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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 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 03 / Fall 2012

  1. 1. BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 WWW.BETTER BUILDER.CA IN THIS ISSUE • IDP in RENOVATIONS • Multi-unit RETROFITS • Whole House RATINGS • Municipal Approvals - Labels VS Lists • How To Choose an HRV • George Brown and the Argile Project Rosehaven Homes Building Luxury Design and Performance in Kleinburg
  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. COVER STORY 14 Rosehaven Goes HERS “The Platinum Collection” Luxury, Design & Performance in Kleinburg BY TRACY HANES FEATURES 02 Publisher's Note -The New Three Rs: Renovations, Retrofits and Rating Systems BY JOHN GODDEN 03 The New Three Ls: Lists, Labels and Leadership BY BRYAN TUCKEY 04 Choosing the Right HRV / ERV BY GORD COOKE 06 Performance versus Prescription for Airtightness: The Proof is in the Pudding BY LOU BADA 07 Airtightness Without the Mess: A Site Perspective BY JOHN BELL 08 Green Rater: The New Kid on the Block BY TYLER HERMANSON 10 Whole House Energy Ratings BY JOHN GODDEN 12 Energy Rating Before: The Importance of Benchmarking Envelopes and Mechanical Systems BY GRAHAM FISHER 18 IDP in Renovation: A New Approach BY ALEX NEWMAN 20 Restoring a Low-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Building BY MARK SALERNO AND GRAHAM FISHER 23 Home Energy Ratings Come to Canada! BY ALLISON A. BAILES III 24 The New Building Code: Challenges for R2000 Builders BY TRACY HANES 25 The Argile Project: George Brown Covers Important Research BY CHRIS TIMISK 28 Site Specific BY BARB RUDBERG 29 LEED Silver House BY ALEX NEWMAN 30 The Plane View: What’s Driving Your Personal Rating System BY WENDY SHAMI 33 A Better Basement with Underslab Insulation BY DOUG TARRY 35 The Scotia Bank Energy Calculator BY CRAIG BACKMAN BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source 1 NICK SANCI AND MARCO GUGLIETTI OF ROSEHAVEN ON THE COVER 14 35 ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 WWW.BETTER BUILDER.CA | ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 4 18
  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 MANAGING EDITOR WENDY SHAMI To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact FEATURE WRITER TRACY HANES CREATIVE ANNA-MARIE MCDONALD LITTLE GREEN BAG CREATIVE SERVICES THE 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 OF THE ENVIRONMENT. 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 The New Three Rs: RENOVATIONS, RETROFITS AND RATING SYSTEMS Existing buildings are responsible for over forty percent of the world’s primary energy consumption. Past issues of Better Builder have focused on new construction. It’s time to include existing buildings, and thus the emergence of the New 3 Rs. Renovations, Retrofits and last but not least Ratings. Ratings allow us to classify according to grade or rank. Benchmarking is essential for allowing us to decide which are the best ways to move forward to save energy and reduce CO2. In partnership with Scotia Bank, the Sustainable Housing Foundation has developed the Ecoliving Energy Calculator: it allows homeowners to quickly rate potential savings for their homes. Electricity and plug loads are becoming the largest household expense and component load. Rating systems for new and existing homes can start measuring total house energy loads in order to create awareness and change in consumer behavior. Almost all energy and green labels are supported by and include energy rating at their core. The rating criteria or list of important features or best practices is the backbone of any label. Bryan Tuckey addresses the new 3 Ls; Lists, Labels, and Leadership as they pertain to the industry’s need to satisfy municipal requirements. Our feature this month, Rosehaven Homes is an example of a builder that is using the HERS rating system to reflect the value of design and performance of their homes. The word renovate means to make new. Employing the Integrated Design Process, Sandra Baldwin renovates an old home and the result is a remodel that rates better than a brand new one. When it comes to retrofitting an existing build, Gord Cooke high- lights the key factors in choosing an effective ventilation system. Gord’s article is the first of a two-part series. Graham Fisher and Mark Salerno report on a charette that explored “Restoring a Low Rise Multi Unit Residential Building.” The Plane View comments on how our biology impacts our purchasing decisions through our personal rating systems. In closing, I’d like to thank all of you who are supporting Better Builder. I would also like to invite you to contribute your ideas and articles to editorial@bet- Working together, Better Builder is building capacity and gaining momentum as the builder’s source. JOHN GODDEN
  5. 5. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 BUILDER NEWS The New Three Ls: LEADERSHIP, LABELS AND LISTS This edition is all about the 3 Rs – Renovations, Retrofits and Ratings. I want to offer some insight into three different letters that are also becoming synonymous with sustainability and green building: the 3 Ls – lists, labels and leadership. At BILD, we are committed to promoting sustainable development and green building (new and renovation) because the Greater GTA is the place where we live, work and play—and it’s our home too. Our Association is also committed to housing affordability and choice, objectives that can impact what approach one takes to build and develop in a sustainable way. Our green policy has always been to leave those decisions up to the individual builder, developer and professional renovator. In the voluntary versus mandatory debate, we will side with voluntary because our members should be free to choose from among the various programs and labels available based on their business assessment relative to their buyers’ preferences and market feasibility. Recognizing that the Ontario Building Code is King, as we say here at BILD, we have created a forum at the Association for members to discuss programs, products and the latest innovations that are reaching beyond what the provincial standard sets out. Our Green Leadership Committee has more than 20 members representing builders, developers, renovators, as well as associate and supplier members. With a mandate to promote and share information about green innovation, the Committee has taken on the task of creating a list of best practices used by the industry right now—what works and what doesn’t—in key sustainability areas such as energy use, water, wastewater, hydro, sewage, recyclable material and more. It’s a big compilation, but the members around the table in this Committee are our experts and they are implementing these sustainability features in homes across the GTA every day. Once the list of sustainable strategies used by our members is complete, it will be a helpful tool in explaining what works and what doesn’t to our municipal and regional partners in the community building process. With a list of sustainable strategies, our members can then decide if they want to align themselves with a green label, marketing the value proposition to the homeowner. BRYAN TUCKEY 3 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). Reliable, Consistent, MaRtinoHeating • air Conditioning • indoor air Quality • HVaC Design www.martinohvac.com1-800-465-5700 ™
  6. 6. 4 BUILDER NEWS Choosing the Right HRV / ERV Ventilation is an important element for the prevention and resolution of indoor air quality problems in both new and existing homes. All homes need the capacity for delivery of fresh air. We used to rely on operable windows for this capacity but since 1990 in Ontario, the building code has recognized that windows are unlikely to be opened often enough to ensure a reliable supply of fresh air so they added the requirement for builders to provide a mechanical ventilation solution in all homes. While there are simple options like continuously operating bath fans, more and more builders, HVAC contractors and even home- owners, are recognizing that a more sustainable approach to providing the capacity for continuous ventilation is a packaged heat or energy recovery ventilation device (HRV or ERV). Of course the obvious question might be how does one choose a unit from the over 250 HRV and ERV models currently listed on the Home Ventilating Institute product directory site ( HVI is an industry association that provides a listing of independent test results for a wide range of bath fans, range hoods and other ventilation devices. So the first decision criteria is easy: look for an HVI labeled product. It is in essence a code requirement that HRVs and ERVs be HVI labeled for all single family and multi-family dwellings, including high-rise suites. The HVI listings show both the airflow and the energy recovery performance of the devices and this provides a perfect clue for the first two of five important selection criteria. The decision criteria are roughly in order of importance, that is, there is no sense choosing an ERV technology first that doesn’t have the proper air flow capacity. 1. Choose a Unit with the Right Ventilation Capacity: The Ontario Building Code describes two levels of ventilation: • The Principal or Continuous Ventilation Capacity (PVC) – a rate that occupants are encouraged to achieve on a continuous basis. It is based on the number of bedrooms in a home – 30 cubic feet per minute (CFM) or 15 liters per second (L/s) for the first bedroom and 15 CFM (7.5 L/s) for each additional bedroom. So the minimum Principal Ventilation Capacity for a new or existing home with 3 bedrooms would be 60 CFM (30 L/s). • The Total Ventilation Capacity (TVC), Intermittent Rate or Minimum Ventilation Capacity – this is a higher rate designed to handle unusual or intermittent occupant pollutant loads. It is usually based on a count of the total number of rooms in the house – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room etc. The master bedroom and an unfinished basement are counted as two rooms each. The total number of rooms is multiplied by 10 CFM per room or 5 L/s to arrive at a total. A typical 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house with an unfinished basement might have a TVC of 120 – 150 CFM, depending on the total number of rooms in the house. Now you have a choice. You can size the HRV/ERV do be able to handle the TVC - total ventilation capacity of the house or you can choose an HRV/ERV that has a capacity to meet just the PVC rate and use a selection of bath fans and a range hood to make up the total ventilation requirement. Clearly this second choice would mean a smaller more cost effective HRV or ERV and manufacturers are responding by making smaller equipment available. This strategy is a great choice in an existing home that already has bathroom fans or in new homes where ducting the HRV to exhaust from the upstairs bathrooms is difficult. In any event when choosing an airflow capacity, be reminded that all fans and ventilators are rated at different static pressures. The static pressure is a measure of the resistance presented by ductwork, fittings, grilles and terminations an appliance can overcome. In the HRV/ERV world, a realistic installed static pressure is 0.3 to 0.4 inches of water column (W.C.) or 75 to 100 Pascals (Pa). Choose an appliance that can move the required amount of air for your homes at these static pressures or higher to be sure your clients get the airflow performance they need. 2. Choose the Energy Effectiveness of the HRV or ERV you Need or Desire. Again the Ontario Building Code has specific requirements for minimum efficiencies of HRV/ERVs when they are being used. First, at a minimum, all devices installed under the OBC must have a sensible recovery efficiency (SRE) of at least 55% when GORD COOKE
