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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 09 / Spring 2014

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 09 / Spring 2014

  1. 1. IN THIS ISSUE »» North Star Homes – A Shining Star in Markham »» HVAC for Multi Unit Residential Buildings »» Tool for Residential Wall Design »» Exploring Alternative Housing Forms »» Options for Homes- Creates More Affordable Homes »» Six Storey Wood is Coming to Ontario BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA CHANGING FORM RESIDENTIAL HOUSING THE OF
  2. 2. A b r e a t h o f f r e s h a i r . MAX SERVICE All mechanical and electrical components are accessible from the front of the unit. Heating coil and fan/motor slide out for easy service. One of the most extensive warranties in the business:1-year parts & labour,2-years on parts only,where applicable. MAX COMFORT With the increased efficiency of this optional Electronically Commuted Motor (ECM), homeowners will be free to cycle air continuously with a minimal increase in electricity cost. Continuous fan operation helps improve filtration,reduce temperature variations,and helps keep the air clear of dust and allergens – making your customers’ homes more comfortable. Mini Ducted Hi-Velocity Air Handling System Optional Prioritizing of Comfort Levels with Energy Savings MAX SPACE SAVER The MAXAIR fan coil is so compact that it fits anywhere:laundry room,attic,crawl space,you can even place it in a closet. It can be installed in new or existing homes. It takes less than 1/3 of the space of a conventional heating and air conditioning unit. MAX ENERGY SAVINGS Energy savings,temperature control and comfort levels are achieved in individual levels of the home by prioritizing the requirements.This is achieved by installing optional space thermostats. If any area calls for heating or cooling, the individual thermostat allows the space it serves to achieve optimum comfort and still maintain continuous air circulation throughout the home. This method of prioritizing is a great energy savings measure while offering an increased comfort level to the home owner. FLEXAIRTM DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM MAX FLEXIBILITY The supply outlets can be placed in the wall, ceiling or floor. Each unit has four choices of locations for the return air connections. The FLEXAIR™ insulated 2½" supply duct will fit in a standard 2"x 4" wall cavity. Can be mounted for vertical or horizontal airflow. Can be combined with humidifiers,high efficiency air cleaners or ERVs / HRVs. Snap-together branch duct and diffuser connections. MAX ELECTRICAL SAVINGS ECMs are ultra-high-efficient programmable brushless DC motors that are more efficient than the permanently split capacitor (PSC) motors used in most residential furnaces.This is especially true at lower speeds used for continuous circulation in many new homes. 1-800-453-6669 905-951-0022519-578-5560613-966-5643 416-213-1555 877-254-4729905-264-1414 For distribution of Air Max Technologies products call www.airmaxtechnologies.com209 Citation Drive, Units 5&6, Concord, ON L4K 2Y8, Canada
  3. 3. FEATURE STORY 16 North Star Homes – A Shining Star in Markham BY ALEX NEWMAN INSIDE THIS ISSUE 02 Publisher's Note: Form and Function BY JOHN GODDEN 03 Is Affordability a Goal or an Objective? BY LOU BADA 04 Straight From the Hart: Is the Future As Good As It Used to Be? BY LEN HART 06 Multi-family HVAC Opportunities BY GORD COOKE 08 New Online Tool For Residential Wall Design BY MICHAEL LIO 10 Saugeen First Nation Form Does Follow Function with Low-Energy Buildings BY LEN HART 13 Exploring Alternative Housing Forms – Whole Village BY AARON KOTHIRINGER 22 Options for Homes – Creating More Affordable Homes BY TRACY HANES 26 Sustainable Housing Foundation Event BY JORDAN LANE 31 Is Wood Good? You Bet! – Six-Storey Wood Is Coming to Ontario BY DOUG TARRY BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source 1 16 ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 3 6 22
  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 EDITORIAL@BETTERBUILDER.CA 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 THIS MAGAZINE BRINGS TOGETHER PREMIUM PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS AND LEADING BUILDERS TO CREATE BETTER, DIFFERENTIATED HOMES AND BUILDINGS THAT USE LESS ENERGY, SAVE WATER AND REDUCE OUR IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT. PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission 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 Form and Function Years ago while attending urban planning school at the University of Waterloo, I learned of American architect Louis Sullivan. In 1896, while designing one of the first tall office buildings/skyscrapers, he coined the phrase “form ever follows function.” This principle suggests the shape of a building or object is based upon its intended function or purpose. The physical form of post-war housing was very simple. The 1950s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)-planned home housed an average of 3.37 people, where each member had roughly 297 sq. ft. of living area. The increased use of automobiles affected the urban form and it began to sprawl. By 1975 suburban bungalows increased in size to 1050 sq. ft. Fast-forward to the year 2010. The average Canadian home was 1950 sq. ft., according to a Globe and Mail report written by Ben Rabidoux. The Globe report also indicates while floor areas were increasing, the average number of residents was in decline. In 1971 there were 3.5 people per household. This number declined to 2.5 in 2010 giving each person 780 sq. ft. of living space. CBC News Canada gives us interesting information. Currently in Toronto this trend is reversing as more first- time buyers can only afford condos that average in size of 2 bedrooms and approximately 829 sq. ft. The Places to Grow Act of 2005 was intended to direct and manage growth through land use planning, optimizing existing infrastructure and maximizing government investment. The unintended consequence has been escalating land costs due to a shortage of developable land. Moving toward urban core intensification begins to transform housing form. Single-family homes are expensive to build and service, whereas sky-high condos allow for maximum yield on a relatively small footprint. It seems the effort to control lateral development has resulted in vertical sprawl. What we seem to be lacking is a balance that the scale of buildings provides. I really noticed the impact of building scale on a trip a few years back to Copenhagen. Residential buildings are up to six storeys high and in close proximity to work and play. These buildings are a great example of a housing form that strikes a balance between density and quality of life, affordability and efficiency, community and development. In this issue of Better Builder, we showcase Canada’s largest LEED-certified project built by North Star Homes. All 78 units were awarded LEED silver certification. The finished product is a shining example of how integrated design and informed project management and execution can be achieved. Jordan Lane reports on the Sustainable Housing Foundation’s dinner event where representatives of North Star proudly received the first LEED certificate for the development. In his regular column, Lou Bada explores the differences between goals and objectives as they apply to the building industry. Doug Tarry proudly announces that six-storey wood frame construction is coming to Ontario. This is a building form that is truly functional. And last but not least, Len Hart challenges us with his article “Is the Future As Good As It Used to Be?” I’ll let you decide. Happy reading. JOHN GODDEN
  5. 5. BUILDER NEWS 3 Is Affordability A Goal or an Objective? The distinction between a goal and an objective is not a matter of semantics. I learned early in my career from a great mentor to distinguish between the two. Simply put, goals are ideals we strive toward, but are distant and not yet possible. Objectives are the achievable and reasonable things we plan and design for today. Public policy sets many laudable goals for our industry, but rarely assigns them an order of magnitude the way you would if you were looking at objectives. In fact, they are often contradictory. Governments may set goals, but industry must deal with objectives. Bridging the gap reveals a necessary tension that should inspire creativity. Stated public policy goals of intensification (curbing urban sprawl), coupled with environmental conservation and sustainability through the implementation of the Greenbelt, demonstrate what happens when you believe goals are objectives without dealing with them as such. Artificially constraining the supply of land has resulted in intensification in the GTA, but has also led to our industry being criticized for vertical sprawl – the building of tall buildings to make housing more affordable. Affordability is another stated public policy goal. Make no mistake. One of our industry’s objectives is to make homes affordable. To be sure, we are trying to increase the size of our addressable market and this is not for some higher purpose, though it does serve one – housing is a basic necessity. Every additional dollar spent on a roof over someone’s head is one less dollar spent in the wider economy. A healthy and vibrant economy produces all the things we take for granted. The high cost of housing affects the most vulnerable the most. The land supply imbalance created has helped drive land prices into the stratosphere. Higher low-rise density targets have forced builders to build more attached and semi-detached homes. This category of housing traditionally deemed as starter homes has become an orphaned product. They are now too expensive to be considered a starter home, and are also not in demand by move up buyers looking for more space for a growing family and who have an existing home to sell. We are paradoxically building homes that few can either afford or otherwise want. Compact and complete new developments presuppose density to make rapid transit and commercial and employment land uses viable. This denser form of low-rise housing must be affordable to work. Homebuilders have helped champion the push for the approval of six-storey wood frame construction with mixed results so far. At the moment, this seems the most likely way we can move forward on creating an affordable product that addresses many concerns. It will be essential that those who have jurisdiction take a holistic view of development and the benefits accrued by more affordable housing – environmental, social and economic. Some other policy goals may need to be tempered for the cause. Life and safety concerns are paramount and need to be carefully and objectively considered. It must be recognized that without some concessions from all stakeholders, affordable housing will be a goal that never becomes an objective. ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 LOU BADA LOU BADA IS THE CONSTRUCTION & CONTRACTS MANAGER FOR STARLANE HOMES
