESS OIL - INTO THE DESIGN. THE BUMP-OUT The bump-out has become a pretty common sight on the construction site. They come in all shapes and sizes, some short for the kitchen sink window, some start the bump-out in the footing and fold the entire house wall all the way up to the roof. Some bump-outs are for gas inserts. See photo 1. The issue is they add a lot of details that make for a less efficient and often less comfortable house. THE SITUATION The objective of a bump-out is different for a fireplace than it is for a window, but their solutions are identical. Whereas the design aesthetic for the fireplace is to keep the floor plan rectangular with no bump-in for the hearth; nice, straight clean lines along the outside wall. But because of the depth of the fireplace’s metal carcass, this necessitates a bump-out in the thermal envelope in this situation. All this for a faceplate that’s flush with the wall. It would seem that the fireplace in this diminutive role wouldn’t command the attention nor the clearance that once defined the traditional fireplace hearth. The fireplace in this bump-out case becomes a mere accessory, not a defining centre of attention in the room. The objective of the window bump-out is to create a nook or deeper pocket. This depth around a window is special. The way it frames a window, it invites you into the smaller space for an intimate look outside. Some owners prefer to have a seating area with cushions under the window to offer a reading nook or a cozy seat for two. The window bump-out can be as small as a kitchen window above the sink, or span two floors. See photo 2. THE DESIGN FLAW In the above scenarios, the weakness comes with the increased number of corners, the increased exposed area, the complexity of framing and extra seams in the air barrier system; in short, too many places to bleed heat and comfort out of the home. In some bump-outs, if the thermal bridging at the outside corners wasn’t enough, they added a heating supply duct running along the outside corner. See photo 3. The bump-out may have a short exposed floor section, or have a mini ‘attic’. For fireplaces, the cavity usually means the poly wasn’t clamped by drywall and that GREG LABBE 1: THE FIREPLACE BUMP-OUT HAS A JOG IN THE FOUNDATION WALL AND STEEL HOLDING UP THE BRICK ABOVE IT. 2: TYPICAL BUMP-OUT WITH MINI ATTIC AND EXPOSED FLOOR.
  9. 9. 7ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS means air leakage. If the outside cladding was brick, then some iron needs to hold the mass of the wall above the opening and that’s another thermal bridge. Together, all these weaknesses add up to a comfort liability. ADDING INSULT TO INJURY If the house is clad in brick, the gas insert bump-outs may start in the footing, taking it on an expensive 2'x 4' jog which can be carried in the framing up to the top floor. All this, just so that the face of the insert stays flush with the rest of the main floor drywall? For windows, the irony is that in many cases, the bump-out window doesn’t afford a better view as there are often no side lights and in the case of the window above the kitchen sink, reaching the window mechanism beyond the sink can be daunting. If you have to get a step ladder to operate the window every time you burn the toast, that’s not a practical feature. THE DESIRED EFFECT In the fireplace bump-out, the desired effect is to give clean sight lines and allow the occupant maximum flexibility in furniture placement. In the window bump-out the desired effect is to draw a person in towards the window or special object placed on the deep drywall return or sill. THE SOLUTION Don’t mess with the straight outside wall, but build inwards. With a nice straight wall, you can design built-in cabinets or shelves around the window for storage with the money you saved by not having to alter the shape of the wall. See Picture 4. The desired effect will be identical and you won’t have to sacrifice on efficiency to do it. This method drastically simplifies wall assembly and will ensure both greater comfort and lower construction cost, especially if the wall is made of brick. As for the window above the kitchen sink, nothing beats a nice live edge piece of wood as the sill to show off that little trophy you won in grade 6. 3: INSIDE THE BUMP-OUT WITH A HEATING DUCT UP THE OUTSIDE CORNER. GREG LABBE IS A VETERAN ENERGY RATER AND A PRINCIPAL AT BLUEGREEN GROUP.
  10. 10. 8 BUILDER NEWS Allow me to highlight one specific change in the HVAC industry that will have important implications for builders of high performance homes. This summer saw the publication of the new CAN/CSA F280 Standard Determining the Required Capacity of Residential Space Heating and Cooling Appliances. It replaces the 1990 edition and recognizes the many housing technology changes over the last 22 years that are now more accurately reflected in this new standard. The following are important features of the new standard and the impact they will have on the sizing of heating and cooling equipment for Canadian homes. The biggest change in the new standard is the way air leakage and ventilation is handled. The calculation method now will accept actual blower door air tightness tests. Moreover, the interaction between different types of ventilation systems and air leakage is accounted for. For example, a home with an exhaust only ventilation system creates a slight negative pressure that changes the leakage patterns in a home and the new standard makes allowance for this. In addition, the new standard will allow designers to take credit for the impact of heat recovery ventilation devices employed in a home. Oddly, this is typically never done and added an unnecessary 15 -20% to the size of a furnace alone. Another important update to the calculations of heat loss is in the way foundations are modeled. The new foundation approach accepts a much greater range of basement configurations and insulation methods now commonly used specifically in new, energy efficient homes. Designers will also now have a much wider choice of window types to select from to reflect the significant change in window technologies now available. Specifically, the U-factors and solar heat gain coefficients reported by manufacturers in their CSA A440 compliant labeling, can be directly put into the calculations. This is particularly important in high performance homes where builders are employing much bigger windows than previously and thus the summer heat gain from those windows needs to be accounted for more accurately. These three new algorithms were generously provided by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), from their internationally renowned HOT 2000 Energy Simulation software and will be embedded in special spreadsheets in the new CSA F280 Standard. The bottom line of the new standard is that it will provide more accurate and repeatable equipment sizing guides. It will take some getting used to, of course, as contractors recalibrate their long standing rules of thumb for sizing. For example, consider the results for a typical new 2-storey, 2300 sq.ft. home in the greater Toronto area. This quick example demonstrates an opportunity for smaller equipment, smaller duct work with lower