  7. 7. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 5 BUILDER NEWS tested at 60 CFM (30 L/s) and -25°C. This is a very specific test condition that can found for any appropriate unit for Ontario on the HVI product directory list. Some units listed do not meet this requirement, so it is important to verify this. Second, the new energy efficiency requirements in the code may require very specific minimum energy efficiency levels. These requirements are always listed as the SRE at 0°C and at 60 CFM (30 L/s). Typical requirements are a minimum of 55%, 60%, 70% and 75%. Again, looking at the HVI product listing is the best way to confirm the equipment you are considering can meet your intended performance choice. One easy way to choose an efficient HRV / ERV is to look for units that meet the new Tier II ENERGY STAR requirements for HRV/ERVs. These new requirements came into effect in June of 2012 and any labeled product will have SREs of at least 65% at O°C and 60% at -25°C. Much like the ENERGY STAR Label for NEW Homes, HRV/ERVs bearing the ENERGY STAR label represent an easy way to identify a “best in class” appliance. The last three selection criteria are Recovery Core Technology, Appropriate Duct Configurations and Control Strategies. These will be discussed next time. GORD COOKE IS THE PRESIDENT OF BUILDING KNOWLEDGE CANADA 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 Reliable, customized, maRtinoHeating • air conditioning • indoor air Quality • HVac design 1-800-465-5700 ™
  8. 8. 6 BUILDER NEWS Performance Versus Prescription for Air Tightness THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING Recent changes in the Ontario Building Code in regard to Air Barrier details have forced the home building industry to focus more attention to the execution of air barrier installation. Air barriers are not new to the code, but there was need for greater attention to detail as a requisite for more airtight and energy efficient buildings. Along with air tightness, proper and efficient ventilation are the yin and yan of good building practice and as such both are referenced in the code. HRVs and principal fans are tested to ensure they do what they are supposed to do. It’s been an established practice in low rise home building that testing systems and assemblies (air barriers included), and not necessarily every individual home, provides an acceptable level of quality assurance and also simplifies and makes accessible the process of home building throughout Ontario. Building inspections obviously play a critical role in this process. With the help of our Energy Evaluator Clearsphere, and the common sense and clear-headedness of the Town of Newmarket Building Department, we were able to demonstrate how modified assemblies could meet the intent of the new Code through the blower door testing of our homes. This required greater attention to correct detail and process, training of installers and finally measuring results. We also used the HERS (Home Energy Rating Scale) scale to highlight what we could do outside of, and along with, the Energy Star label to reduce energy use. It required dispelling some myths and some long held tendencies towards “more is better”. We were able to achieve the desired results by work- ing smarter and harder only where it proved necessary, and skipping anything superfluous. Once we proved our assemblies and demonstrated energy consumption reductions, everyone was comfortable to proceed on that basis. The Ontario Building code is being held out to evolve towards a "performance based" code, to accommodate and encourage quickly improving and using more sustainable materials, practices and technologies. The “what” the Code is to become tells us nothing of the “how” this will come to be. Herein lays the dilemma. Given the litigious and consumer focused atmosphere of our industry today how do we bring everyone to the table and address legitimate concerns? We did it in Newmarket for air barriers with people of some goodwill and common sense, and we hope that this will become a template for greater things to come. LOU BADA LESS IS MORE- PROPER DETAILS AND COST SAVINGS.MORE IS NOT BETTER - TOO MUCH SEALANT. LOU BADA IS THE CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACTS MANAGER FOR STARLANE HOMES
  9. 9. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 7ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 Airtightness Without the Mess A SITE PERSPECTIVE I didn’t think it would be this easy, but working with good people, committed trades, and a builder that takes pride in delivering a quality home, I should have known better. Energy Star is not a first for Starlane, but for this group of staff at Kristall Peak it was the first time building Energy Star homes. With that comes a list of requirements, dozens of new things to consider, and often change is met with resistance. This can result in poor execution, especially in the building business. The key for us was to provide an overview of the changes that are required for Energy Star Homes. The most critical being a required air tightness test, a result that has a pass and fail, and is something that has little opportunity to be fixed, especially when drywall is complete and the exterior finish is done. For the Kristall Peak Site in Newmarket, Starlane is required to meet 2.5 air changes or lower and an NLR (Normalized Leakage Ratio) of .20 or lower. NLR is measured air leakage relative to building surface area at 50 Pa of pressure differential. The big leaks in new homes are the mechanical penetrations, exterior ducting, drop ceilings in showers and bulkheads and mechanical trunk runs that have poor air vapour barrier detailing. Exterior wall plugs, and attic hatches that are not properly sealed are also problem areas. Cold storage doors and basement windows often get overlooked, and can also be big leakage areas. When you add all of these up and other trouble spots, this could exceed a 120 square inches of leakage which could mean a failed air test. You can demonstrate this by opening a window 12”x10” and running a fan which simulates the wind at a 40 mph. It’s now easy to see and feel how this leakage can account for 15-20% of the homes energy costs. We began an education process with Starlane right out of the gate, we gathered with the key subtrades that have an effect on a homes air tightness (like mechanical and electrical contractors, framers and insulators). We also engaged the local building inspector and asked for his input. We came up with a plan for all involved in this process, and high- lighted proper procedure and then we turned them loose. Before drywall I did a visual inspection on every house, along with the building inspector, which is required as part of the Ontario Building Code inspection process. The purpose of this experiment was to improve air tightness and reduce costs through excessive use of acoustical sealant. HERS gives credit for the quality of the insulation installed and rewards lower energy consumption based on its grading. Better installs have higher effective R-values and the computer simulation yields a better rating. Of the first 25 homes tested there was not a single issue with one of them. The process is down and it’s seamless. I show up, prep the house, run the blower door test, and we have averaged 2.2 ACH @ 50. The best thing about this site for me is the organization, the finishing super Doug Landon gets it! There are other requirements for Energy Star (like the HRV being balanced and interlocked). He schedules me when the house in clean, empty and everything required is completed. Often we are called to other sites when the houses are nowhere near ready, and sometimes it’s hard work to get them to pass. The other rewarding thing about working with Starlane is they care. Both site supers John Franco and Doug are always asking, “how did we do?” I often respond and smile, “do you really have to ask?” But what I really appreciate is their enthusiasm. At the end of the day, the real winner is the homeowner. They are buying an Energy Star Home that is supposed to be air tight and energy efficient, and that’s exactly what they are getting. BUILDER NEWS JOHN BELL IS THE VP OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AT GREYTER SYSTEMS INC. JOHN BELL
  10. 10. 8 BUILDER NEWS You may have heard the terms “Provider” and “Green Rater” in relation to the LEED Canada for Homes program – but what do they do and how do they support sustainable building in Alberta? In short, Providers are the organizations that administer the LEED Canada for Homes program locally, completing the final project review and ensuring all required submissions are made to the Canada Green Building Council. Green Raters are the technical side of the inspection verification team. They report to the Provider, helping the project team throughout the project and completing the on-site inspection work. This system provides a triple check system of verification for LEED homes. The Green Rater checks the builder and trades; the Provider checks the Green Rater’s work and the CaGBC checks all projects submitted by the Provider. The system encompasses various business models for the relationship between Provider and Green Rater. Some Providers like me are also qualified as a Green Rater. I have other in-house Green Raters and am also looking at contractor Green Raters. Other Providers have no in-house Green Raters and use contractors for all inspections. The role of a Green Rater isn’t always clear for builders and those new to the program. A Green Rater is part consultant, part inspector and part file manager. We act as a key point between the building project team and the CaGBC and Providers who certify the home. A GREEN RATER: A good Green Rater will not act as the "Green Police" on a LEED Canada for Homes job site but as an educator and resource for project teams to use as they move through construction and certification. Current Green Raters come from a variety of backgrounds but they will Green Rater: THE NEW KID ON THE LEED BLOCK TYLER HERMANSON • Helps projects navigate the LEED process and requirements, offering clarification and additional information (for example, offering advice on proper features for good Radon sealing when protecting foundations from sub-soil gasses) • Completes visual inspections and reviews support documentation to ensure all credits are verified (for example, completing required inspections for insulation during construction and final inspections upon completion), • Collects documentation and accountability forms from the project team, often the builder or architect, and compiles them into a package for submission (for example, project teams have several required accountability forms and signatures in all LEED projects, and some credits require additional signoff), • Signs off on the LEED project as compliant with the standard before quality assurance and auditing by the Provider and CaGBC (for example, Green Raters must approve a project as compliant and meeting the certification levels before a project is submitted for certification). Why LEED is Important in Public Projects When public money has been used for important civic projects it becomes even more important for there to be clear accountability in a project. When it comes to prices and contracts public projects can become heavily scrutinized, but what about the sustainability targets?