  6. 6. 4 Straight From The Hart IS THE FUTURE AS GOOD AS IT USED TO BE? How we see the future strongly affects how we deal with the present. When asked to consider the future of green home building for this issue, it struck me that the collective future most people envision for the industry does not seem as positive as it once appeared. In the early days of the Energy Star program, many medium-sized builders embraced the idea of improving their product beyond what the code required to sell energy savings and quality improvements to customers. Since then, I assumed that market-driven opportunity would continue to dominate our visions of the future of green building in Ontario. But, that may be a wrong assumption. At a recent Sustainable Housing Foundation event, I was seated at a table with a veteran old-school builder who was perplexed at how builders can meet the new Energy Star standard and still make any money on the home. This perspective I have heard many times before. My friend Lou Bada, who writes for this magazine, is a champion of this sort of site-level realism, and it’s no secret that production home builder margins are quite slim. However, what I did find interesting was the resignation with which this builder approached the Energy Star standard and coming code changes, not as a positive opportunity, but as a negative inevitability. The Ontario Building Code has now become the dominant driver shaping future insulation levels, HVAC efficiency, water and appliance efficiency, and electrical load levels in new homes. BUILDER NEWSBUILDER NEWS LEN HAR T 2017 ONTARIO BUILDING CODE SB-12 FUTURE REQUIREMENTS
  7. 7. 5 For this builder the future is not as good as it used to be. He is facing a challenge, not with an eye to market innovation as previous builders have, but with a resigned sense of mandatory compliance. While it’s clear he is not a “believer” in the green agenda, he is a builder who wants to continue to make his business successful and profitable by offering customers what they want. For him the future of green building is not motivated by consumers seeking better quality and better energy savings. Rather, his future was one of unwilling compliance to regulators, and added cost demands that stifle sales and evaporate profits. Not an inspiring picture. The actual future is unknowable, but what our vision of what that future will look like and how it inspires our activities in the present can vary significantly. So, what can a builder do to turn a negative-looking future into a positive one? I think the innovators will always find a reason to see the future in a positive way, but innovation is a more risky path than compliance. The challenge is to lead your market toward innovation by letting people know what is possible, rather than waiting for them to ask. Innovation for affordability is the key driver behind energy conservation, but more needs to be done to make upfront costs more palatable. Better building envelopes are a builder’s real lasting legacy in a way better HVAC can never match because they last so much longer. I think consumers are beginning to embrace two-way smart connections to power utilities, smart appliances, and smart home mechanicals that are internet connected, greater density and better quality of construction (including the greater precision of prefabrication). The code may make the future of green building more predictable, but it does not have to make it less inspiring or innovative. ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 BUILDER NEWS LENARD HART IS THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR AT GREENSAVER A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON RESIDENTIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. HE WAS ONE OF THE DEVELOPERS OF THE ENERGY STAR FOR NEW HOMES PROGRAM IN ONTARIO AND THE FORMER PUBLISHING EDITOR OF SUSTAINABLE BUILDER MAGAZINE.
  8. 8. BUILDER NEWS 6 In previous articles we have highlighted the compelling opportunities now available to high performance home builders regarding downsizing of heating and cooling systems. You can imagine the opportunity in multifamily buildings (low rise and high rise), with fewer outside walls and ceilings is even more pronounced. In fact, it can be a challenge to find appropriate, cost-effective HVAC systems for multifamily suites that meet the lists of expectations from builders, developers, homeowners and the condo boards that represent them. These lists may include at least the following: Many of these items seem to be in direct conflict with each other. For example, resolving the desire for each individual suite to have its own separately metered HVAC system while minimizing the costs and number of penetrations for vents, meters and service lines. The chart below is a quick summary of HVAC loads in an 800 sq. ft. two-bedroom suite in Southern Ontario. Notice how the ventilation load is bigger than the simple conduction heat loss in at least interior units, and ventilation load is a significant summer load as well. Note too the cooling loads are larger than heating loads, and the significant variation in cooling loads based on orientation exposure of even moderate glass areas with full shading of the windows. This quick analysis hints at a change in focus when designing ventilation systems. For example, since the mid-1960s multiunit residential buildings with common corridor entries were equipped with corridor ventilation systems and in-suite, or central, bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans to meet ventilation needs. In theory, corridor ventilation systems provided fresh air indirectly to individual suites, and created a positive pressure in hallways to control odours and provide some measure of smoke control in hallways in case of fire. However, research by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed this ventilation strategy is neither effective nor efficient, undermines smoke and fire control strategies, and does not provide predictable apartment ventilation. Highlights of these studies concluded that up to 30% of the corridor ventilation air never makes it into individual suites. Moreover, this outdated central ventilation strategy offered no opportunity for energy recovery from exhaust air appliances. The research results and comprehensive energy load calculations has prompted leading multifamily builders to switch to two complementary strategies. First, compartmentalize suites by enhancing the air sealing measures already in place for water Multi-family HVAC Opportunities GORD COOKE BUILDER / DEVELOPER LIST HOMEOWNER / CONDO BOARD LIST Minimize space usage and bulkheads Very low noise, both internal & from neighbors Minimize penetrations / vents to outside Odour control, both internal & from neighbors Meet fire and smoke control separation requirements Assign HVAC operation fees directly to suite owners – lower common fees Optimize equipment and servicing costs Minimize common maintenance fees Match the requirements for taller, more complicated, tighter, better insulated buildings with far more glass Optimize operational costs END UNIT UPPER FLOOR MIDDLE UNIT MIDDLE FLOOR Envelope Heat Loss (BTUs/Hr / kW) 6,050 BTUs/Hr or 1.8 kW 2,870 BTUs/Hr or 0.84 kW Cooling (BTUs/Hr / kW) West facing unit North facing unit 7,044 BTUs/Hr / 2.1 kW 5,510 BTUs/Hr / 1.63 kW 5,408 BTUs/Hr / 1.6 kW 3750 BTUs/Hr / 1.1 kW Ventilation (BTUs/Hr / kW) Winter Summer 3,465 BTUs/Hr / 1 kW 1485 BTUs/Hr / 0.44 kW 3,465 BTUs/Hr / 1 kW 1485 BTUs/Hr / 0.44 kW
  9. 9. intrusion and smoke control, and weatherstripping suite entry doors, and second by providing individual energy recovery fresh air ventilation (ERVs) in each suite. These two strategies, air sealing emphasis and stand-alone ERVs, simultaneously help control the significant stack effects in tall buildings, reduce odour and noise concerns, reduce overall peak load demands (specifically cooling tonnage) on the building and offload ventilation control and consumption to suite owners. The air sealing techniques are similar to those used in low-rise construction with a specific emphasis on party walls and walls adjacent to common corridors. The application of ERVs in multifamily buildings and specifically in mid- and high-rise buildings does require special considerations. Equipment, while needing to be compact enough to fit in ceiling spaces or small closets, does have to have special fans to provide consistent airflows in spite of significant seasonal and even day-to-day building pressure changes due to wind and temperature stack effects. For example, in low-rise buildings ERVs with static pressure capabilities of 0.3” to 0.4” static pressure are sufficient. In high-rise applications, static pressure capabilities that provide consistent airflows between 0.2” and 0.8” static pressure are required. Another significant consideration is the location and style of exterior vents for the ERV. Specifically, air intakes must be able to avoid water intrusion without restricting airflow and, of course, meeting the aesthetic needs of the architect. In this regard, Venmar Ventilation worked with building science specialists to create a side-by-side flush-mount vent termination able to meet the same water intrusion standards as windows. In future articles we will explore air conditioning and heating options to match the small but variable loads in high performance multifamily buildings. However, in the short term designers and builders should recognize the great opportunities for new ventilation strategies that complement the advancements in building envelope air tightness with systems that increase homeowner satisfaction while reducing overall energy consumption and capital equipment costs. 7 BUILDER NEWS ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 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 GORD COOKE IS THE PRESIDENT OF BUILDING KNOWLEDGE CANADA SIDE BY SIDE, INTAKE AND EXHAUST VENT FOR A HIGH RISE ERV THAT MEETS ALL WATER INTRUSION AND FIRE RATINGS REQUIRED BY CODES.