noise levels and better temperature. You can imagine the transition to get used to this new sizing. Before the new standard can be fully implemented, it will have to be formally recognized in the building code and by the Heating Refrigeration Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI); the organization that initiated the development of the new standard, will have to develop new training curriculum, support documents and software. However, your mechanical contractors should look forward to this very positive change in the industry. It has been generally accepted that systems have been oversized for many years and the old F280 Standard facilitated that with the conservative approach specifically to air leakage and ventilation. The new objective measures of air tightness, GORD COOK High Performance HVAC for HP Homes EXISTING CSA F280 ENERGUIDE 80 NEW CSA F280 ERS 80 ERS 83 ENERGY STAR 2012 – NEW CSA ERS 86 R-2000 – NEW CSA F280 HEAT LOSS (BTUS) 58,000 BTUs 42,000 BTUS 35,000 BTUS 22,000 BTUS HEAT GAIN (BTUS / TONS) 32,500 BTUS (3 TON) 26,000 BTUS (2.5 TON) 23,000 BTUS (2.0 TON) 12,000 BTUS (1 TON) AIR FLOW 1100 CFM 900 CFM 750 CFM 400 CFM POSSIBLE DUCT SIZES • MAINS • BRANCH 8”X 30” 5” – 6” 8” X 22” 5” 8” X 18” 5” 8” X 10” 3”- 4” RIGHT SIZING & CHANGING CODES AND STANDARDS
  11. 11. 9ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 window performance and basement configurations will empower the rationalization of both the size of equipment and distribution systems in homes. Be ready to supply your HVAC partners with your air tightness levels, the exact window data and your foundation details, so they can optimize systems for your homes. I suggest you reinvest the modest savings you will see from the smaller equipment and duct sizes into further enhancements of the system for total comfort control. For example, zoning of systems will become a higher priority to manage the part or intermittent loads associated with ever larger window areas. In high performance homes, the variable heat gain through windows is not readily absorbed by the enclosure even in the dead of winter. Managing that heat gain will be even more of a challenge with smaller HVAC systems. Zoning is just one of a number of technologies that you will want to investigate with your HVAC partners. The most cost effective HVAC system in the next few years is not simply a function of the lowest bid on the same old approaches, but rather a complete new thinking of the opportunities you have created when you employ better insulation, controlled air leakage and advanced window technologies. Ask your HVAC contractor if they are ready to participate in this new conversation. Three reasons why you should hire a Construction Science and Management Degree Co-op student. 1. Access to skilled employees, as co-op students are trained to: • Perform quantity takeoffs from working drawings and specifications; prepare material schedules and participate in the bidding process. • Monitor progress and compile time and cost field reports, track and update change order logs. • Assist in the implementation of quality control measures, material management, construction documentation control, project management/coordination duties. 2. Meet seasonal or project demands by adding a highly motivated co-op student to the team. 3. Reduce costs associated with: • Recruitment - our program was developed by and for the industry to provide candidates that are trained specifically for the construction industry. • Taxes - by hiring a co-op student you may qualify for an Ontario Tax Credit. Contact us to learn more. For more information please contact: The Industry Liaison Office and Krisztina Arany at or 416-415-5000 x4356. GORD COOKE IS THE PRESIDENT OF BUILDING KNOWLEDGE CANADA
  12. 12. 10 BUILDER NEWS The Cross Border Challenge From Toronto to Denver and Back June 2012 was a very busy and exciting month. A Brookfield sustainability summit in Denver, The Roxul Dinner of Champions, the Canada Green Building Council Conference and a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) training workshop happened within the period of a week. My head is still spinning but we know that change can happen fast. Five years have passed since Clearsphere and the Canadian Residential Energy Services Network (CRESNET) co-sponsored an event at the World Green Building Conference in Toronto called Towards Near Zero Housing. Various stakeholders were invited to a think tank on low energy housing. At that event, Steve Baden of RESNET signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CRESNET. Since then approximately two hundred houses have earned Green is 50 labels and one hundred and fifty Cross Boarder Challenge houses have been rated under the HERS rating index. The current Ontario Building Code (OBC) has recognized HERS as an alternative compliance path for SB-12 performance requirements. At The Roxul Dinner of Champions, things came full circle. Steve Baden renewed the MOU with CRESNET. Steve then put out The Cross Boarder Challenge to all North American builders, encouraging them to build to a HERS 50 or less. In Ontario the most popular choice of builders is Package J, which scores a HERS 61. Brookfield Homes has always been an early adopter of energy efficiency. The company’s leadership started with The Forever Green marketing platform in 2006. Energuide ratings were used to up-sell from the base building code (Energuide 73) to Energy Star (Energuide 80). The marketers used the ‘good, better, best’ approach familiar to most automobile manufactures. Many of us, when we purchase a car, choose the sport or luxury model over the base model. I was invited to Denver because The Cross Boarder Challenge generated interest as a means for Brookfield’s North American divisions to compete and benchmark with their Canadian counterparts. Brookfield’s forward thinking reputation secured a spot in Enbridge’s Savings by Design program. After completing a one-day workshop Brookfield can receive an incentive of two thousand dollars per house, if they build homes to 25% less energy consumption than the new OBC. Just prior to the trip to Denver, Shelia Moffat of the Brookfield Décor Inspiration Center and myself with trade partners Martino HVAC and Roxul worked with a focus group of nine homeowners. Using Enbridge’s partnership with Brookfield under Savings by Design, five homeowners invested their own money to achieve the 25% savings. The homeowners invested in upgrades in insulation and features that maximize electrical savings like higher efficiency air conditioners and ECM motors in furnaces. The HERS index was used to show the homeowners the savings. In Denver I shared the same presentation with the American Brookfield divisions from Washington, DC, Denver, Texas and California. This sparked interest in using The Cross Boarder Challenge to encourage a ‘vision of excellence’ for the company internationally. As a guest of Brookfield and a relative outsider I experienced the essence of what makes Brookfield a successful builder of master planned communities. Rosebank, Brookfield’s Pickering subdivision in partnership with the local building department will become the third GTA subdivision to have all of its houses under The Cross Border Challenge. In discussion groups at the two-day Denver summit JOHN GODDEN