  11. 11. have experience in residential construction and high-performance, sustainable building practices. Some are technologists or engineers, often with a background in EnerGuide or R2000 construction. Often Green Raters have additional credentials as Certified Energy Advisors with EnerGuide, ventilation training through HRAI and additional building science or building investigation training. They have valuable experience with LEED and energy-efficient building techniques and they can be of considerable help to project teams working toward LEED certification. TYLER HERMANSON, LEED AP+H, LEED FACULTY TYLER RUNS 4 ELEMENTS, A LEED PROVIDER AND DESIGN FIRM BASED IN CALGARY. TYLER HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN THE LEED CANADA FOR HOMES PROGRAM SINCE ITS PILOT PHASE; HE AND HIS TEAM ARE CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN 32 LEED PROJECTS, OVER 249 HOMES ACROSS ALBERTA. ALBERTA CHAPTER – CAGBC’S JULY 2012 PERSPECTIVES, OR JUST ALBERTA CHAPTER - CAGBC 9 BUILDER NEWS ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 REGISTRATION FEES ON ALL PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
  12. 12. 10 BUILDER NEWS Whole House Energy Ratings Electricity, plug loads, and domestic hot water are becoming the largest household expense in a new home. Current EnerGuide software uses electric consumption defaults that render every house the same. Domestic hot water loads are defaulted in the same manner. HOT2000 really only measures space heating consumption and defaulted baseloads. It compares this defaulted annual consumption to a reference house, not the actual modeled house, to achieve an energy rating. Therefore, when townhouses are compared to this reference house, they achieve a higher rating because they have a lower consumption. In this case less exposed walls and less windows yield an ERS 82. Conversely, when a large house with many windows and a walkout basement is compared to the reference house with full grade height and thirteen percent windows (ERS 80) they achieve a poor rating, sometimes as low as ERS 77. This is an issue for code compliance using EnergyStar , or if the municipality is asking for better than building code. For larger homes, HERS references the house itself and measures the improvement against that benchmark. It includes baseloads for electrical usage and domestic hot water which are specific to that house. Electrical usage is based on conditioned floor areas and hot water is determined by a bedroom count. This better reflects the occupant count. HERS also allows one to model credits that come from using renewables like solar and drain water heat recovery to lower energy consumption. If a higher SEER air conditioner is chosen the home rating reflects this. Already on three sub divisions, we have used HERS to upsell twenty- five percent of homeowners on insulation and mechanical upgrades. HERS considers primary energy ie: the source of the energy, and converts it into costs. Energuide uses energy factors. This creates distortions in ratings. Heat pumps operate at a factor of four times but they use a primary energy source which can cost ten times as much as the alternative. A picture is worth ten thousand words ( see diagram: central electric power generation). In the case of Ontario fifty percent of our electricity is produced by nuclear energy. Up to sixty percent of the energy is lost in generation, another fifteen percent is lost in transmission and the result is only twenty five percent ends up at your door. Electricity is a form of energy, not a source of energy. It has to be made from other sources like nuclear and coal. Because of this the cost of electricity has doubled at peak demand. It is forecast to rise a minimum of eight percent a year in the next five years. Conservation of electricity is the key. HERS allows us to educate homebuyers on the benefits of better lighting, appliances and higher efficiency DC motors in furnaces and HRVs. JOHN GODDEN
  13. 13. 11ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 BUILDER NEWS Rosehaven used the HERS index because it is a better way to communicate whole house energy consumption in larger homes. HERS gives them credit for using an integrated mechanical system with drain water heat recovery and higher SEER air conditioners. As electricity prices escalate, Rosehaven homeowners have been given choices to future proof their homes using HERS. Best HRV for compact installations. JOHN GODDEN IS THE PRESIDENT OF CLEARSPHERE AND PUBLISHING EDITOR OF BETTER BUILDER MAGAZINE.
  14. 14. 12 A lovely two story detached house in a lovely neighborhood of Toronto, the Moores’ house has been extensively renovated. One striking change is that the upper level ceiling has been eliminated, exposing the (now painted) ceiling joists, rafters, and underside of the plank roof sheathing. What had been a conventional attic is now included in the conditioned part of the house. When an addition at the front of the house was added, several inches of rigid foam insulation was installed on the exterior side of the roof sheathing. Despite the exterior insulation, there are signs that the cooler surface of the ceiling in the winter months is allowing condensation to form. Adding to the trouble, the house is situated in an area with a high water table. Moisture through the slab, the brick foundation, and the two crawlspaces connecting to the basement will contribute to elevated levels of humidity. Modest exhaust fans throughout the house are likely ill- equipped to manage the moisture challenges of this location. To some extent they may even be adding to the problem by drawing some replacement air from the moist ground. The HVAC equipment at the Moores’ house is an induced draft (80 AFUE) furnace, a conventional naturally aspirated water heater, and a 10 SEER central air conditioner. Measured duct leakage is about 50% of total air flow at the furnace, with significant variation between registers. Not surprisingly, temperatures in the house are reported as being quite uneven during the heating season. (Ref Pic #2 Graham measuring airflow) Several steps would help the Moore residence become a healthier, more comfortable, and more efficient place to live. 1.  Improve air circulation throughout the building for heating, cooling, ventilation, humidification, and air filtration by using an air handler with an ECM motor. 2.  Manage the excess moisture through the use of an HRV tied to the existing duct work. 3.  Connect a condensing dual purpose water heater to the air handler for both space heating and domestic hot water BUILDER NEWS Energy Rating Before: THE IMPORTANCE OF BENCHMARKING ENVELOPES AND MECHANICAL SYSTEMS GRAHAM FISHER
  15. 15. 13ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 BUILDER NEWS 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. 4.  Install a Power-Pipe drain water heat recovery system to further boost the efficiency of the hot water system. 5.  Install a 14.5 SEER or higher central air conditioner These steps would improve the HERS rating of the house from 137 to 94, reduce energy consumption by about 25%, save close to $680 per year on energy costs, and help ensure the durability and livability of a charming house. To complete the analysis after one year, we’ll revisit the Moores’ house with actual fuel bills to determine the effectiveness of the retrofits. In our next issue we’ll be talking about the post retrofit energy consumption of Tracy Hanes house. GRAHAM FISHER RESIDENTIAL ENERGY CONSULTANT
  16. 16. FEATURE STORY Luxury, Design & Performance in KleinburgBY TRACY HANES ROSEHAVEN GOES HERS“The Platinum Collection” ROSEHAVEN GOES HERS“The Platinum Collection”
  17. 17. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 FEATURE STORY 15 ROSEHAVEN HOMES WILL COMBINE LUXURY, DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE WITH A NEW ENCLAVE SITE ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF HIGHWAY 27 AND NASHVILLE RD. IN HISTORIC KLEINBURG. The 44 homes in Kleinburg Heritage Estates will have a starting price in excess of $1 million and mark the launch of the Rosehaven Platinum Collection, a new luxury brand for the company. Rosehaven wanted to differentiate itself not only through upscale finishes and features and exceptional architecture inspired by the heritage buildings of the village, but through the houses’ performance systems as well. But the builder faced a dilemma: with the 2012 Ontario Building Code now equivalent to Energy Star Version 5 (EnerGuide 80), building to that label would no longer give Rosehaven a market edge or reflect the level of sophistication of the Platinum Collection. Rosehaven looked at constructing its Kleinberg houses to Energy Star Version 6 (EnerGuide 83) as a way to differentiate itself from its competition, but found some major stumbling blocks: achieving the new version would represent a huge jump and would be exorbitant in cost. “Now Energy Star is the minimum Code requirement, but we are trying to go the next level,” says Rosehaven contracts manager Nick Sanci. “The new version of Energy Star is unachievable. To get just one EnerGuide point would have cost us thousands.” Rosehaven plans to build large luxury homes in its Kleinburg project and the EnerGuide rating system uses a 2,000 square- foot-home as a benchmark, which is not realistic when the Rosehaven houses are considerably larger. The homes will be on 60 and 70-foot lots, with 2,900 to 4,800 square feet plus partially finished basements, which increases the living area of the homes by an additional 600 to 700 square feet.