  10. 10. New Online Tool For Residential Wall Design The Canadian Wood Council has created an interactive website that enables you to explore options, compare features, and determine the exact wall assembly that can perform across the range of Canadian climates. For the first time as an online format, the Wall Thermal Design Calculator offers the information builders, architects, trades, and building officials need to quickly access the suitability of wall assemblies for low-rise housing. It provides designers with prescriptive wall assembly solutions through an interactive online portal. The website, developed by buildABILITY Corporation together with the assistance of Building Knowledge Canada Inc. and Christopher Timusk, currently contains over 150 wall assemblies. Each assembly includes a hygrothermal and energy analysis. The new CWC tool includes an electronic catalogue of assembly components, energy and thermal performance, and notes that address ease of construction, affordability, aesthetics and potential moisture concerns. The tool provides wall thermal design information regarding compliance with the energy efficiency requirements of the National Building Code of Canada. Wall assemblies are included that are built with: • 2x4, 2x6, and 2x8 studs • R19, R22, R24, and R28 batt insulation • expanded and extruded polystyrene, mineral wool insulation and OSB (oriented strand board) sheathing • brick or vinyl cladding, and • light- and medium-density spray-foam cavity insulation. More assemblies will be developed in 2014 to include plywood sheathing and other cladding types. This image is an example of one of the assemblies. The interactive online portal allows builders, architects, building officials, and other housing professionals to access the information from their offices, a meeting or even on-site. It represents a new form of reference material for the construction industry. An advisory committee comprised of housing and building envelope experts provided guidance and many insights during the development of the online tool. The Wall Thermal Design Calculator can be found on the CWC website: thermal-design= MICHAEL LIO MICHAEL LIO IS PRESIDENT OF BUILDABILITY CORPORATION, MICHAEL@BUILDABILITY.CA BUILDER NEWS 8
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. BUILDER NEWS 10 BUILDER NEWS Saugeen First Nation FORM DOES FOLLOW FUNCTION WITH LOW-ENERGY BUILDINGS About a half hour west of Owen Sound, in an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Huron, is not where you would expect to find some of the most advanced low-rise green building in Canada. Eight low-income rental townhouses were constructed on the Saugeen First Nation Reserve by the band’s building agency. From lofty goals a set of practical objectives and execution has resulted in success at Saugeen First Nation. The goal of the most efficient housing form using the least amount of materials for roughly 24 residents was realized. The 8-plex shares walls and reduces exposed exterior walls by over 25%. On the coldest day of the year, polar vortex aside, 9600 sq. ft. of living space only requires 62,570 BTUs/hr to maintain an interior temperature of 72° F. Homes a third of the size built to current codes would exceed this demand for only 2 or 3 people. This row townhouse housing form also allows for maximized exposed roof area for solar electric, solar air and hot water energy generation. Just recently under the Ontario Power Authority Feed-in Tariff program (OPA FIT), the development installed 10 kW of solar photovoltaic panels (PV). At 54.9 cents per kWh, the income of $7500 from selling the electricity generated by the solar PV will cover the electric heating costs of $6694 (calculated at a cost of 12 cents per kWh). Currently, Saugeen is undertaking occupant education as plug loads are exceeding space and hot water heating costs are estimated at $6927. Chief Randall Kahgee Jr. said the band wanted to take a leadership position on green building, not just within the on-reserve housing community, but with conventional off-reserve homes. They also had much broader goals than building green. “We are not just building houses here. We are creating jobs through our Youth Employment and Training Centre, and we are producing healthy, affordable homes for families to live in,” Kahgee explained. The key to the project’s conservation claims is its building envelope. With triple-paned windows, insulated concrete-form foundation walls, near R50 above-grade walls, straightforward design, no thermal bridging and extreme air tightness, the buildings are reminiscent of German passive houses. The walls are made with 11” studs, basically a 2x6 joined to a 2x3, but separated by 3” of rigid insulation, providing a nonengineered stick-framed wall with an 11” cavity on 24” centres. Housing director Ron Root chose to upgrade to two layers of R22 Roxul batts in the 24”-wide cavities and sheath the building with insulated wallboard. “This is an affordable housing project and we are building on a very tight budget, but Roxul, Uponor, VanEE, Enerworks and SolarSheet all stepped up to make sure we were able to build these LEN HAR T INSTALLATION OF PHOTOVOLTAIC PANELS ON THE ROOF – 10 KW REQUIRED FOR NET ZERO EXPANDED WALL CAVITY R-45 +WALL PROVIDES THERMAL BREAK, INCREASED LEVELS OF INSULATION, ALLOWS INSTALLATION OF SERVICES WITHOUT CREATING AIR VOIDS IN INSULATION
  13. 13. BUILDER NEWS homes with the industry’s most advanced materials,” Root said. The band’s building crews are R-2000 certified and have built energy-efficient homes in the past, so were prepared to build to high levels of air tightness and open to addressing thermal bridging issues. Saugeen First Nation set up a mini-assembly plant for this project. The studs were built by local workers on the reserve. The project had some planning support from the Sustainable Housing Foundation, who did an integrated design charette with all key trades and players to redesign the HVAC system to deal with such low levels of heat loss. The middle units had a designed heat loss of less than 7000 BTUs, so low that a typical furnace would be ridiculously oversized. Additionally, the homes are off the natural gas grid, so the heating fuel had to be propane, wood or electric. Electricity was the most affordable and reliable heating solution, because of an innovative method of off-peak storage that works in combination with solar panels. With the support of Hydro One, CMHC, and Uponor, dense-looped radiant tubing was added to the overpoured crawlspace slabs to provide an off-peak thermal heat sink for the homes’ electric hot water tanks to charge at night. Additionally, solar air panels were used to feed warm air into the fully ducted heat recovery ventilator (HRV) system. Project manager Derek Laronde, CEO of Aboriginal Building Construction Services Inc., is looking to promote this kind of high-efficiency, healthy home construction to other local governments and builders. “We are dealing with families who often do not have much in the way of disposable income, so whatever we can do to lower their utility costs and improve their living conditions we need to consider, and in this case we are also lowering their environmental footprint, and providing them with homes that are among the most energy efficient in the country,” Laronde said. The homes have been officially rated, achieving an EnerGuide rating of 86 on exterior and 87 on interior units. When solar PV panels are added, it is likely these homes will be near net zero. ALSOAVAILABLE INR9&R11 Introducing Amdry, the only insulated channels. C onnecter System LENARD HART IS THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR AT GREENSAVER A NOT-FOR-PROFIT ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON RESIDENTIAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. HE WAS ONE OF THE DEVELOPERS OF THE ENERGY STAR FOR NEW HOMES PROGRAM IN ONTARIO AND THE FORMER PUBLISHING EDITOR OF SUSTAINABLE BUILDER MAGAZINE.