  13. 13. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS the “green frenzy” of the last five years was explored. The idea that sustainability and stewardship could not be captured by a single word like "green" was underscored. Sustainability is a process that evolves and happens in the community of stakeholders over a long planning and execution process. This cannot be embodied by a single "label". Brookfield’s company culture with top down support and bottom up action leads to real results as demonstrated in the Rosebank subdivision. Another concept that surfaced is the idea that the customer is the municipality and not the homeowner because of approval processes. The house and the community must first be sold to local planners and officials. The issue has always been that a homeowner should pay for improvements and not become the recipients of ‘freebies’ that are a condition of local approval. Homeowners generally don’t value or understand the features they get for free. Brookfield’s Canadian planning division is currently experimenting with Grey Water ready houses. Homeowners can install and pay for a system later that saves 40% of their water consumption. 40% savings means less fresh treated water into the house and 40% less sewage outflow that needs to be treated again. Municipalities are the real winners because they reduce their infrastructure costs and to date have been unwilling to incent homeowners. There's no such thing as a “free lunch”. One of the most powerful ideas I took away from the summit was to think of a house as a transformative instrument. A dwelling is a reflection of what people imagine themselves to be. It can be used to help us save ourselves from waste and ruin. If a home is an efficient and esthetic space it gives us a context to remember what is important. If each of us understands how our lifestyle impacts the environment it can teach us how to live better and respect the environment. Brian Couperthwaite, Brookfield’s VP of Construction, walks what he talks. This summer he put the finishing touches on his own home. I believe building this house transformed his approach to building houses in general. His energy efficient LEED Gold targeted house with a HERS Rating of 39 has set an example in his company. Others in the company have followed suit building their own discovery homes achieving the excellence of vision that the Denver summit spoke of. It’s clear now that Brookfield’s Toronto division is forward thinking and doing the right thing. 11 BROOKFIELD'S COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY - MARC DIAMOND BROOKFIELD HOMES SUMMER INTERN FROM GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE THE ENGINE IN BRIAN'S HOUSE; SOLAR HOT WATER HEATING WITH THE AIR MAX/FLO MAX INTEGRATED MECHANICAL SYSTEM
  14. 14. All Regional Municipalities, and lower-tier Local Municipalities in Ontario undergo Official Plan Amendments (ROPA’s) at least every 5 years to ensure conformity with Provincial plans and policies. Part of the process is ongoing pre-consultation with stakeholders, meetings and public input regarding the proposed amendments. All municipalities are legislatively “creatures of the Provincial Government” and policies roll downhill so-to-speak. Of course, all of this is rather an over simplification of a long, complex and arduous process that quite frankly never ends. York’s Regional Official Plan calls for the preparation of Community Development Guidelines that address the Sustainable Building and New Community Areas policies. Specifically, the Guidelines will provide a detailed explanation and identify a range of strategies that can be employed to successfully implement these policies. That is to say policy (the what) is imposed politically provincially and locally and guidelines (the how) are the tools to get us where we’re supposed to be. Individual Builders and developers, other than being individual citizens, have little ability to influence policy or elected officials. They are however frequently asked to be involved in reviewing and commenting on guidelines. This, I would say, is as it should be. Political lobbying is best left to Industry Associations that can make the case for the greater good. On August 16th we will get together at BILD to see the revised draft of the guidelines that were arrived at after much input and consultation from all stakeholders. I was part of a group that was asked earlier this year to provide input to Regional Staff crafting the new revised guidelines (let’s just say if you’re not at the table you’re on the menu). Specifically, we commented on the portions relating to sustainable buildings, energy and water management. I must say I was very impressed with the staff. They were very well informed and up to speed with our Industry’s challenges and opportunities. They were open, accessible and willing to listen. They understood the need for the flexibility to achieve stated policies. Our group, amongst other things, also suggested that the Region relate initiatives to some order of magnitude, that is to say that healthy buildings are more important than bike racks. Durable buildings are more important and sustainable than architectural design control initiatives. The Region was also very aware of the complexities and challenges of labeling and measuring energy efficiency and the nightmarish web of regulations that have jurisdiction over us. Staff was very appreciative of our input and began by saying that the Development and Building Industry was one of their best resources in developing workable and intelligent guidelines. Again, we are not able to sway policy, but we (hopefully) were able to work with people of good will and common sense to make York Region “greener” place to grow and live. We’ll find out soon how our efforts will benefit the community. 12 BUILDER NEWS The Greening of York Region COSTSTANGIBLE BENEFITS LOU BADA LOU BADA IS THE CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACTS MANAGER FOR STARLANE HOMES
  15. 15. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 13 Reliable, Consistent, MaRtinoHeating • air Conditioning • indoor air Quality • HVaC Design www.martinohvac.com1-800-465-5700 ™ Best HRV for compact installations.
  16. 16. PAGE TITLE Features Our fans won’t leave you steamed. Say goodbye to steamy, wet bathrooms with the new WhisperSense™ ventilation fan from Panasonic® . Featuring dual- sensor technology, the fan reacts to both motion and humidity, automatically turning on when someone enters the room or if excess moisture is detected. Removing excessive moisture helps reduce mold and mildew, resulting in a cleaner, drier bathroom. WhisperSense surpasses ENERGY STAR® standards for efficiency by as much as 264%* and complies with ASHRAE 62.2 and LEED green building standards. WhisperSense from Panasonic—the sensible approach to high-performance ventilation. To learn more about Panasonic ventilation fans visit, email or call 1-800-669-5165 *Comparison with ENERGY STAR requirement of minimum efficacy level of 1.4 CFM per watt for 10-80 CFM fans and 2.8 CFM per watt for 90-130 CFM fans.