  18. 18. 16 FEATURE STORY So the builder has decided to deviate from Energy Star and adopt HERS (Home Energy Rating System) for the site. With HERS, Rosehaven can brand the houses using a rating system other than EnerGuide/Energy Star, meet the building code, satisfy municipal requirements and have flexibility. A home rated on the HERS Index is given a score based upon its energy performance as determined by a certified energy rater. Developed by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) in the U.S. and endorsed by its Canadian counterpart, CRESNET, the HERS rating for a typically built new house is 100 and zero for a Net Zero home (one that produces as much energy as it uses). A house that scores 50 on the HERS scale is 50 per cent more energy efficient than a typically built new home. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home. Energy Star Version 5 homes (or those built to the 2012 Ontario Building Code) would score 62 on the HERS scale; the Rosehaven Kleinburg homes are aiming for a HERS score of 47, making them considerably more efficient even than homes built under the new Code. At its Kleinburg site, Rosehaven will be introducing an integrated mechanical system that uses a FlowMax dual- purpose condensing hot water heater with an Air Max Air Handler that is 95 per cent-plus efficient, equipped with an ECM motor and a high efficiency HRV. The Kleinburg homes will have two zoned systems: one for the basement and first floor and another for the second floor. The zoned systems will ensure consistent comfort throughout all areas of the homes. “With rising electricity costs, the integrated system out- performs heat pumps and operates at less than half the energy cost, even with multiples zones,” says Sanci. “The system delivers comfort and increased performance that exceeds Energy Star requirements.” Homeowners will enjoy a monthly cost savings of $98.46 on their heating bills and 16 per cent on air conditioning costs due to a unit which will have an ECM motor and a SEER rating of 15, which is above Energy Star. Another bonus they will enjoy is the limitless hot water supplied by the Flowmax combination heater. The EnerGuide rating system would not give Rosehaven credit for the integrated mechanical system and the builder wants to move ahead with the new techology that will out- perform Energy Star 6 in terms of energy savings. EnerGuide also offers no credit for gas savings for the drain water heat recovery systems Rosehaven will use in the homes. HERS also factors in air conditioning units with higher SEER ratings and credits energy efficient appliances, which Energy Star does not. “In 2012, we want to be the first home builder in Canada to rate a whole subdivision by HERS,” adds Sanci. “With our Kleinburg site, we will be the first builder using the integrated mechanical system. We could do Energy Star Version 6, but at a cost which does not justify the return. It DESIGNS MEET AND EXCEED THE VAUGHAN HERITAGE COMMITTEE GUIDELINES AIRMAX/ FLOWMAX INTEGRATED MECHANICAL SYSTEM
  19. 19. 17 FEATURE STORY ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 would be way more expensive and the performance is not close to what we’re doing.” Rosehaven has been voluntarily rating houses for seven years. Riverstone was the first EnerGuide rated subdivision in Canada in 2005. “No one forced us to, and we were able to offer Energy Star in municipalities where it was required, like in Ancaster, Oakville, Thorold, Nobleton and Bradford. ” says Sanci. “We have built 372 Energy Star houses to date, have 329 EnerGuide rated homes and we are committed to building 1,456 Energy Star rated homes. “But moving forward on big houses with the new technology, we have to rethink how we are branding our houses. Energy Star no longer reflects the value we are giving homeowners on larger houses we are currently building in our Platinum Collection.” Another issue is that municipal subdivision agreements are outdated and don’t reflect the changes sweeping the industry. Some specifically mandate Energy Star (meaning Version 5) which became the building code standard in Ontario at the beginning 2012. “They (municipalities) have to stop using prescriptive wording and saying it has to be specifically Energy Star,” says Sanci. “There has to be more performance-based language and we want municipalities to endorse the fact that we want to build a better performing home. It will give us the freedom to use the rating system we want.” Rosehaven plans to meet with City officials and partner up with them to to discuss the changes to the Code and Energy STAR, and inform them and educate them about the HERS program so they can update the wording of their subdivision approvals. “Some municipalities need help with the wording when they are rewriting subdivision approvals. The wording may be more general, but in the end it works for everybody because it preserves choice,” says Sanci. “They will be endorsing better performing houses above Code and it allows builders to choose the rating system they want to choose.” Rosehaven will also be educating the potential home buyers that come into its sales centre and décor office about how the homes’ features will provide enhanced comfort and save them money. “We are providing them with a really good package that’s great for the environment and for their pocketbooks,” says Joe Laronga, architectural and engineering manager for Rosehaven. “In the past, people thought green features cost too much money, but we are giving a huge amount as standard.” As well as being one of the first HERS rated subdivisions in Canada, Kleinburg Heritage Estates will also be the first project to come under Vaughan heritage committee guidelines. The home designs which include Victorian, Georgian, Period Revival and Second Empire had to be approved by the committee to ensure they were achieving the authencity of architecture in the historic village. TRACY HANES IS A FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER FOR THE LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN CANADA AND SEVERAL MAGAZINES. WWW.TRACYHANES.CA KLEINBURG SITE; LAY OF THE LAND, MANY WALK OUT BASEMENTS MAKE HERS THE PREFERRED RATING SYSTEM. HOMEBUYERS MEET THEIR HEART’S DESIRES THROUGH CUSTOM KITCHEN DESIGN
  20. 20. 18 IDP in Renovation: A NEW APPROACH Contractor Sandra Baldwin didn’t start out this renovation project thinking it would be an integrated design process (IDP). It evolved that way, because it made the most sense. Her clients, a newly married couple living in Leaside, first approached her because of her specialization in second story additions, and her familiarity with sustainability and energy efficiency. The woman, a chemical engineer, also had a good grasp of sustainable building practices. Even so, IDP was a relatively new concept for both her, and Baldwin. Why it works – not just on this particular project but on any project – is because everyone involved, from trades and designer, to contractor and client, works as a team. Communication, therefore, is key – it ensures the team sees the whole house as a system, understands the project’s scope, and is equipped to tackle problems before they happen. Or as Baldwin puts it, kind of like the right hand knowing what the left is doing. When everyone involved knows what’s going on, she explains, that impacts the way the project is done, which ultimately benefits the overall structure of the home. This process also permitted significant innovations. Baldwin, for example, changed her mind on the heating system, switching from low to high velocity, when an IDP consultant suggested substituting regular joists with open web joists. These would accommodate the smaller ductwork of the high velocity system within the wall cavity, in turn eliminating the need for unsightly bulkheads in the open concept main floor. Since this system also had insulated ducts – unlike regular sheet metal ducts – there would be less heat loss. A direct current (DC) motor meant about 80% less electricity consumption, and it generates continuous air circulation so interior air quality is improved. Had the framer, heating and air installer, and designer not been in close communication, those changes wouldn’t have happened. And with the help of an IDP consultant, Baldwin was able to show the customer the benefits of specific systems, and how they could improve overall energy efficiency. “Nobody thinks the client is interested,” Baldwin says, “but whenever we do broach this subject, we have great results. Clients are very open to the IDP approach, and to expanding their product and materials package/collection.” BUILDER NEWS ALEX NEWMAN HIGH VELOCITY DUCTWORK IN OPEN WEB JOISTS VIRTUALLY ELIMINATES BULKHEADS"
  21. 21. 19ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 The integrated design process helped in other ways, too, Baldwin says. For example, the client envisioned large sky- lights, but thanks to the input of others, it was decided to diminish the skylight size, still getting fantastic light but also achieving better efficiency. “It’s a science to figure out the right balance between plenty of light and greater energy efficiency,” she adds. It was also decided to incorporate a drainwater heat recovery system that uses the warm waste water from sinks and showers, to help preheat water entering the hot water tank, thereby reducing energy consumption. The best part of the integrated design process, Baldwin says, is that the client is involved in every decision, from how to increase basement insulation, to using Henry Blueskin air and vapour barrier to improve window and door seals openings, and what to recycle. Existing solid wood doors, brass hard- ware and stained glass windows were kept -- as much for character as for green reasons. IDP above all creates effective “reachable” goals. The HERS index was used to objectively measure reduced loads and increase performance. What began with an energy audit has ended with a post renovation audit. Last year’s energy “report card” revealed that the 80-year-old house had approximately nine air changes per hour – meaning it was pretty leaky. Now, a year later, Baldwin reports that the “fantastic living space with its new second story and reconfigured main floor, has just 3.78 air changes an hour. (A new home is about 3.6 air changes per hour.) It’s a performance report that has a renovated existing home performing better than a new build. I am ecstatic to deliver that for the clients, but also really proud of my team of trades for doing it.” BUILDER NEWS