  14. 14. INLINE FIBERGLASS LTD. Let the sun shine in with high or low solar gain and comforting warmth all year round. 42 Hubbard Boulevard | Architect: Van Elslander Carter Architects Inc. [VCA] | Constructor: Lisgar Construction Photo:VanElslanderCarterArchitectsInc.[VCA] member/membre 1.866.566.5656 INLINE FIBERGLASS LTD.can help your clients meet their energy and thermal performance targets in most cases without the use of special designs or expensive glass options. Call us to discuss your next project and find out why our windows are chosen often for LEED designs, Passive Homes, Healthy Homes, Health Centers, Hospitals, Schools, Fire Stations, Hydro Offices, Retirement Homes, Nursing Homes . . .
  15. 15. 13 Nestled within the rolling hills and green pastures of Caledon Township just northwest of Toronto is a small farm known as Whole Village. Built upon the principles of creating a community with a commitment to sustainability and land stewardship, Whole Village is a great example of alternative living and sustainable building practices. It all started over 20 years ago, when a group of parents and supporters of the Waldorf School in Toronto began discussing a plan to buy a piece of rural land outside the city – a place where they could develop their vision of organic farming and sustainable living. Over the next decade obstacles arose that slowed the process, but by the early 2000s the group had found the perfect parcel of land. The property included a four-bedroom brick farmhouse with multiple additions, a large 1800s barn, a steel chicken barn, a tractor barn and a small garage. Despite some early local resistance the 200-acre property was purchased in 2002. Two years later the main living complex was completed. Known today as Greenhaven, the 1-storey building covers over 15,000 sq. ft. and has 11 individual units of varying size, from 1 to 3 bedrooms. The common areas (kitchen, dining, living room and recreation area) are the bulk of the building with each individual living quarter spread around the building’s perimeter. Residents have the luxury of socializing, eating, cooking and cleaning together, but also the option to retreat to their unit for peace and quiet. “My quality of life has definitely improved,” said Mairy Beam, who moved from Toronto in 2002. “I like being embedded in community. We have a shared vision, we are all environmentally conscious and working to live together in harmony.” Dubbed “a farmhouse for the 21st century” by its architect Denis Bowman, Greenhaven incorporates many facets of sustainability in its design. The building is 1 level, set on a 20cm-thick structural thermal floating slab with a perimeter grade beam of concrete as its foundation. The walls were built using structural insulated panels and have an insulation value of R40. Passive solar lighting and heating through large bay windows and skylights provide the majority of ambient light and heat. Additional heating and cooling is supplied by electrically powered ground source geothermal heat pumps, which take heat or cold (depending on the season) from the ground and feed it to the in-floor hydronic radiating system. The main living room also has a masonry heater fireplace that disperses heat throughout the common areas and corridors for about 12 hours per bushel of wood. Ventilation is supplied by a Life- breath HRV (heat recovery ventilator) that operates at 1,200 cu. ft. per minute. High efficiency appliances as well as low flow toilets can be found in the complex, which empty into septic beds and a biological wastewater treatment system that uses engineered wetlands. Nontoxic paints were used on interior and exterior walls. Just recently a solar hot water heating system was integrated, which takes water from the well and heats and collects it for everyday use. The system consists of 10 collectors, one 600-gal. unpressurized tank, one 120-gal. pressurized tank with an electric element and two 120-gal. pressurized tanks with no electric element. The solar energy heats the 120-gal. pressurized tank with the electric element. A pump AARON KOTHIRINGER INDUSTRY NEWS Exploring Alternative Housing Forms -Whole Village IT TAKES PEOPLE TO BUILD A COMMUNITY ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014
  16. 16. 1414 then circulates this heat to the other two 120-gal. tanks. The 600-gal. storage tank is used as a heat dump and to preheat the water from the well, dispersing the heat from the solar collectors at lower temperatures. Organic farming is another important aspect of Whole Village. They produce a large amount of organic vegetables, a percentage of which is doled out amongst members while the rest is taken to market and sold. There are a dozen or so chickens that produce eggs for both members and the market that roost in the big colonial barn. For Brenda Dolling, a member since 2001, Whole Village offered her the opportunity to live a much more sustainable lifestyle removed from the urban sprawl that saw her rural home encroached upon “I finally feel like I am ‘walking the talk,’ ” she said. “I spend time growing and sharing food, I get lots of exercise working on the farm. I am learning so much about farming, preserving and community development.” Her enthusiasm for community and green living is shared by all members of Whole Village, who hope the example they have set will inspire and encourage others to find ways to live their lives in harmony with one another and the natural world. For more information about Whole Village, volunteer opportunities, membership and educational programs, you can find them on the web at AARON HAS BEEN A FREELANCE WRITER/JOURNALIST FOR THE PAST TEN YEARS. HE HAS WORKED FOR SEVERAL COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS INCLUDING THE EAST YORK OBSERVER
  17. 17. 17ISSUE 07 | FALL 2013 Features rHVCA ResidentialHeatingVentilation ContractorsAssociation | | 905-264-9967 heart The of your home Don’t leave the health of your home’s most valuable asset to chance. Trust only a RHVCA member to design, install and service your heating, cooling and ventilation system. Our members represent the highest standards of training, certification, and expertise in the HVAC industry.