  18. 18. 16 FEATURE STORY IN A TWIST ON THE FAMILIAR PHRASE, “IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD,” IT ALSO TAKES A “VILLAGE” TO BUILD A COMMUNITY. Brookfield Homes understands that concept well and takes a collaborative approach with its sites, involving local municipalities and home buyers in the process of creating its communities. Case in point is its Grand Central project in Bradford, where about 800 of 1,000 homes have been built in the past half dozen years in one of the first master-planned communities launched above the Oak Ridges Morain. “We like to build master-planned communities. That’s our focus,” says Brian Couperthwaite, vice president of construction for Brookfield Homes. “Wherever we go, we meet with the municipality and bring our team and explain our vision so there are no surprises. We want them to know what we are doing and to be upfront. We have nothing to hide.” In the early planning stages for Grand Central, the Brookfield team called up Jack Tosta, Bradford’s Chief Building Official, to explain the plans for the site and since then, the builder and the town have forged a mutually respectful working relationship. That spirit of cooperation is even more important as
  19. 19. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 the town and the builder deal with the challenges of the new Ontario Building Code, implement labeling programs such as the new version of Energy Star and GreenHouse, and explore new sustainable and energy efficient practices and technologies. “We have had a close relationship with Brookfield since they started building here six years ago,” says Bradford building inspector Carl Kolbe. “We’ll all sit down at a pre-construction meeting. We discuss our expectations and see what the builder will provide. The new code is a learning curve and we’ll continue to build on our relationship with Brookfield.” “Brookfield has always had an open door policy to assist us and other builders. Energy efficiency is a growing trend.” The company follows a similar procedure in all the municipalities it builds in (including Alliston, where it is the builder for the master-planned community Treetops adjacent to the Nottawasaga Resort) and each year holds a golf tournament to which local municipal politicians and staff are invited, with proceeds going to a local charity. Since it started in 1956, Brookfield Homes has built more than 20,000 homes across Ontario, in places such Georgetown, Brantford, Oshawa, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Maple, Whitby, Uxbridge, Toronto and Markham. It has received numerous local, provincial and national awards for everything from customer service to community design. The company started as Costain Homes, later became known as Coscan Homes, and Brookfield in the 1990s. Today, it’s part of Brookfield Residential Properties, a North American land developer and homebuilder, and is a public company listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges as BRP. As one of the few publicly traded building companies in Ontario, a higher standard is often expected when Brookfield opens a new community and the company has welcomed the challenge. Brookfield uses social media to engage with its buyers to inform them about new openings, new releases and upcoming events. It also has a web portal that allows homebuyers to log in to see every step of the construction process of their home documented photographically. With its sites, Brookfield holds focus group with buyers to get their input, and also holds information sessions (Brookfield 101) to explain everything from what to expect during the building process to where schools, hospitals and community facilities are and answer questions about things such as “when will I get my sod?” Grand Central’s site plans feature a mix of lot sizes on any given street that make for a pleasing streetscape with a mix of home designs. Once buyers have moved in, Brookfield holds events such as barbecues to help build a sense of neighbourhood. 17 FEATURE STORY BROOKFIELD'S #1 BROOKFIELD GREENHOUSE™ OPENING IN BRANTFORD
  20. 20. 18 FEATURE STORY Buyers are brought in during framing and taken through an Inspiration 101 workshop when it’s time to choose finishes. Shelia Moffat, head of the Décor Center, recently held an Enbridge sponsored Savings by Design session. 25% of purchasers from the Pickering subdivision attended to hear from energy efficiency, insulation and HVAC experts about how to “future proof” their homes from rising energy costs by making the right upgrade. Energy efficiency goes hand-in-hand with building a better home, according to Couperthwaite and Moffat. Couperthwaite has built his own home in Unionville and Grand Central site supervisor Jimmy Neto will build the house he is purchasing at Grand Central as a Discovery Home to try out some of the latest products and practices; their personal experiences will help inform their decisions on the job. “My house is targeting LEED Gold because I believe in trying do to things better,” says Couperthwaite. “Brookfield as a company is always looking at how to improve and believes in taking stewardship of energy efficiency. We’ll take the lessons learned in these houses (his own and the Discovery Home) and apply them to the subdivision homes we’re building.” In 2011, Brookfield Residential Properties appointed Doug Leighton as their first Director of Sustainability and Development. Leighton is an architect and planner who is a graduate of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design. He has been working with staff to identify a long-range vision, current best practices, key performance indicators and a sustainability action plan. TRACY HANES IS A FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER FOR THE LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN CANADA AND SEVERAL MAGAZINES. WWW.TRACYHANES.CA 'FUTURE PROOFING' IS PART OF INSPIRATION 101 AT THE BROOKFIELD DECOR CENTRE.
  21. 21. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 FEATURE STORY 19 Clears the room faster than Charlie Sheen. Vigör is worth a tweet or two. Our lowest priced HRV/ERV delivers powerful ventilation for small spaces. It’s so easy to install, you’ll wonder why you ever chose anything else. Now that’s winning. Perfection. Cubed. Visit to learn more. VEN_Ad_MB_Jun2311.indd 1 11-06-24 9:29 A Air Max Flowmax Technologies Alpha Comfort Control Building Products of Canada Clearsphere City of Markham Chouinard Bro’s Enbridge Enerworks Galmar Electrical Greyter Systems Henry Panasonic Martino Contracting Maple Drywall Nova Plumbing Roxul Canada Inc Tarpin Lumber Timber Ridge vanEE / Air Solutions Renewability Energy THANK-YOU! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our hardworking trades who have all made their own unique contribution to our success. We couldn't do it without you!
  22. 22. 20 BUILDER NEWS Site Specific A “SITE LEVEL” LOOK AT THOSE INDIVIDUALS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN SUSTAINABLE BUILDING SHARON CREASOR, M.A.A.T.O., OWNER OF CANADIAN BUILDING DESIGN A creative, enterprising Architectural Technologist with a proven background in the design and construction drawings of custom residences, production homes, small buildings, and large building interior alterations. SHARON CREASOR Who has influenced your work: One of my professors at Ryerson, Bob Greenberg, who challenged the design students to push their own personal limits and the limits of design. He talked about life-cycle costing back in the 1980s before “green” thinking became in vogue. Can you tell our readers about a pivotal event that has shaped your work and philosophy: At this point in my life, I see the most pivotal event being my decision in 2006 to open my own small scale architectural practice. I have found working with private individuals and their residential visions very fulfilling. At the same time, working on tenant fit-ups in Large Buildings keeps things interesting. What are you currently working on: I am always running several projects at the same time. On the residential front, I am working on a steel framed house, a roof addition/renovation for a real estate flip, and a large addition in conjunction with change of use to create a live/work unit. My semi-detached designs for Habitat for Humanity presently are being built in Keswick. On the large building front, I have just finished a tenant fit-up for Lasik MD and begun same the for Diesel Yorkdale. In