  22. 22. 20 BUILDER NEWS Restoring a Low-Rise Multi-Unit Residential Building It was mid-June 2012, when a stalwart group of housing technology experts descended upon George Brown College’s Casa Loma Campus to participate in a design workshop intended to propose a series of retrofit measures to improve the energy efficiency and comfort within a Post-WWII, Low-Rise, Multi-Unit Residential Building in South Etobicoke, Ontario. The event had come together quite hurriedly as only a few weeks earlier the owners of the building, Neil Spiegel and Evan Johnsen of Compass Property Group Inc. , had approached John Godden of Clearsphere regarding their desire to bring this recently acquired 34-unit solid masonry building up to modern green standards. John then approached Enbridge Gas Distribution, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Sustainable Housing Foundation and George Brown College to consider how they might all come together to respond to this request. It soon became clear that through collaboration many aims could be met. Certainly, Compass could receive some useful and timely guid- ance to help them move the project along. Especially considering that they were already well along in their efforts to restore the poorly maintained project to building code standards through funding under CMHC’s former Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program. Beyond that though, everyone agreed that insights gained through this project could easily be replicated in many similar buildings across Canada resulting in significant reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas production. Enbridge also saw a huge opportunity to use this workshop as a pilot initiative to inform a new conservation program which could deliver rebates for measures leading to natural gas consumption savings in this particular building type. George Brown College was especially interested in the initiative as it related to their ARGILE Project which was focusing on testing over-clad solutions for double brick buildings. Finally CMHC, as did all parties, understood the social benefit to the many low to moderate income households living in this very common building type found across Canada. With all these aspirations in hand, we set about to pull together an event. The workshop included a who’s who of technical experts across a broad range of common building elements. From building envelope and fenestration, to heating, cooling and mechanical ventilation, to grey water recycling systems. An initial building audit informed a heat load analysis which provided the basis for the discussions at the workshop. We learned that Natural Gas Consumption could be reduced by 30% right from the start by simply replacing the existing naturally aspirating, non-condensing gas fired boiler and gas-fired DHW tanks with a single high efficiency, direct vent, condensing boiler along with an indirect DHW storage tank. The sealed combustion supply of the proposed boiler would also address the issue of air leakage as the current B-vent could be sealed. Further tightening of the envelope could MARK SALERNO & GRAHAM FISHER OWNER NEIL SPIEGEL JOHN GODDEN & MARK SALERNO
  23. 23. be achieved by a range of air leakage control efforts including the removal of several large passive exhaust ports in the common hallways and smaller ones in each bathroom. Arguably, these vents had often been under negative pressure and served only to draw stale air back inside the building as the boiler drew combustion air supply from the occupied space. The provision of effective ventilation was the next big challenge. Presently, ventilation relied upon operable windows in the living spaces and passive exhaust vents in the bathrooms leading to vertical stacks “intended” to expel stale air at the roof. The group considered the option of central versus decentralized ventilation systems with the biggest consideration being the cost and practicality of installing ductwork within the largely occupied dwelling units. In the end, the least invasive approach to install was a balanced supply and exhaust system consisting of Panasonic Multi-Staged DC Exhaust fans in each bathroom and Trickle fresh air Vents located at the exterior walls in the living rooms. This had the benefit of largely eliminating the need for new duct work though it did not allow for the provision of heat recovery – we agreed though that retrofits are by nature about making educated compromises. A further set of measures included an over-clad system to be placed over the entire exterior wall surface and window replacement. In the end, these proved to be quite costly while delivering only marginal improvements in energy savings. Natural gas savings only increased by 12.4% (from 52.4% to 64.8%) while costing an additional $170,000 (from $52,000 to $219,300). Further, a financial analysis revealed that it would likely be difficult to secure lender financing where the envelope measures were included as the cost of servicing the debt relative to the marginal operating cost savings would mean that the Debt Coverage Ratio would be too low. Here again we had interesting debate as the developer reasoned that it would still make business sense to re-clad the front facade so as to improve curb appeal, more readily attract tenants and ultimately reduce losses by minimizing vacancies. In the end, we did meet our intended goal to assist Compass Property Group Inc. in their decision process. Likewise, Enbridge Gas Distribution did draw inspiration from the event in their efforts to create a rebate program for this very building type – stay tuned, as a program may likely be launched sometime in 2013. Finally, we also managed to bring much needed industry attention to this very common building type – one which until now has had little effort brought to bear on addressing its need for renewal and improved energy efficiency. A detailed workshop report can be found on the Sustainable Housing Foundation website at: BUILDER NEWS 21 BY MARK SALERNO, CMHC & SHF BOARD MEMBER & GRAHAM FISHER, CLEARSHPERE ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 OWNER EVAN JOHNSEN AND MANUFACTURES
  24. 24. 22 BUILDER NEWS Do the bathroom fans you install exhaust more than just air? Choose ENERGY STAR® compliant WhisperGreen™ ventilation fans from Panasonic® for your next project and help homeowners rein in energy costs while controlling mould and mildew. The built-in motion sensor with adjustable delay timer automatically turns the fan on when someone enters the room. The delay timer activates when motion is no longer detected so wasted electricity caused by fans left turned on is eliminated, while damage-causing moisture is brought under control. Quiet, powerful, energy efficient and easy to install, Panasonic ventilation fans are ENERGY STAR, LEED and ASHRAE 62.2 compliant making them a wise choice in sustainable building. WhisperGreen fans from Panasonic — the easy way to leaner, greener ventilation. To learn more about Panasonic ventilation fans visit, email or call 1-800-669-5165
  25. 25. BUILDER NEWS Home Energy Ratings Come to Canada! Have you heard about this new thing called a HERS rating? If this is your first exposure to it, keep yours eyes open because you’ll most likely be seeing a lot more of it. Among its other attributes, a HERS (Home Energy Rating System) rating is now one way that home builders can demonstrate compliance with the energy code for homes built in Ontario. Basically, a HERS rating incorporates all the energy features of a home into a software analysis of a home’s energy areas, orientation, insulation levels, window specifications, infiltration rate, mechanical system efficiencies, and more. The outputs include estimated annual energy costs, heating and cooling design loads, energy consumption for heating, cooling, water heating, lights, and appliances, and a number called the HERS Index. The HERS Index is a single number that tells you how energy efficient a particular home is compared to a Reference Home. The Reference Home is built to a set of specifications that essentially meet the requirements of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. Like golf, the lower the number the better. An Index of 100 means that a home just meets the Reference Home energy efficiency level. For each point below 100, the home is 1% more energy efficient than the Reference Home. The scale was developed in the US but is now being used in Canada as well, with the software being adapted to Canadian codes and building practices. The HERS industry has slowly been growing in Canada since the late Bruce Gough first brought the idea back to Ontario several years ago after he went to the annual HERS rater conference put on by the Residential Energy Services Network, RESNET. There is now a Canadian RESNET, called CRESNET, which just this summer renewed its memorandum of understanding with RESNET. Also new this summer is the first Canadian version of the computerized HERS rater test, which all rater must pass as one criterion for certification. John Godden of Clearsphere in Toronto has done hundreds of HERS ratings for numerous builders who have used this tool to qualify their new homes along with the ENERGY STAR label. Godden, who is also the president of CRESNET, recently organized a Dinner of Champions to recognize home builders who have had their homes rated and especially those who attained very low HERS Indexes. That event was also the kick-off of the Cross-Border Challenge, a friendly competition between Canadian and US homebuilders. Over the next 15 months, participating builders will track their HERS Indexes, and CRESNET will present awards to those who achieve the highest percentages of homes with Indexes below 50. In the past year, about 40 EnerGuide energy raters and other building professionals have participated in two separate HERS rater training classes in Scarborough. With interest growing in this certification, you’ll have more opportunities to take a HERS rater class and get involved in this growing industry. 23 ALLISON A. BAILES III ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 ALLISON BAILES III, PHD IS THE FOUNDER AND OWNER OF ENERGY VANGUARD