  18. 18. 18 Features BUILDER NEWS 16 North Star Homes A Shining Star in Markham BY ALEX NEWMAN To date, one of the largest LEED for homes certification projects in Ontario is located in our back yard - in Markham's Old Kennedy Rd. area. Developed and built by North Star Homes, and certified by Clearsphere, the project of 78 stacked luxury townhouses is currently sold out. The journey for North Star Homes, which recently received an award from the local chapter of Canada Green Building Council, which runs the LEED for homes program, began in 2006 when they purchased the site. HAZEL FARLEY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CANADA GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL PRESENTS THE LEED CERTIFICATE TO NORTH STAR REPRESENTATIVES TONI PRIORI AND PHIL CALVANO
  19. 19. 17ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 Two challenges faced them as they prepared the site, which lies north of Steeles Ave. on Old Kennedy Rd. – complying with the city’s secondary plan required medium density on the site as well as a mixed commercial-residential use component, and a requirement to build to LEED silver. If a developer wants to increase a site’s density, they must build to LEED silver. And since most project sites in Markham are in designated low-density areas, it’s pretty much a given that new developments must build to that LEED specification. The requirement isn’t an arbitrary one, says senior urban planner Marina Haufschild. It’s because of increased pressure on available land, and specifically on the sewage capacity limitations in York Region, which are currently being upgraded. North Star didn’t view the LEED requirement as a challenge, but rather as an opportunity to continue with green initiatives it started some years ago. The company began in 1990, but its president Frank Dodaro has been building mostly low-rise homes since the 1970s. “The company has always promoted sustainable building practices,” says marketing manager Phil Calvano. “The timing is now right for builders to improve their green energy practices. Not only is the buying public aware of, and willing to embrace energy efficiency, but costs are at their lowest yet. That’s partly because of low interest rates, and partly because the demand for green technology has increased supply. But it’s also that the technology has improved so significantly that it’s possible to build even higher levels of energy efficiency into a project for less cost.” And while buyers want to do the right thing for energy efficiency, “They also don’t want to spend huge amounts of money, so it’s up to the developer to build in energy efficiency from the outset,” Calvano says. “Although energy efficiency costs a little more for a whole project, the cost spread out over all the units is such a slight price increase that it’s not noticed.” During the sales process customers are educated about the sustainable features, “putting them at ease that they’re buying a good quality, energy-efficient home,” Calvano adds. Improved green technology and its lower costs have also made it easier for builders to go green. John Beresford, FEATURE STORY STACKED UNITS AND PRIVATE ENTRANCES INCREASE DENSITY WHILE ALLOWING FOR EASY ACCESS BY OCCUPANTS
  20. 20. architect for the Pacific Villas project, points out, “The availability of very efficient heating and cooling systems, modern building materials and products, and more care in construction [makes] it not difficult to achieve this standard. Conventional exterior materials (brick, stone) and exterior design are not affected at this level of energy efficiency for residential construction. You can still have pretty and pretty efficient.” Recent Ontario Building Code (OBC) changes have increased standards on green building, he adds. “Most of the energy efficiency achieved is through building envelope technology, building material and product improvements, efficient interior climate control and energy-efficient appliances. It would be challenging to go beyond the current requirements and methods of measuring energy efficiency in single buildings to an application of energy efficiency in communities with net zero-energy buildings.” Years ago buyers didn’t understand what any of this meant, Calvano says, “but they’ve become so much more educated as to what goes on in their homes.” Working with a certified energy advisor – Clearsphere president John Godden – North Star mostly targeted mechanical elements in their LEED list. As construction got underway items were added or dropped as they became more feasible or not, says North Star’s project manager Tony Priori. Although the company has long practised sustainable building methods – waste diversion of construction materials, soil erosion controls, recycling construction materials, advanced framing and water conversion – Pacific Villa’s list is even more rigorous: • Insulation: roof R50, walls R24, basement wall R20 and exposed floors R31 • Ice and water shield (6 feet) from edge of eaves, 30-gauge steel at all valleys and rubber flashing at all penetrations • Complete air barrier between attic and conditioned space, and all penetrations sealed • Energy-efficient windows and doors • Pest management control features • Low-flow water consumption plumbing fixtures • Drain-water heat recovery pipe with insulation • Individually controlled AIRMAX high-velocity fan coil unit with electronically commutated motor (ECM) and measured efficiency reporting value (MERV) 10 filter, integrated with EnviroSense gas-fired hot water heater provides heating, cooling and domestic hot water at 90% efficiency • Energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to provide fresh air with dehumidification control, with exhaust ducting to all bathrooms. (While rare to have ERV connected to bathrooms, it eliminates the need for exhaust fans.) • Testing to ensure capacity of the ERV system • Install drain pans to capture leaks under water heaters • Refrigerant type: R-410a (eco-friendly) 18 PRE DRYWALL INSPECTIONS BY GREEN RATERS ENSURE COMPARTMENTALIZATION THAT REDUCES AIR LEAKAGE, NOISE TRANSMISSION AND INCREASES FIRE SEPARATION BETWEEN UNITS
  21. 21. ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014 • Air seal and pressure test ductwork to minimize leakage (performed on both the air distribution and ventilation systems, and a high-velocity AIRMAX system) • ENERGY STAR appliances • ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light bulbs throughout • Surface water management system – final grade tamped and sloped away from foundation • Third-party energy modelling and air testing of each unit • All units minimum of 10% better than code with a home energy rating (HERS) • Drought-tolerant plants and turf Clearsphere tested each individual townhouse – as opposed to the customary block test – and then demonstrated to the City of Markham building department why it was better than code. When it came to density issues on the site, Priori says they were aware the site was in a medium-density zone, and had stacked townhouses in mind pretty much from the beginning. Land constraints since the province’s Greenbelt policy was implemented in 2005 isn’t news – but it is a reality of doing construction business in the GTA. “With less land to build on and other constraints from MOE (Ministry of the Environment), the conservation authorities and so on, most available developable land … requires remediation or engineered fill or other improvement,” Priori says. “Land has become very expensive, so development feasibility requires more density in our projects. Every other builder is facing this trend in the GTA.” That’s not to say there weren’t some challenges building that kind of density on this size parcel of land (2.8 acres).. “Sound and fire separations required by the building code make it hard to achieve compliance from paper to reality,” Priori says. For example, Godden explains it was challenging to pass air tightness requirements without using spray foam insulation – Roxul had to be used. In residential housing spray foam is allowed, but in stacked towns it’s considered combustible. Pacific Villas is a two-phase project, the first being the 78 stacked towns. The project’s second phase – condo units above 44,000 sq. ft. of commercial ground-level space – will have even more stringent land use. Because the City of Markham’s secondary plan calls for a main street design along Old Kennedy Rd., with a focus on mixed use, commercial on the ground floor and residential above, they will build condo apartments above a commercial ground floor. “It’s quite innovative in this site,” says urban planner Haufschild, “because this is not typical for Markham.” When the city re-examined its official plan and looked at ranges of housing – including an affordable component – one focus was along the Old Kennedy Rd. frontage, Haufschild says. “[Creating mixed use commercial-residential ] in our view is a sustainable development in that it provides commercial close to where people live, plus high walkability with the walking options to get to the park.” The project is also within walking distance to Pacific Mall, a variety of neighbourhood amenities such as schools, community centre and parks, as well as the GO Train station. 19 FEATURE STORY ALEX NEWMAN IS A WRITER, EDITOR AND RESEARCHER AT WWW.INTEGRITYCOMMUNICATIONS.CA