addition, I have a number of tenant fit-ups for small businesses on the go. What “best green practice” would you like to tell the readers about: I am proud to be involved in the Habitat for Humanity designs – previous designs achieved LEED platinum and the present project is aimed at the HERS Cross Border challenge. On the live/work unit noted above, my design calls for rainwater cisterns to collect all rain water from the roofs, plus the building will be future-proofed for solar domestic and heating hot water, plus possible photovoltaics. How are you an innovator: I look down all design avenues to ensure that the final built product will have the lowest operating costs possible. This means discussing options with clients to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings, often trying to persuade them to go beyond the code. How do you and your work act as a sustainable change agent: I “sell” sustainability to clients as much as possible. I try to get people less focused on high-end finishes and turned towards good bones and efficient systems. Any future projects: I am working on getting some production residential work that will go beyond the code in sustainability and/or energy efficiency. In addition, there is a large industrial addition that will have a “green” roof or an extension of its existing solar panels on a white roof. I tend to use other people's “innovations” to hopefully create a sustainable design. How are you pushing the “green edge” and what excites you about that: I am working at becoming a full fledged HERS energy rater, which I hope to use as an added service to my clients. This service should make it easier to persuade my future clients to improve their existing building envelopes or build brand new residences that use little energy to operate. 1 5 2 3 4 6 7 8
  23. 23. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS The Plane View DEDICATED TO GETTING TO THE POINT Psychologists have been telling us forever that a sense of belonging is essential to our well- being. Plenty of data has been gathered to substantiate the claim that the people who consider themselves as “belonging”; lead more productive lives, have better inter-personal relationships, stronger marriages and live longer. Building community may be one of the easiest ways to enhance our busy lives and our sense of “belonging”. How does one become a contributing member of a community? A good place to start is buying locally. I know, “buy local” is about as played out as “green”. So please don’t skip to the last line of this article to get quickly back to surfing the net or what ever it is you would rather be doing. Just know that when you buy local you are acting as an empowered member of your community; contributing to the sustainability of both the environment and your local economy. Among the contributions you are making when you shop locally, is to the unique character of your community. In fact a large part of the “character” of a place is defined by the business that are in it. Doesn’t the character or “vibe” that surrounds you and your community play a large part in your sense of “belonging” to it? Not to mention the impact “character” has on home and property values. And we all know that less definitely means more when it comes to environmental sustainability. By shopping locally you and the goods you are buying are traveling less; resulting in less traffic congestion, pollution and carbon. A win win for the environment. Think about the implications for your community that this fact found in Frances Moore Lappes’ book Eco Mind offers; a dollar spent in a locally owned business can generate three times more local economic activity than a dollar paid to a corporate chain. Wow, now that information emphasizes the impact your locally spent, hard- earned dollars have on decentralizing power from the distant corporation and keeping your wealth close to home. Dubbed “a great economic experiment” by the New York Times; Great Barrington, Ma in the good old USA, has created its very own local currency, BerkShares. The website describes BerkShares as “a tool for community empowerment, enabling merchants and consumers to plant seeds for an alternative economic future for their communities”. BerkShares are not backed by the national government and are meant to build the local economy. This is achieved by encouraging trade within the defined region. Originated in 2006 with the introduction of a million shares into the community; five different banks have partnered with BerkShares and there are now more than 2.7 million shares in circulation. Really impressive is the fact that more than 400 businesses have signed up to accept the currency. I’ll wrap this up with my last “buy local” pitch. When you buy local, you are making a conscious commitment to take personal responsibility for the health and well-being of your community. Your locally spent dollars may even be a catalyst for the kind of systemic change needed to generate ecologically responsible production of goods and sustainable economic practices. And most importantly you will “belong”. 21 WENDY SHAMI "a dollar spent in a locally owned business can generate three times more local economic activity than a dollar paid to a corporate chain" - Frances Moore Lappes WENDY SHAMI IS A BETTER BUILDER EDUCATOR & CROSS BORDER CORRESPONDENT
  24. 24. 22 BUILDER NEWS The June 11th Cross Border Challenge Event I had the good fortune of attending the Cross Border Challenge Event held in Toronto on June 11, 2012. This event was imagined and run by John Godden and his team from Clearsphere in cooperation with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, and was sponsored by Roxul. The evening was a celebration of the growing use of the Home Energy Rating System Index (HERS) in Canada. Canadian builders using the HERS index were recognized for their contribution to HERS, and awards were shared with industry leaders who have helped establish HERS as viable option in Canada. The attendees’ list of over 120 included some of the sustainable home building industry’s biggest stars and included builders, renovators, manufacturers, educators, and industry representatives. Special guests included Steve Baden, Executive Director of RESNET (US Residential Energy Services Network), and keynote presenters from two of the US’s biggest residential builders: Jim Peterson, Head of Research and Development for Pulte Homes, and C.R. Herro, VP Environmental Affairs for Meritage Homes. In his presentation, Steve Baden shared an update on the adoption of the HERS index in the US. The stats are truly impressive: over 1.2 million US homes have been rated using HERS, builders in 29 US States use HERS, and the EPA includes HERS in its Energy Star certificate. He also shared why US builders are using the HERS index for their new homes: During his presentation Steve Baden invited John Godden, President of CRESNET, to co-sign a Memorandum of Understanding between RESNET and CRESNET. This five-year agreement secures a strategic alliance for RESNET and CRESNET. They will work in partnership to share market strategies for market penetration of HERS, and technical standards, while also helping Canada develop a home rater test based on HERS. Steve was very complementary of CRESNET for it’s role in securing recognition of HERS and REMRate software (HERS computer software), as an alternative compliance method to energy performance by the Ontario Building Code in January 2012. Even more impressive, Ontario is the first place globally to accept HERS in its building code. The two keynote speakers at this event were truly exceptional. They shared their expertise and insights regarding how they think about and sell sustainable homes. First up was Jim Peterson, Director of Research and Development for Pulte Homes, the second CRAIG BACKMAN ][“Homebuyers see one of the biggest advantages of buying a newly built home is energy efficiency. To take advantage of this opportunity homebuilders are ‘boiling energy efficiency down to something every buyer understands’.” - Associated Press STEVE BADEN & JOHN GODDEN SIGN THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ROXUL DINNER OF CHAMPIONS