  26. 26. 24 BUILDER NEWS Long before energy efficiency was on the home buying public’s radar, Gordon Tobey Developments in Brighton was constructing homes to a best in class standard with superior levels of insulation, better air sealing, energy efficient windows and highly efficient mechanical systems. The Brighton-based builder was the first in Canada to build exclusively to the R-2000 standard and after 30 years, re- mains one of the few R-2000 builders in Canada. With the 2012 Ontario Building Code now equivalent to Energy Star Version 5, the Energy Star and R2000 programs are in for dramatic changes, creating dilemmas for builders like Stephen Tobey, president of the award-winning company started by his father, Gordon. Energy Star Version 6 will jump to an EnerGuide 83 requirement, while R-2000 will be updated with a minimum energy efficiency target of EG 86, or 50 per cent better than EnerGuide 80, or the new Code. With that target unrealistic for most builders to meet, Tobey sees that his company’s days as an R-2000 builder are numbered. The company can register homes under the former R2000 program until December 31, so it will be able to build out the final 10 homes in its Mill Pond Woods site in Brighton with the R-2000 label. But with the launch of its next 200-home site in 2013, Tobey says his company will have to explore other options. “I’m not positive what we’re doing yet, but the direction R-2000 is taking is a little unrealistic. It’s not a program anymore, it’s an experiment,” Tobey says. The new program advocates ground source pumps, which don’t make sense in a subdivision served by natural gas, he points out. “Gas is the way to go in Ontario. If you are pushing electricity, you are pushing the wrong way.” Tobey says, his home buyers spend on average just $800 a year now on natural gas and $1,300 to $1,400 on electricity. Another problem with the new R2000 program is it’s just looking at one aspect of the house, heating and cooling, not at things like electrical plug loads and lighting. Tobey may consider Energy Star Version 6 labelling for the next development “as we’ve building that house for 15 years” and the public recognizes the label. He doesn’t foresee a pushback from customers if Tobey Developments no longer labels as R-2000. “We used to sell houses pushing energy efficiency and that’s what our lead was in our advertising and all our talk,” says Tobey. “But I had an epiphany and now we sell beautiful, we sell granite, we sell hot tubs, and by the way, you get an energy label too. We tried as hard as possible to make house buying into an emotional experience.” He says the energy efficiency isn’t a primary consideration for buyers, but may influence a final decision. “When people are trying to weight out where they want to move, they may narrow it down to two, and then they realize with our houses, ‘oh, it has an energy package.’ We’ve never made that optional, it’s always included. “The guys who are building Code-built houses to EnerGuide 80 are still not building as a good a house as we’re building,” says Tobey. “We will always build a better house than one across the road. We are always going to have an energy label, a better wall and better windows.” TRACY HANES The New Building Code: CHALLENGES FOR R-2000 BUILDERS TRACY HANES IS A FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER FOR THE LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN CANADA AND SEVERAL MAGAZINES. WWW.TRACYHANES.CA GORDON TOBEY DEVELOPMENTS LTD.
  27. 27. 25ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 The Argile Project: GEORGE BROWN COVERS IMPORTANT RESEARCH According to the International Energy Agency, “Existing buildings are responsible for over 40% of the world’s total primary energy consumption, and account for 24% of world CO2 emissions.” (IEA, 2008). Much of the housing stock of our larger cities consists of old buildings, many of which were built around 1900 and constitute our least energy efficient buildings. They are either totally uninsulated or poorly insulated, and very air-leaky. Thus it quickly becomes apparent that these buildings are in need of attention. However, the retrofit of these vintage buildings is not altogether straightforward if we wish to make them energy efficient, comfortable and have them last for another 100 years. In addition, if this retrofit is done without following sound Building Science principles, a multitude of problems can be created, often impacting occupant health, durability and the overall performance of the building. The success of their retrofit depends on an understanding of their structure, materials, the governing building science principles, and on having some patience. PERFORMANCE OF OLD DOUBLE WYTHE SOLID MASONRY HOUSES Some of the air-leakage pathways in solid masonry walls which can only be eliminated by re-cladding as opposed to interior approaches. At George Brown College, we have embarked on a 5 year research project under the name “Argile” (which is French for clay from which bricks are made) with the focus of developing a re-cladding system for vintage solid masonry buildings. The project is funded by a MRI (Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation) grant, matched by the college and industry partners including the Evergreen Don Valley Brick Works, SMT Research, the Kortright Centre for Conservation, Roxul, exp. (formerly Trow Associates Inc.) and Clearsphere Consulting. After we have investigated and determined which materials are BUILDER NEWS CHRISTOPHER TIMUSK • A double wythe wall with plaster and lath has an RSI of about 0.8 (R-4.5) • This is only 18 to 20% of the OBC minimum of RSI 4.75 (R-27) to RSI 3.87 (R-22) VINTAGE UN-INSULATED SOLID MASONRY BUILDINGS AT THE BRICK WORKS TORONTO UN-INSULATED WALLS PRESENT PASSIVE HEAT LOSS PROBLEMS REVEALED IN THERMOGRAPHIC PICTURES
  28. 28. BUILDER NEWS ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 most promising for the system, a comparative matrix will be used to compare several different variants based on five criteria, resulting in a final score for each: The next step is to re-clad select building sections, instrument the systems for moisture content, relative humidity, and temperature using remote data loggers, and to analyze the results ensuring that no detrimental conditions have been created by re-cladding. The final step is then to re-clad whole buildings, again instrumenting and monitoring their performance, conducting air tightness tests before and after (blower door tests), and monitoring energy consumption. When all the objectives are reached, the system can be commercialized, and retrofitters can be trained on the best practice installation techniques. Since these buildings are a vibrant part of our neighborhoods and tearing them down is not a popular (nor sustainable) option, we must somehow drastically improving their energy efficiency, and we hope the outcomes of our research provide a feasible, durable, energy efficient and cost effective option. INTERCONNECTED PATHWAYS PRESENT AIR LEAKAGE HEAT LOSS AND MOISTURE TRANSPORT PROBLEMS AND LITTLE RESISTANCE TO VAPOUR FLOW CRITERION EXPLANATION POINTS 1. Thermal Efficiency Hand calculations and THERM Modeling to determine the r-value of each system, total heat loss percentages, and thermal bridging locations. 5 2. Durability Hygrothermal analysis using WUFI software to asses heat and moisture dynamics. Analysed the wall systems based on their ability to dry, mould growth potential, and freeze thaw potential. 5 3. Feasibility A study focusing on the cost and potential value of each system. The total cost of the system includes both material and installation costs. 5 4. Environmental Impact An assessment of the main products of the assemblies based on the environmental aspects both in terms of the materials and components as well as during the manufacturing process. 5 5. Aesthetics A review on the aesthetic appeal of each system and their susceptibility to aging, discolouration, and cracking. 5 P. CHRISTOPHER TIMUSK, PHD , PROFESSOR AND ARGILE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, SCHOOL OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND TRADES, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES, GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE HTTP://WWW.GEORGEBROWN.CA The Argile research team consists of: Christopher Timusk, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator Steffanie Adams, M.Arch. - Co-Investigator Andrew Fraser, Ph.D. - Co-Investigator Leo Salemi - Co-Investigator Tulsi Regmi, Ph.D. - Co-Investigator Elina Ralston-Cortez - Project Manager Katie Rasmussen - Assistant Project Manager Alejandra Nieto - Research Student Daniel Marchetti - Research Student Christephanie Uy - Research Student Yuriy Buryachenko - Research Student 26
  29. 29. 27 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 (