  22. 22. 20 FEATURE STORY IDP a Key to North Star’s Success One of the most important components of LEED is the integrated design process (IDP). This process assures that plans and designs are executed and that systems perform as intended. More than four years ago, North Star’s Cottonlane project in Markham was on the drawing board. Since then, there have been two code changes and the Canadian version of LEED for homes came into play, circa 2009. Due to proactive planning, the mechanical designs did not have to change. More importantly, the integrated design process; working with the architect, mechanical design, builder and HVAC contractor has allowed the homeowner to get a system that is both efficient and works. Proper sizing of equipment, duct-work, and envelope optimization means that the system delivers when it is commissioned. Most residential systems are not balanced properly and leak air. Therefore, not surprisingly, these systems are not operating as designed. Measurement is the key to the design process as a feedback mechanism. A third party checking things via air balancing equipment usually reveals deficiencies that can be used to improve future designs and installations by subtrades. Most current building code inspections are visual checks on plans and do not reveal the true performance of these systems. In past articles, attention has been drawn to this issue regarding air barrier detailing and blower door tests. How airtight is a house? Why not simply measure it, rather than have endless debates about details and building science. Debates and discussions don’t lead to concrete outcomes. The same is true about HVAC systems. Let’s look under the hood and see what the engine is really doing. Unfortunately, the industry’s perception is that all this is too time consuming and expensive. How can it pay for itself when margins are so small for HVAC contractors? LEED encourages integration by offering project merit points to the builder for the certification of the home. In the Cottonlane project in Markham, a total of 15 LEED points were secured towards their LEED-Silver target, based on integrating and measuring mechanical systems. Some of these features, or components, are used by other green rating systems like, Project FutureProof, BuiltGreen and Greenhouse. They can be offered and packaged independently to support the builder’s brand or the municipality’s own sustainability checklist. AWARENESS AND EDUCATION SCORES LEED POINTS AND RESULTS IN HAPPY HOMEOWNERS LEED POINTS FOR HVAC EQ MEASURE COMMENT POINTS 2.2 COMBUSTION VENTING No carbon monoxide 2 3.0 MOISTURE LOAD CONTROL ERV's reduced air conditioning load 1 4.2 ENHANCED VENTILATION HRV/ERV Balanced with energy recovery 2 4.3 THIRD PARTY TESTING Balanced ventilation confirmed 1 5.2 ENHANCED EXHAUST Occupant control/sensor 1 5.3 THIRD PARTY TESTING Verify capacity (IE. Exhaust fan) 1 6.2 RETURN AIR FLOW Verify flows 1 6.3 DISTRIBUTION FORCED AIR Verify delivery and reduce leakage to 20% 2 7.0 AIR FILTERATION MERV RATING #10 filter or better 1 8.1 CONTAMINANT CONTROL Cover vents during construction 1 8.3 PRE OCCUPANCY FLUSH Run ventilation distribution for off gasing 1 EA MEASURE COMMENT POINTS 11 REFRIGERANT MANAGAMENT No HCFC 1 TOTAL POINTS 15
  23. 23. 21 FEATURE STORY AIRMAX Technologies City of Markham Clearsphere Castlemore Electric Donia Aluminum & Roofing Downsview Heating Elitrex Plumbing Enbridge Gas Flanagan Beresford & Patteson Architects Henry Bakor Nelmar Drywall Orin Landscaping Performance Windows Renewability Energy Roxul Canada Inc. Strybos Barron King Landscape Architects Tamarack Lumber VanEE/Air Solutions 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! ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014
  24. 24. BUILDER NEWS 22 For more than two decades, Mike Labbe and Options for Homes, the Toronto-based nonprofit organization he founded, have been putting home ownership within the grasp of thousands of low- to moderate-income individuals and families. Until the early 1990s Labbe used to work in the nonprofit co-operative housing sector, which depended on government subsidies. He saw the need to continue with a similar model when the government cut funding for those projects – and says the Options model could go a long way to solving Ontario’s affordable housing crunch today. Labbe, the nephew of well-known author and social activist June Callwood, started Options for Homes in 1994. Since then, the organization and its affiliates across Canada and abroad have provided ownership opportunities to more than 3,700 households – without reliance on government funding. There are 8 to 10 Options affiliates in Ontario, others in Montreal and Vancouver, and in 5 other countries internationally. In the GTA, Options for Homes sells its condos for 35 to 40 per cent less than comparable units (or at $300 to $350 per sq. ft.), and its Toronto-area builder partner is Deltera, the construction arm of Tridel. Options has completed 9 communities in the GTA, providing homes to more than 2,500 people. Options is able to sell its suites at substantially less cost because it takes a no-frills approach to development. It builds on less expensive peripheral land, keeps marketing costs minimal by using flyers, a website, newsletters, word of mouth and information meetings. It doesn’t build model suites, buy expensive advertising, or include costly condo amenities such as fitness centres or swimming pools. Options defers taking a profit until the homeowner’s unit is resold. That deferred profit accounts for about one-third of the initial cost savings to the purchaser. “We produce housing at a cost way below the norm and no matter what happens in the market, our condo values are more secure,” says Labbe. Labbe says Options for Homes pays market value for its land, and while sites can be expensive in certain Toronto neighbourhoods, reasonably priced property can still be had. “Some of the cheapest land in Ontario is in Scarborough,” he points out. Buyers of the units form a co-operative housing corporation, and hire Options as the development consultant to provide expertise to build the project. Each condo owner has clear title to their individual unit. Options’ sister organization Home Ownership Alternatives (HOA), a nonprofit financial corporation, offers any buyer the opportunity to take the Options Contribution (second mortgage), a loan offered to boost a downpayment by 13 per cent of the purchase price of a suite. The buyer must qualify for the loan, but makes no payments until he or she rents out or sells their suite. The loan appreciates by the same percentage as the resale value of the home and must be paid back in full. The repaid loans go to create new cost-effective homes for other buyers. Since its inception HOA has helped numerous families purchase homes. It began in 1998 when Options for Homes completed Options for Homes CREATING MORE AFFORDABLE HOMES TRACY HANES
  25. 25. Air.Vapour.Water. Ice Nothing gets past Henry. ® Air and Vapour Barrier Waterproofing Roofing Protecting properties – and reputations – for decades Henry’s Building Envelope Systems® provide industry-leading protection from uncontrolled air, vapour and moisture, from foundation to roof. Proven effective in the challenging winters of Canada, our air and vapour barriers, waterproofing and roofing products protect properties from the elements to save energy, prevent damage, extend building life, and create more comfortable and healthy indoor environments. BlueskinVP ® This fully adhered membrane functions not only as a water-resistant barrier and rain barrier, but stops uncontrolled air leakage. performance longevity Blueskin ® WB Seal out air and moisture, and seal in energy and comfort with this self- adhered window and door flashing. infiltration and water damage Blueskin ® WP200 The first choice in sheet applied waterproofing, this self-adhered waterproofing membrane is designed for prepared concrete or masonry substrates, providing a waterproofing barrier for below grade use. lateral water movement increased protection at overlaps www.henrycom Blueskin ® ROOF RF200/RF200LT A self-adhered ice and water barrier,speciallydesignedfor slopedroofsurfacestoprovidea secondaryseal under shingles or tiles. temperature underlayment polyethylene film fasteners Eaveguard Self-Adhered Shingle Underlayment helps prevent leaks from wind-driven rain and ice damming. asphalt and glass fiber mat slip-resistant working surface for ease of application
  26. 26. BUILDER NEWS 24 the 95-unit St. Lawrence Co-operative in the Distillery District and HOA financed second mortgages for the development. Since then, HOA has supported 11 developments (2,350-plus units) in the Greater Toronto Area and Kitchener-Waterloo regions. In 3 recent projects, 75 per cent of homebuyers had annual incomes below $60,000. New Canadians form a significant portion of Options’ buyers. “The immigrant group is our most important client group,” says Labbe. “They are working two to three jobs and will do almost anything to get into a home.” Options’ buildings are built to the same standards and with the same quality as other Tridel condominiums, even though they are substantially lower priced. Take for instance Cranbrooke Village in the Bathurst/Lawrence neighbourhood, where prices for one-bedroom suites started at less than $200,000. Only a few units remain and buyers have just started moving in. The sleek glass tower with large balconies is well served by public transit, and within walking distance to grocery stores, restaurants, shopping and banks. It has a rooftop garden, multipurpose room with kitchen, lounge, library and boardroom, and has a car sharing program. Options’ other current Toronto projects include the Village by Main Station and Danforth Village Estates. Suite prices at both developments start at about $150,000. Options for Homes has incorporated leading green technologies in its buildings since 2006, including solar hot water heating, heat recovery ventilators and timed lighting in underground parking areas that help save on homeowner energy bills. Labbe believes getting those who wouldn't normally be able to afford a home off the rental treadmill is key to easing the need for affordable housing. Currently, the average wait time for rent-geared-to-income housing in Toronto is five years and close to ten years in Peel Region. By using the nonprofit Options model to oversee the development process, surplus profits could be reinvested to address not only housing issues, but larger social issues as well, according to Labbe. “Toronto needs a large-scale permanent housing solution to deal with its increasing population,” he notes.