  25. 25. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS largest production builder in the US. Jim educated us regarding Pulte’s approach to quantifying the right level of investment in a home’s sustainability. He demonstrated that there is a “Sweet Spot” where the return on investment in sustainability is optimized. Investing beyond this point can significantly reduce the return. Even though incremental investment is right for the environment, it can hurt a builder’s ability to sell the home. This approach allows Pulte to “right size” their investment and design homes that provide an optimized return for new homebuyers. Next up was CR Herro of Meritage Homes, an ultra boutique builder of sustainable homes. CR shared how Meritage trains their sales people and constructs their decor centres to sell sustainable homes. Most memorable is how Meritage segments the new home buying customer base. The four segments include: 1. CUBA Goodings - “Show me the Money”, who are primarily interested in the financial aspects of the decision. 2. Kermits - “Green”, who are interested in making a responsible decision. 3. Pimps - “Style”, who are focused on lifestyle, aesthetics and entertaining. 4. Debbie Downers - “Skeptics”, who perceive all better building practices as “marketing”. Meritage has used this customer segmentation to refine their sales process. The sales teams first do some discovery to place each new homebuyer in the right segment. They then tailor the sales approach accordingly. CR confirmed that this strategy has increased their close rates when selling sustainable features in new homes. I believe it offers a powerful lesson that every new homebuilder can learn from. Next in the evening came the awards ceremony, where recognition was given to Canada’s leading builders of sustainable homes. Cross Boarder Challenge certificates were given to all builders who built new homes to a HERS standard of 50 or lower. Individual awards were given to builders and other industry leaders who have been influential in helping establish the HERS index in Canada. Overall, the Cross Border challenge event on June 11th stands out as one of the very best sustainable building events I’ve ever attended. It offered a great venue for learning, where industry leaders were recognized for their contributions. It also offered an opportunity to network with the best of the best in this industry. A special thanks goes to John Godden and his team at Clearsphere for organizing a wonderful event. I am personally looking forward to the second annual running of this Cross Border Challenge Event. 23 TRUDY PULS, JOHN GODDEN, DOUG TARRY & TRENT OGILVIEJONATHAN URSINI & SCHLMO OF INTEGRAL CUSTOM BUILDERS JIM PETERSON, PULTE HOMES CR HERRO, MERITAGE HOMES PROUD CROSS-BOARDER CHALLENGE BUILDERS CRAIG BACKMANIS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE SUSTAINABLE HOUSING FOUNDATION
  27. 27. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS By now most of us are quite familiar with the stricter efficiency requirements of Part 12 of the Ontario Building Code and with the Province’s “Supplementary Standard SB-12, Energy Efficiency For Housing”. In the “Standard” a number of prescriptive paths are offered for builders to follow in order to achieve efficiency compliance. Alternatively, efficiency compliance can be met if the homes are Energy Star labeled or if a builder goes through the “performance path”. The problem with the prescriptive paths is that they are much more expensive to follow than they need to be because they are not optimized and because they exclude specific well-established technology such as Drain Water Heat Recovery (DWHR). Drain Water Heat Recovery (DWHR) technologies are a class of heat exchangers that offer many benefits for builders and homeowners. Well over 16,000 DWHR units have now been installed in Canadian homes. In 2012 alone, approximately 20% of new homes in Ontario included DWHR units. Over 200 builders now include DWHR as a standard item in their energy efficient homes. Simply put, DWHR technologies work by using outgoing warm drain water (from the shower and fixtures) to pre- heat incoming cold freshwater so that the primary water heater does not have to work as hard to meet the hot water energy load. There are three generations of DWHR technology used. The performance differences between the three generations of DWHR technology are that the first generation has highest pressure loss, the second generation has lowest efficiency and the 3rd generation has the highest efficiency with very low pressure loss.k k Reference: Natural Resources Canada Ottawa, “Drain Water Heat Recovery Characterization and Modeling”, July 19, 2007 Table 1 was created using Provincial and Federal Government Reports and Data. DWHR comes in very well at only $88 for each annual Gigajoule (energy unit) saved. In contrast, upgrading above grade walls from R19 to R24 costs 3 times more than DWHR (at about $232) per annual Gigajoule saved. What does this mean for a builder? According to an independent study, it has been estimated that efficient DWHR technology can reduce the cost of building each average sized home by $500 to $3,900. It should also be pointed out that a builder can further reduce costs by maximizing furnace efficiency and including a heat recovery ventilator because they offer reduced cost for the energy savings than most other options in the table (except DHWR).k k Reference: Mindscape Innovations, “Drain Water Heat Recovery and the 2012 Ontario Building Code”, March 31, 2011 But how can a builder take advantage of DWHR? Until SB-12 is updated to include DWHR, one can build Energy Star labeled homes or go with the “performance path”. The performance path can reduce costs the most because it allows the flexibility to optimize home designs by using home energy design software such as REM/Rate or Hot2000. The author recommends that builders engage the services of experienced home energy auditors. Ontario has several excellent companies to choose from. DWHR is simple, safe, proven, practical and affordable. It can also be used with any type of water heater and plumbing materials. It is a standard feature in the energy efficient homes of over 200 builders already. Because of its excellent Cost-Benefit ratio, DWHR is one of the most cost effective options that a builder can use for compliance with Ontario’s Building Energy Code. GERALD VAN DECKER GERALD VAN DECKER, M.A.SC., P.ENG. IS THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF RENEWABILITY ENERGY INC. AND THE POWER-PIPE® INVENTOR. Ontario’s Building Energy Code – How Builder’s Can Save Money 25
  28. 28. PAGE TITLE Features ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS The Power-Pipe® uses outgoing warm drain water to pre-heat incoming cold freshwater in Residential, Commercial and Industrial, thereby reducing energy costs. TURN THAT WASTED ENERGY INTO $AVING$ WITH THE Saving Energy Intelligently E N E R G Y I N C . Developed and Manufactured by: LOWER ENERGY BILLS. GREAT RETURNS. Drain Water Heat RecoverySystems H O W I T W O R K S ® Commercial Applications Rec. facilities, restaurants, laundry, hospitals, prisons Many design & installation options Water heating can be one of the highest loads Save 30% to 60% in water heating costs Investment Returns of 20 to 100%/year Industrial Processes Many industrial processes dump warm effluent Maintenance-free and seamless integration Water heating is often the largest energy load Save 30% to 70% in water heating costs Investment Returns of 25 to 300%/year MANY PROVEN MARKETS Single-Homes Both new construction and retrofit 3 very simple installation options Water heating commonly accounts for 20% to 30% of total energy costs Save 20% to 35% in water heating costs Investment Returns of 10 to 50%/year Multi-Unit Residential Buildings Apartment buildings, condos, dorms, hotels Several different design options Water heating commonly accounts for 25% to 35% of total energy costs Save 25% to 40% in water heating costs Investment Returns of 15 to 50%/year PROUD SUPPLIER OF BROOKFIELD HOMES