  30. 30. BUILDER NEWS Where have you been?: I have worked in New Home Construction for 20 years. Assisting builders with Model Homes, Sales Centres, creating Decor Centres and Colour Selection programs. My dream was to eventually build my own home which occured in 1995. This experience gave me a whole different perspective on my profession. I realized there were elements beyond the finishes and fixtures that played a much larger role in homebuilding and peoples lifestyles. For many years I simply judged a home by its appearance and use of space. In 2009- 2011 I took several courses offered by BILD. These included Part Nine Ontario Building Code, Energy Star for Builders and Introduction to LEED. These programs gave me more knowledge and opened my eyes to the world of sustainability. I have always been aware of the effects of my carbon footprint. Besides driving a hybrid car, I now live in a LEED silver home that I built in 2011. This experience proved to be very exciting and I loved learning about HVAC, plumbing and framing solutions that are used in building sustainable homes. This process provided the opportunity for me to learn project managing. What are you doing now?: I am currently working on several projects for various builders doing model homes and colour selections. I have now lived in my home for a year and am able to share my knowledge of sustainable features that make a huge difference in the air quality and energy consumption. This information has become key especially with the 2012 Building Code changes. I like to implement as many sustainable upgrades in the homes I design. I have a checklist of items I recommend purchasers and builders consider when building their personal and or model homes. Where are you going?: I will continue to work in new home construction. I would love to spread the word to our community about the possibilities of building sustainably and the great benefits that it has to offer. I have several projects on the go at the moment directly involving sustainable building and I will be sure to provide more information in good time. LEED Silver House Interior designer Barb Rudberg has built a house or two in her time. But she was never completely satisfied with the results until recently. Her last house looked wonderful, she recalls, until she and her husband moved in. “The air quality was poor, there were excessive temperature differences – ten degrees hotter upstairs than the basement – and basically the house sucked energy,” she says. So they decided to build another, one that was energy friendly enough to significantly lower their carbon footprint. First, though, she got busy researching, taking a Part 9 building code course to learn more about house building, as well as an Energy Star course with John Godden (http:// courses/). Site Specific BARB RUDBERG INTERIOR DESIGN CONSULTANT NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION, PRINCIPAL OF MODEL INTERIORS BY BARBARA RUDBERG. Joining BILD in 1997 and becoming a part of this amazing network has influenced me. Sharing of information with other like-minded members has allowed me to develop professionally. This network has created professional opportunities while providing a place for me to make a contribution. 1 2 3 BARB RUDBERG 28
  31. 31. 29ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 BUILDER NEWS ALEX NEWMAN At the workshop, Rudberg told Godden about building again, only this time very green, Godden encouraged her to target LEED. “The integrated design approach that LEED uses helps owner-builders understand all their choices with respect to the house,” Godden explains. “LEED comprises five categories, and when you explain that fully, builders are better able to understand the application of products and materials.” Others laughed – particularly her general contractor who said she was getting “scammed” by the green thing. And when she sought Godden’s help in designing the new home’s unique integrated HVAC system, the contractor got downright furious. “He felt the only way to build was the way he wanted,” Rudberg says. Godden is accustomed to such resistance for some of his methods, and eventually smoothed things over. He sees himself as a coach, which isn’t about who is right, but about how a structure can be built better and to be more energy efficient. Often his methods are low-tech, off-the-shelf solutions, not always mainstream and sometimes downright outside the norm. Unfortunately, he says, these innovative methods can get “killed” before they are tried out because inspectors or trades people don’t want to consider material they’re not familiar with, he says. One of his ongoing goals is to find products like the Airmax system, become more informed, and then educate others by explaining in the simplest terms how good they are. (for more info see Rudberg, however, was a believer, thankful for Godden’s help in navigating the project toward LEED, even to the point of physically helping with installing the Roxul insulation. That process falls under the integrated design process (IDP) that Godden feels is the best way to undertake construction: “It just works really well having someone understand all the different components in order to explain it to the people who will be using them.” That explaining goes for the city’s building inspectors, too -- some of the materials and systems were so new that Rudberg was asked for full documentation so the city’s engineers could check it out. Several items were out of the ordinary for building a new house: a dual purpose hot water heater which also provides space heating and hot water for the house (an integrated mechanical system); Roxul insulation; insulated sheathing (essentially a layer of foam insulation on the outside of the house instead of plywood); a deck constructed from FSC wood; kitchen cabinets comprised of IKEA boxes (which have the lowest off-gassing of any cabinetry) and higher-end doors manufactured locally; no VOC paints. The end result is a house that is so energy efficient that Rudberg has been able to target LEED silver. The best part is her energy bills – they’re fully 35% less than before. “We anticipated a ten year payback time,” she says, “but the way it’s going, we’ll end up recouping in about three.” THE RUDBERG FAMILY LIVING ROOM THE RUDBERG FAMILY KITCHEN THE RUDBERG FAMILY OUTDOOR PATIO ALEX NEWMAN IS A WRITER, EDITOR AND RESEARCHER AT WWW.INTEGRITYCOMMUNICATIONS.CA
  32. 32. 30 BUILDER NEWS WENDY SHAMI Have you ever wondered why you were purchasing something that you didn’t really need? I was pondering a similar question on the last trip I made to Canadian Tire with my boyfriend. Let’s get this straight: I was lured there on the pretense that we were replacing the mop head. Next thing I knew, my boyfriend was in the power tool aisle looking longingly at the merchandise. I could tell that he was zeroing in on the cordless drills. “Cordless drills. You gotta be kidding!” My interior critic was screaming. “Wasn’t it just this morning that I put toast in the toaster oven and patiently awaited the perfectly browned twelve-grain bread?” It didn’t toast, and it didn’t take me too long to figure out why. There was a power pack plugged into the toaster oven’s socket, and sitting there on the kitchen counter charging was a cordless drill. One of many, I may add, that I have noticed in odd places around the house and shed. It seems that my boyfriend is not alone; ninety-five percent of our purchase decisions are made deep below the level of waking consciousness. In fact, a multitude of different and oftentimes conflicting emotions are triggered within us when contemplating a purchase. Research data gathered from the relatively new field of Neoroeconomics provides information that helps us to better understand the biological basis for human behavior, including purchasing behavior. When you are engaging in a pleasurable activity, for my boyfriend buying a cordless drill, dopamine is released in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that fuels desire and pleasure. It is the reason my boyfriend looks so happy after he buys another drill he doesn’t need. In the moments after a purchase, dopamine is fired up and any inklings of anxiety or guilt are squelched. Paul Zak, the Director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont University has studied stock traders on Wall Street in an attempt to determine if there are genetic variants that make a trader successful. Dopamine plays an important role as it modulates both reward seeking and risk taking behaviors. The study analyzed saliva samples and other information from professional stock traders and then compared those to Claremont MBA students who were not trading stocks professionally. Zak found that there are indeed genetic differences in these two groups and that there are particular genetic variants that make a trader successful on Wall Street. The most successful traders have genes that give them moderate levels of dopamine. With moderate levels, these traders can take a risk when they predict a good payoff and avoid a risk when it seems likely to blow up in their face. I’m guessing that my boyfriend doesn’t have the genes that give him moderate levels of dopamine given his inability to avoid the risk of me blowing up over the cordless drill purchase. But I didn’t blow up, not outwardly anyway. Why? I suspect my brain was under the effect of oxytocin. Oxytocin was once believed to be released in humans only during sex and childbirth. Rodents, on the other hand, have oxytocin on hand (or paw) and it allows them to tolerate their burrow mates. Zak has dubbed oxytocin “the moral molecule” and states that we have a biology for reciprocation. I feel it’s my duty to inform you that when you trust someone, his or her brain releases oxytocin. When you give a hug to someone, his or her brain releases oxytocin. We are that powerful. The reciprocal effect of oxytocin motivates us to care about and engage with others. Lucky for my burrow mate. The Plane View WHAT’S DRIVING YOUR PERSONAL RATING SYSTEM? CREDIT: JENNIFER BERMAN
  33. 33. BUILDER NEWS I think it’s time to apologize in print to my boyfriend for picking on him and his affinity for power tools. Dopamine does not discriminate between the sexes. I admit, I too am subject to the feel good effects of dopamine. Just follow me into IKEA and watch the process. Our kitchen is full of gadgets and dishtowels in lovely prints. With all the stuff around it’s no wonder it took me awhile to notice the cordless drill on the kitchen counter. There is a difference between men and women. Oh. . . excuse me, I know there are many differences between men and women, but there is one that is relevant to this article: testosterone. Women do have a bit of it but men have a lot of it. The release of oxytocin is inhibited by higher levels of testosterone. Zak’s study found that men that were given testosterone in experiments become more selfish. Additionally, these same men were more likely to punish someone who was selfish towards them. Now there’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Neuroeconomics is providing data that allows one to question the stereotypical view that economists hold of the world. This view describes humans as operating from a place of self-interest and as highly rational. It appears, testosterone aside: that we are in fact wired for cooperation and trust. Think about it. We get on airplanes with pilots whom we have never met and trust we will end up at our destination and not in a Lost episode. We trust strangers in restaurants not to poison us. And, my boyfriend and I trust that we will continue to love and respect each other even when annoyed by power tools and kitchen towels. What does all this this mean? It gives us a lens to help better understand our world and how we organize that world. Paul Zak says that Neuroeconomics lets him “embrace words like morality or love or compassion in a non-squishy way. It says, these are real things, this is really part of our human nature and we should embrace that.” “Neuroeconomics let me embrace words like morality or love or compassion in a non-squishy way. It says, these are real things, this is really part of our human nature and we should embrace that.” - Paul Zak, Director of the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies at Claremont University WENDY SHAMI IS A BETTER BUILDER EDUCATOR & CROSS BORDER CORRESPONDENT 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 ® GreenBuild 8x10 Pstr3_Print.pdf 5/7/12 10:34:54 PM