  27. 27. 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 Housing development generates $25,000 to $40,000 surplus per unit, says Labbe. Nonprofit organizations could generate 5,000 homes per year in Toronto by using the Options model. Labbe says government controls about 150,000 units worth of land in Toronto that could be used to create more affordable housing. “A portion of that land is all that is needed to generate $125 to $200 million a year to begin addressing the housing needs in the city,” says Labbe. “The impediment is directing a portion of the land exclusively to nonprofits and waiting a year and a half to close on the land.” Ownership housing is more cost efficient than building rental housing, he points out. “Certain capital costs are less and operating costs are less than in an ownership building. People take more responsibility for their own units and taxes are less.” For example, in rental buildings landlords must pay for repainting and repairs to units when tenants move out – not the case in ownership buildings. Labbe says ownership housing provides a reward for honesty and penalizes dishonesty, while the opposite is true for social housing. To qualify for mortgages or the Options Contribution downpayment help, it is in Options’ clients’ best interest to show their actual income, while with social rental housing there’s the temptation for people to understate their income to get a lower rent, he points out. And ownership allows those with even modest incomes to gain wealth by building equity. The Options model could be used to allow 50 per cent of Toronto Community Housing tenants to become homeowners, he says. “Home ownership offers pride and security that elevates people to a different level in society, and therefore changes the nature of Toronto. “We could do 20,000 units a year if people would give us support – right now, we barely do 1,000 – and could generate $500 million in mortgage proceeds,” he says. “But we don’t have any policy support in Toronto.” Labbe says Options receives more support outside Canada’s borders and has established an affiliate in Cameroon, Africa and is working to implement its model in Bangladesh, Peru, Colombia and Kenya. BUILDER NEWS TRACY HANES IS A FREELANCE FEATURE WRITER FOR THE LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER IN CANADA AND SEVERAL MAGAZINES. WWW.TRACYHANES.CA 25ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014
  28. 28. BUILDER NEWS BUILDER NEWS Sustainable Housing Foundation Event The Sustainable Housing Foundation’s annual Builder/ Manufacturer dinner on January 28, 2014 was an industry success, bringing together some of Ontario’s best product manufacturers with some of the city’s most prominent builders. During the reception, guests had a chance to examine the manufacturers’ booths while speaking with representatives about their impressive product lines – and some of the great prizes to be won during the night. Presentations from Doug Tarry on right-sized furnaces, John Bell on Project FutureProof and John Godden on the changing EnerGuide rating system provided some food for thought during the evening’s dinner. Amy Burke, sustainable development co-ordinator for the Municipality of Clarington, spoke to the attendees about the future of growth and the official plan. At the core of all these presentations was the emphasis on efficient design and better building practices. Whether it is LEED, ENERGY STAR or the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), people and rating systems are evolving, while the expectations for builders and their products are becoming more demanding. But industry professionals are out there, many of whom were at the dinner, discussing experiences with furnaces, house wraps, rating systems, old and new government programs, and innovative JORDAN LANE 26 THE EVENT WAS WELL ATTENDED BY BUILDERS, MANUFACTURES AND MUNICIPAL REPRESENTATIVES
  29. 29. BUILDER NEWS 27 JORDAN LANE IS A LEED & PROJECT FUTURE PROOF COORDINATOR AT CLEARSPHERE JOHN GODDEN AND JOHN BELL ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SHF - JOVIAL MC’S OF THE EVENT ROD BUCHALTER OF RENEWABILITY ENERGY INC. AND JOHN GODDEN PICK A WINNER projects such as George Brown College/Evergreen Brick’s Applied Research Green Innovation Lab Experience (ARGILE). Tony Priori and Phil Calvano of North Star Homes were on hand to receive recognition for LEED Silver Certification on 78 townhomes as part of the Cotton Lane development. To date this has been the largest LEED for homes project in Canada. Hazel Farley, executive director of the Canada Green Building Council, Greater Toronto Chapter, joined us to help present North Star Homes with recognition of their achievement. With a chance to meet industry associates, learn about the newest products and potential projects, I am sure we will see more Builder/Manufacturer dinners from the Sustainable Housing Foundation in the future. ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014
  31. 31. BUILDER NEWS ELECTRICAL DATA WEIGHT 75K 105K 120K lb / kg 114 / 51,7 138 / 62,6 146 / 66,2 Supply 115 Volts - 60 Hertz - 1 Phase Maximum consumption From 10,53 to 16,19 Amps 40 VA WARM AIR GAS FURNACE DESIGNED, ENGINEERED, AND MANUFACTURED IN CANADA FOR HEATING AND COOLING CANADIAN RESIDENCES Benefits and differentiators Product line features - Single stage Product release schedule Phase I September 2013 - Achieved Phase II Achieved Phase III 15 K 34,29 31,75 27,94 33,02 x 60,96 30 K 34,29 31,75 27,94 33,02 x 60,96 45 K 34,29 31,75 27,94 33,02 x 60,96 60 K 40 37,46 33,02 38,1 x 60,96 75 K 40 37,46 33,02 38,1 x 60,96 105 K 53,34 50,80 38,1 43,18 x 60,96 120 K 53,34 50,80 38,1 43,18 x 60,96 15 k 13 1/2 12 1/2 11 1/4 13 x 24 30 k 13 1/2 12 1/2 11 1/4 13 x 24 45 k 13 1/2 12 1/2 11 1/4 13 x 24 60 k 15 3/4 14 3/4 13 1/4 15 x 24 75 k 15 3/4 14 3/4 13 1/4 15 x 24 105 k 21 20 15 1/4 17 x 24 120 k 21 20 15 1/4 17 x 24 DIMENSIONS (inches) DIMENSIONS ( ) Furnace size Filter Size A Cabinet width B Supply Outlet width C Return Outlet width Furnace size Filter Size A Cabinet width B Supply Outlet width C Return Outlet width 19.08 8.54 0 2.50 5.03 B SUPPLY OUTLET WIDTH A 15.71 33.57 6.76 29,02 24,00 1.09 1.03 6.05 2.66 2.26 0 0.88 2.00 C Returnoutletheight Return outlet width
  32. 32. BUILDER NEWS BP Excel breaks new ground in structural insulation thanks to a membrane that combines air barrier protec- tion, moisture-evacuating breathability, and strength like no other product. And it’s green — made from 98% recycled materials, free of VOCs and ozone-depleting CFCs or HCFCs, and glued together with wheat starch. For homebuilders looking for innovation and value on an exponential scale: Excel is innovative green design, exceptional thermal insulation and structural strength all in one breathable sheathing that delivers outstanding performance with unparalleled strength. WELCOME TO STRUCTURAL INSULATION REINVENTED FOR TODAY’S WORLD — AND A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW. MADE HERE PREFERRED EVERYWHERE NEW!
  33. 33. 31 BUILDER NEWS I love wood. I love the smell of it on the jobsite. I love watching a house being framed. I love the strength, durability and environmental sustainability of using wood. So I have been following the conversation about six-storey wood frame construction with great interest. Over the past year I had the privilege of serving former OHBA president Leith Moore as his past president. And Leith was very interested in the progress of six-storey wood frame construction, which was one of my files. Every time I saw him, Leith asked for an update. I would explain the progress to date, but that it was still not in the Ontario Building Code. I felt progress, while slow, was progress. Not Leith, who kept reminding me, “They have it in B.C. We need it! Get it done!” I think Leith gave me a bit too much credit for my abilities to do so, but I completely agreed with him that the need for six-storey wood is both real and urgent. The good news is six-storey wood is coming. The National Research Council study is nearing completion (they are conducting burn and code research tests for the model National Building Code of Canada). The Ontario government is financially contributing to this research. This should enable six-storey wood frame buildings to be included in the 2015 model National Building Code. OHBA has been actively working on this file as noted from a recent OHBA technical committee update. “OHBA is advocating for the provincial government to amend the Ontario Building Code to allow wood frame buildings to be constructed to a maximum of six storeys to provide more design options for developers while realizing cost savings for new home construction and homebuyers.” The changes to the Ontario Building Code would be similar to changes made to the British Columbia Building Code in 2009, which had an immediate impact on the local economy. With B.C. as a case study, Ontario can expect increased job creation and tax revenue from the addition of new residences, more affordable options for new homebuyers, and a minimized carbon footprint in the construction of these buildings. When I first started working on this file, I really thought of six-storey wood frame construction as being some- thing that would work well in larger municipalities, particularly in older established neighbourhoods, where high-rise construction would not blend with the existing neighbourhood. I didn’t originally see it as applying to small town Ontario. But the more I learned, the more I came to realize the opportunity for small town Ontario might be more significant than in larger centres. ishigh-rise buildings, but a 30-, 40- or 50-unit cost-effective wood frame struc- ture could have wide-ranging appeal. We are so excited about the possibilities that we are now in the process DOUG TARRY Is Wood Good? You Bet! SIX-STOREY WOOD IS COMING TO ONTARIO DOUG TARRY OUTLINING THE 2017 CODE AND RIGHT SIZING AT THE SHF EVENT ISSUE 09 | SPRING 2014
  34. 34. BUILDER NEWS 32 Reliable, Consistent, MaRtinoHeating • air Conditioning • indoor air Quality • HVaC Design www.martinohvac.com1-800-465-5700 ™ developing our own mid-rise project for St. Thomas. It has been quite a journey of discovery so far. We’ve attended seminars and webinars, presentations and code meetings all to better prepare ourselves to bring this project to market. One of the most interesting concepts is panelization. Recently, I had the opportunity, along with my brother Bill and our lead designer Sandy Lale, to watch the roof being installed at the Great Gulf building HOT in Mississauga. It was amazing to see the crane lifting section after section with finishers setting them in place. I later found out the building was being constructed at about a floor per week. This ability to quickly create the structure of the building is one of the greatest benefits for wood frame construction. Another key benefit is the quality control aspects of building in a factory setting where every step is monitored. Our next major challenge has been finding engineering and architectural firms in our area qualified in wood frame design. Many architects would not even return our calls. But we finally did find an architect and an engineer who have years of experience. So it looks like our plans are finally coming into place. From my perspective, it has been an amazing journey so far and I am really looking forward to bringing this product to market. If you are looking for more information on getting started on a mid-rise wood project, a great resource is the Canadian Wood Council. DOUG TARRY JR., IS THE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT DOUG TARRY HOMES IN ST. THOMAS , ONTARIO.
  35. 35. ISSUE 07 | FALL 2013 BUILDER NEWS 33 ] Solar Ready It’s fitting that this edition is dedicated to future proofing. This is a concept that I have been discussing and designing into my homes for many years. Why? Be- cause I believe that rising energy costs over the next generation will continue to make energy efficiency a greater priority for our consumers. As an industry, we continue to build ever more energy efficient homes. However, there is one major challenge that we face: our customers! Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for all of my customers and I hope to build for many more. It’s just that today’s consumer is much more demanding than even a few years ago. They want longer showers with multiple showerheads just like they see on the TV shows; they want their home to be uniformly cool all summer, even with that big bank of windows facing the sun. The expecta- tion of performance is that their utility bill will go down, or at least not change, even though they continue to use their personal car wash (that’s what I call the full body wash shower) and run that AC right through the day. At some point in our customers’ future their thoughts will change from conserva- tion to generation. That’s where future proofing comes in. So I thought I’d share my insights on Solar Ready, the ultimate future proofing for the homes we build. In 2007, Doug Tarry Homes was contracted by Natural Resources Canada to conduct the Solar Ready pilot project. This included writing the first Solar Ready technical specifications. Since 2007, we have continued to build all of our homes with Solar Ready design as a standard feature. In that time we have also installed several solar thermal water heating systems. In October 2012, NRCan published the revised Solar Ready Specifica- tions. So here’s the good news. Solar Ready is fairly easy and inexpensive to include in a home provided you put some thought into it during the design process. OK, so two storey homes can be a bit harder because of the popularity of open concept main floors even on two storey homes. It has been our experience that it costs an additional $350-$450 per home for the Solar Ready rough in. SO WHAT IS A SOLAR READY HOME? There are two key components. First, space on the roof at a viable solar angle, and second, a conduit from mechanical room to accessible attic space. Roof orientation for solar installations is considered viable from Southeast around to West for solar thermal systems. South is most efficient for Photo Voltaic systems. Here are some important points to remember: • The solar conduit needs to run from the mechanical room to the attic. I prefer to install two – 2” conduits, rather than one 4”. If you ever have to bend the conduit slightly, there is no give in the 4”. Also the 4” requires a 2x6 wall which may not be otherwise necessary for the home. • It is important to avoid plumbing or mechanical runs in the dedicated location of the conduit, or it may be almost im- possible to find later on. Whatever conduit type you choose, it is important that they be capped at both the top and bottom, otherwise you can have a condensation loop into your attic as well as a fire chase. I don’t trust tape as the glue will diminish over time. • Location of the future solar hot water tank should be shown on the basement plan so that the appropriate amount of space is available. It is also good practice to show the roof elevation that the panels are intended to be installed on, so that there is appropriate space available. • It is not a requirement, but it is a rec- ommended best practice that the trusses intended to carry the solar panels be designed and built with an additional 5 lb. dead load to account for the additional weight. • Installation of panels should not be directly into the top chord of the truss. Rather it is better practice to attach scab lumber to the side of the top chord and attach into the scab. • The existing Domestic Hot Water Heater needs to have plumbing valves and “T”s installed and an electrical outlet needs to be located beside the unit. This is to permit quick connection at the time of installation. ROXUL® INSULATION To learn more, visit When your customers demand quality, start with The Better Insulation.™ Fire resistant and water repellent, Roxul insulation is easy to work with, cuts easily with a serrated knife and fits snug without sagging. For your next project, recommend ROXUL COMFORTBATT™ for exterior walls and attics, and ROXUL SAFE‘N’SOUND™ for soundproofing interior walls and ceilings to make your next renovation professional grade. Why Choice Renovators Stand Behind ROXUL ® Insulation. COMFORTBATT® is a registered trademark of ROXUL Inc. SAFE’N’SOUND® is a registered trademark used under licence by Masonite Inc.
  36. 36. BUILDER NEWS 34 PAGE TITLE Features To learn more, visit TM Helping builders design and build more energy efficient homes. New building codes require new approaches to housing design and energy performance. Enbridge’s Savings by Design program is here to help. The program offers free access to design and technical experts, as well as valuable incentives to help design and build more energy efficient homes. Using our unique and collaborative Integrated Design Process (IDP), we will work with you to identify optimal solutions for improving energy efficiency 25% beyond Ontario Building Code 2012.