  29. 29. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS Panelized Systems: BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, BETTER FOR HOMEBUYERS, BETTER FOR BUILDERS Anyone can equip a home with energy efficient appliances and call their product green, but a true move to sustainability in residential building means improving the home building process itself. In an industry as fragmented and complex as home building, doing so demands a major investment in time, energy and capital. From materials to trades, every facet of the building process must be integrated, considered and evolved in order to truly “go green”. It’s not like a builder can just pick up the phone and order up a fully integrated sustainable building solution. Or can they? Currently Brookfield Homes is using panelized systems on its Bradford and Pickering subdivisions provided by Brockport Home Systems. BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Few can deny the ecological benefits of building with wood. Wood outperforms steel and concrete because it requires less energy in production, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, releases fewer pollutants into the air and water and generates less solid waste. BETTER FOR HOMEBUYERS Brockport selects materials from the most trusted sources and suppliers, using Sustainable Forest Initiative Certified Sources when available. Each floor panel is fabricated using engineered I-joists, which are covered in oriented strand board structural floor sheathing. An environmentally sensitive alternative to traditional materials, floors constructed using I-joists are far less likely to cup, wrap, shrink or twist and have fewer tendencies to settle or squeak. BETTER FOR BUILDERS “Speed to market is a huge factor,” explains Robert Kok P.Eng., Brockport Director of Research & Development. “For builders, time is money. The time it takes for a builder to design, market, sell and build a home plays a huge role in profitability. Integrating Brockport dramatically speeds up the entire process, especially in construction. A typical home that would traditionally take weeks to frame can now be completed in a few days. Brockport redefines the construction process by bringing the world’s most advanced residential building technology to Canada. Its high-tech indoor construction facility combines North American construction technology with Europe’s most sophisticated CNC (computer numerical control) automated floor and wall manufacturing system. This impressive system machine-builds housing components with near-perfect precision – safely, reliably and ecologically. Mr. Kok elaborates: “Once the panels are built, we transport them directly from our Brockport facility to the site. Our goal is to enclose the home as quickly as possible to protect the interior from the elements. The difference in construction time is dramatic. In fact, the overall construction process becomes safer and more efficient, reducing energy consumption and material waste.” For more information about Brockport please visit SITE SUPER ERMINIO LABRIOLA FROM BROOKFIELD HOMES "STANDS BY" BROCKPORT HOME SYSTEMS. I-JOISTS ON 24 CENTERS SAVES WOOD! PANELIZED HOMES GO UP IN 8 DAYS RATHER THAN 2 WEEKS. BETTER BUILDER WRITTEN BY A CONTRIBUTING BETTER BUILDER STAFF MEMBER 27
  30. 30. PAGE TITLE Features 28ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 PAGE TITLE Features Next generation technology for wood frame construction Drawing on decades of commercial air barrier experience, Henry Company has created BlueskinVP™ – a fully-adhered Building Envelope System® that functions not only as a water resistant barrier and rain barrier, but stops uncontrolled air leakage to improve building comfort, safety and energy efficiency. • Provides superior moisture and water protection • Eliminates drafts to improve comfort • Reduces energy costs • Improves insulation performance • Simple to install Fully adhered means: Air Tight Water Tight Weather Tight Picks up where traditional house wraps leave off! For more on how BlueskinVP™ contributes to an effective Building Envelope System® , watch our new movie at Project by Build Urban (
  31. 31. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 BUILDER NEWS Radon in housing has been a concern for a number of decades. In 2007, Health Canada lowered the safe threshold level by 75%, drawing renewed attention to this carcinogen. Radon, of course, is a colourless, odorless, radioactive gas. It is associated with 10% of the lung cancer deaths in Canada, and is the first cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is found in soil, rocks, and water, and diffuses through the air. It is found outdoors and indoors and in all types of buildings. Outdoor radon levels are generally so low that they are not a concern. However, when radon leaks into buildings from the surrounding soil, it can accumulate to hazardous levels. Radon enters homes through cracks and unsealed pathways in the basement wherever the basement contacts the soil. Soil air containing radon is drawn into buildings by differences in pressure through those pathways. The amount of soil air drawn into the building can vary with stack effect, wind, radon concentration, ventilation, weather, season, and time of day. Some evidence exists that gravel brought on to the site can also be a source of radon. These variables can results in large differences in radon levels even between neighbouring buildings. Radon maps do not guarantee that radon is not present in a specific building. The measurement of radon levels should occur over weeks or months not days given the variability in indoor levels. There is generally no practical way to test indoor radon levels prior to the construction of a building. Long term testing (over a few months in the winter) as recommended by Health Canada is normally possible only after the building is closed in. As a consequence, the National Building Code (NBC) now includes provisions for radon remediation rough-ins for all new houses, and not just those in geographic hotspots. Unless a province adopts the NBC provisions, these requirements should be considered voluntary. Builders can voluntarily adopt the radon NBC provisions and promote their homes as radon control ready. Marketing material can positively contribute to the radon awareness movement by educating home purchasers and referring them to Health Canada and Canadian Lung Association information. The NBC provisions are low in cost in new housing but are difficult to retrofit once construction is completed. They make it easy for homeowners to remedy high radon levels should they be discovered. The NBC provisions, shown in Figure 1, address the radon problem in two ways: 1) by requiring the envelope in contact with the soil to include an air barrier and 2) by requiring a rough-in for subfloor depressurization. The wall and floor assemblies of the conditioned space need to be protected by an air barrier system to minimize the ingress of soil gas. Materials used as part of the air barrier system are required to conform to CAN/CGSB-51.34-M “Vapour Barrier, Polyethylene Sheet for Use in Building Construction”. For floors that are concrete, the air barrier must be either installed below the slab or applied to the top of the slab, provided there is also a separate floor over the slab. If the air barrier is a flexible material, it needs to be lapped no less than 300mm (12"). The air barrier needs to be sealed around the basement perimeter to the inner surfaces of the adjacent walls using a flexible sealant. All penetrations in the slab that are designed to drain water need to be sealed to prevent the upward flow of soil gas, while not restricting the downward flow of water. Unless the space between the air barrier system and ground is designed to be accessible for the potential installation of a subfloor depressurization system, buildings with residential occupancies need to be provided with a rough-in for a subfloor depressurization system. If a building does not have residential occupancies, it should either conform to the Soil Gas Control subsections (NBC 9.13.4) or to the appropriate sections in NBC Part 5 or 6 (see NBC Article and When installed through the slab, sump pits are also required to be airtight with weatherstripping around their perimeter in order to prevent air leakage. The subfloor depressurization system rough-in needs to consist of either 1) a gas permeable layer with an inlet and outlet, or 2) clean granular material with a pipe. The first option requires a gas permeable layer between the air barrier and the ground that will allow that space to be depressurized. An inlet must be provided that can allow for the depressurization of the gas permeable layer, as well as an outlet in the conditioned space that is able to connect to depressurization equipment. This outlet needs to be sealed to maintain the air barrier system continuity, and it needs to MICHAEL LIO Homeowner Protection Centre Builder Note: Radon 29
  32. 32. 30 BUILDER NEWS be clearly labeled that it is intended only for the removal of radon gas below the slab. The second option requires clean granular material installed between the air barrier and the ground. It can be no less than 100mm (4") of coarse, clean granular material. It also requires a pipe that is at least 100mm (4") in diameter that goes through the floor. This pipe must have its bottom end open, near the centre of the slab, to the granular material with no less than 100mm (4") of the material beyond its end. Its top end needs to be able to connect to the depressurization equipment. The pipe must be clearly labeled near its end, and every 1.8m (5' 9") or at a change in direction if applicable, to indicate that it is intended only for the removal of radon gas below the slab. An example of this is shown in Figure 2. Health Canada and the National Building Code recommend installing a depressurization rough-in for future radon removal in buildings that are occupied for more than four hours per day. If radon problems need to be addressed in buildings occupied for less than four hours per day, ventilation can be increased when the building is occupied. Builders who choose to adopt these NBC radon provisions can let their home buyers know that their new home has been built with their health and wellbeing in mind. The radon rough-in can save home buyers money and protect them from radon and lung cancer. For more information on radon and its ingress, please refer to Radon: A Guide for Canadian Homeowners (CMHC/ Health Canada) and Guide for Radon Measurements in Residential Dwellings: Homes (Health Canada). The Homeowner Protection Centre (HPC) is a national not-for-profit that advocates for homeowners, conducts housing research, and hosts training seminars for the housing industry. HPC recently released a report titled The Radon Challenge: Building Awareness and Encouraging Action, which examined radon across Canada. More information on HPC as well as The Radon Challenge can be found on our website Don’t miss HPC’s upcoming training seminar What You Need to Know About Radon, hosted by Bob Wood, of Mr. Radon and President of the Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists. Bob is one of Canada’s foremost leading experts on radon. September 27, 9-12, Thornhill Golf and Country Club. Hot breakfast will be served. To register, visit Homeowner Protection Centre’s website above and follow the link. MICHAEL LIO IS THE PRESIDENT OF LIO & ASSOCIATES, A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR, THIS ARTICLE WAS SUBMITTED BY A COLLEAGUE CEARA ALLEN, MANAGER, RESEARCH, HOME- OWNER PROTECTION CENTRE radonradonradon slab dampproofing and soil gas barrier sealed, capped and labelled pipe options with bottom end located near centre of slab and top end ready for active system sealed floor drain to prevent soil gases from entering the house sump pits to be air tight and weather- stripped around the perimeter to sewer drainage ditch or dry well flexible sealant FIGURE 2
  33. 33. You can build on BP innovations Insulsheathing One big panel, two huge advantages: strength and insulation R-4 Insulsheathing’s two-layer construction delivers cost-effective energy efficiency plus a highly effective acoustics and weather barrier. > 4’x 9’x 1 1/8”composite board > Stronger structural strength – no bracing required > High insulation value with breathable construction > Excellent acoustic performance > Lightweight, quick and easy to install > Great value, low-cost > Meets standards and building code requirements. For more information, visit Keep the weather out and your costs down
  34. 34. 32 BUILDER NEWS DOUG TARRY A More Forgiving Basement Wall (PART 2) OUTWARD BOUND VAPOUR DIFFUSION In the last article I outlined how we dealt with Inward Bound Vapour diffusion in our basement wall. In this article I discuss Outward Bound Vapour Diffusion. During the fall of 2010 (the start of a cold, dry and hard winter), we were preparing a home for closing that featured the installed new exterior basement system when I got a call from my site staff letting me know we had water on the basement floor. When we inspected the wall there was no vapour on the poly like you see in the summer time, but when we pulled the wall apart, we found that there was water forming on the house wrap and against the concrete wall and the insulation was soaking wet and starting to sag. We were very confident that our exterior wall moisture management detail was correct and was not the problem. So we took a closer look at where we were seeing the problem and at what "symptoms" we were seeing and we noticed that water was forming at the belt and against the foundation wall which was then saturating the insulation. When we started researching the problem and asking questions of our building science advisors it quickly became apparent that basement walls have a split personality. During warmer months, moisture will try to flow from wet to dry and from warm to cold, so from the outside air into your basement. That's why you end up seeing it on the poly. However, during the winter time the moisture is mi- grating outward. The moisture was still migrating from wet to dry and from warm to cold but the direction was the opposite of summer. We then set out to design a basement wall insulation detail that could handle the wintertime vapour issue. Even though we were using a header wrap, we decided to spray foam the belt after the penetrations were complete. Our main goal was to limit air flow to cold spots (leakage areas). But the side benefit was that we moved our dew point because we added more insulation at the belt. Last winter I put a temperature gun on this insulation and found that even on a very cold day the insulation was about 12C and dry. Without it the wood rim joist is significantly colder and often has frost and/or water forming on the wood. Then we made the decision to completely change how we built our basement insulated wall. We were already building a very tight home with full height basement insulation, but we were still concerned that we might be susceptible to mould in the wall. So we changed our bottom plate to pressure treated lumber, we installed an R4 ROXUL drain board behind the stud and put R14 ROXUL batts into the stud wall. This is what I call the more forgiving wall. I've come to accept that basement walls are always going to be susceptible to moisture (they are built underground). Our concept was to keep the wall warm (the drain board) so that vapour would not form and then in case there was still moisture present, the ROXUL would not soak the moisture up like fiberglass insulation would. Since the ROXUL would not absorb moisture it also did not have the sagging issue that can occur with other types of insulation. So I again took the detail to my Chief Building Official, Leon Bach. Leon agreed to review the detail, met with me on site, reviewed the building science of what we were attempting to do and agreed with the detail. We knew we had to protect the sprayed foam in the belt, so here we used an R22 (5.5") ROXUL batt which has a Classification A fire rating. The total wall design that we developed was an R18 wall and it allows vapor to flow through it without trapping water. Since this time we have worked with ROXUL to come up with an R20 code equivalent version which we have tested out on two of our LEEP discovery houses. This is achieved by using an R6 ROXUL Comfort Batt IS against the wall with an R14 ROXUL batt in front of it. This is now the standard basement wall detail in all our homes. DOUG TARRY JR., IS THE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT DOUG TARRY HOMES IN ST. THOMAS , ONTARIO.
  35. 35. ISSUE 02 | SUMMER 2012 PAGE TITLE 33Fire Resistant Water Repellent Sound Absorbent Saves Energy Made from Stone Recycled Content TM HIGH R ECYCLED CO N TENT *Contact us for details. HIGH R ECYCLED CO N TENT R E C Y C L A B L E* Achieving an R-20 Basement Wall “IS” Easy with Roxul ComfortBoard™ IS. ■ Prevent Thermal Bridging: Installing ComfortBoard™ IS against the foundation wall before you frame the studs provides for a continual layer of thermal protection. ■ Non Combustible: Provides for combined thermal and fire-resistant properties. ■ High Recycled Content: Made from natural stone and up to 93% recycled material. INTERIOR BASEMENT WALL APPLICATION BY ROXUL® ComfortBoard™ IS is a trademark of Roxul Inc. GREENGUARD® is a registered trademark of Greenguard Environmental Institute. ROX-2410_0712
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