  34. 34. You can build on BP innovations For more information, visit Insulsheathing Build strength and energy efficiency into your next project with BP’s R-4 Insulsheathing, the strongest, most energy efficient and cost-effective insulation board on the market. R-4 is quickly becoming the first choice for builders, architects and do-it-yourselfers. Here’s why: > Standard size: 1.22 m x 2.74 m x 28.6 mm (4 ft. x 9 ft. x 1 1/8 in.) > Innovative solution to meeting and exceeding the ever-increasing code requirements for insulation > R-4 is a one step process that combines recycled wood fibre and lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation > Stronger structural strength – no bracing required > High insulation value with breathable construction > Excellent acoustic performance > Lightweight, quick and easy to install > Reduces thermal bridging One big panel, two huge advantages
  35. 35. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 33 BUILDER NEWS DOUG TARRY A Better Basement with Underslab Insulation Anyone who’s spent any length of time with me will know just how much I love my Tim Horton’s coffee. But what do you do with all those empty cups once the coffee’s all gone. In my case I have found a use for one particular cup as part of my demonstration on the benefits of sub slab insulation. I conduct a meeting with each client prior to submitting for permit application. During this meeting we discuss the flow of their home, any remaining changes that need to be addressed, heat loss and heat gain, passive solar design and a number of different high performance options. When I review their insulation options, I always have my empty Tim Horton’s cup and an empty thermos sitting on the table this way you don’t have to worry about spilling the coffee during the demo. This is to give the customer a very easy visual reference for our discussion on the physics of heat transfer. If you pick up a thermos filled with hot coffee, you don’t burn your hand. However, if you pick up a hot coffee in a paper cup you feel like your hand is burning. This is the physics of heat transfer. Hot air rises, but heat transfer goes from hot to cold. The reason your hand feels like its burning is the heat from the hot coffee is transferring to your hand which is cooler than the coffee. Think of your home as a thermos, it is well insulated throughout. However, if you think of your basement floor, it’s somewhat like that coffee in the paper cup. You lose heat through your feet into the cold floor, causing you to feel cold, as there is little insulation under the slab. Insulation requirements of basement walls have changed in recent years, going from R12 down 2 ft. below grade to nearly full height or full height insulation. The effect of this is that you are losing far less heat out of your basement wall into the surrounding soil. This is a good thing in the sense that you are not using your home’s heat to warm the surrounding soil. However, it also means that cold migrates underneath your basement floor causing it to be cooler than in homes with greater heat loss through the wall. At Doug Tarry Homes we are strong believers in the benefit of sub-slab insulation. This is not required by the O.B.C., unless you are heating below your basement floor or have a basement floor at grade (such as a walkout). However, if you think about it, this is the only place in your home that does not have insulation. By installing R5 rigid foam insulation underneath the basement slab, we are able to improve your basement floor temperature by about 20 degrees F. This makes the concrete part of the thermal mass of the home and helps to keep you warmer. It does have a long term payback on your home heating bill, but is really about your home comfort. It is also of interest that women typically will feel the cold in a basement more than men, because they have a smaller body mass. This is a generalization, but hey, they don’t call it the man cave for nothing. The coffee cup demonstration that I have described above has enabled us to explain this option to hundreds of clients over the years and we typically sell this option to between 60 and 70 percent of our clients each year. By this simple step of adding sub-slab insulation below the basement floor slab prior to pouring the slab, we significantly improve the comfort level of the basement living space. Sorry fellas, you may have to share the man cave. DOUG TARRY JR., IS THE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT DOUG TARRY HOMES IN ST. THOMAS , ONTARIO.
  36. 36. Fire 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
  37. 37. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 35 BUILDER NEWS The Scotia Bank Energy Calculator When I was asked to write an article for Better Builder Magazine regarding the new EcoLiving Home Energy Savings Calculator (HESC) from Scotiabank, I jumped at the opportunity. Having had a hand in building this free online energy and water savings tool, I knew that the finished product could quickly become a celebrated resource for renovators. When a home is being renovated, it’s a perfect time to suggest energy saving projects. They will pay back the homeowner if done during an existing renovation: • Installing higher efficiency heating and cooling equipment • Upgrading insulation • Installing a drain water heat recovery unit • Adding new high efficiency appliances and lighting SHOW THEM THE MONEY Using the HESC you can show clients how doing an energy retrofit can save them a lot of money while also helping to conserve energy and water. While the projects may cost more money up front, they can pay back the entire renovation cost over time. Why not let the savings in energy and water pay for the new granite counter tops, the upgraded bathroom and the new great room? This may be the best way for you to up-sell your clients to a smarter renovation and a happier result. Designed for existing homes, the EcoLiving HESC shows users in less than 10 minutes a customized energy and water savings plan. The HESC considers where the home is located, the type and age of home and many other factors such as the type and age of heating and cooling systems, and the type of appliances and lighting. The user is provided with an immediate and customized estimate of energy and water upgrades for their home. The HESC not only recommends a list of home energy saving projects, but also shares an estimate of the installation cost and the breakeven point in months. The breakeven is the point is where savings fully offset costs. The recommendations are prioritized based on the breakeven point, making it easy for a homeowner to select the changes that will save the most money now and in the future. When a homeowner has completed a calculation using the HESC, a printed report of the recommendations helps them plan their future renovations and upgrades. CRAIG BACKMAN
  38. 38. 36 BUILDER NEWS SEAL THE DEAL WITH A HOME ENERGY AUDIT As a follow-up to using the EcoLiving HESC, we recommend homeowners have a home energy assessment completed by a certified Home Energy Auditor. A detailed audit of their home will improve the accuracy of the estimates and help a homeowner refine their energy retrofit plans. A local Home Energy Auditor can also provide important insights on local contractors and service providers. A link on the EcoLiving HESC leads to the SHF website where we offer guidance on how to find a Home Energy Auditor. If a homeowner needs help with financing their investment, Scotiabank offers a number of excellent solutions that are available through links from the website. BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Scotiabank EcoLiving partnered with Sustainable Housing Foundation (SHF), a non-profit Canadian organization, in October 2011, becoming one of the Foundation’s key sponsors. The Scotiabank EcoLiving mandate is to help Canadians save energy and money by making green choices at home. This mandate dovetails seamlessly with the Sustainable Housing Foundation mission: to work with new home builders, renovators, academia, government and directly with homeowners to continuously increase the number of sustainable homes in Canada. CRAIG BACKMAN IS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE SUSTAINABLE HOUSING FOUNDATION The EcoLiving HESC is already in use by homeowners participating in Enbridge’s “Know Your Energy Score” Community Energy Retrofit program being piloted in Markham, Ontario (www.markham.knowy- It will also be a cornerstone of the Sustainable Housing Foundation’s future community energy retrofit programs (stay tuned for details). You can learn more about the SHF by visiting our website at You can learn more about EcoLiving and use the calculator at
  39. 39. ISSUE 03 | FALL 2012 PAGE TITLE Features 30Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia. Trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia. Save money and the environment at Your home has an impact on the environment.
  40. 40. 34 PAGE TITLE FeaturesIt’s FREE for builders. A Drain Water Heat Recovery system reclaims water heat that is lost down the drain – reducing energy use and saving your homeowners money. With a retail value of $600, you can get these units for free – for a limited time only. Reduce water heating costs by up to 40% Reuse heat energy which is good for the environment Easy to install and maintenance free Install a Drain Water Heat Recovery system in your new homes. It’s an energy-efficient measure your customers can see and feel. Contact your Enbridge Channel Consultant for more information. Call: 1-877-736-1503 Email: