Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 12 / Winter 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.

  • Login to see the comments

  • Be the first to like this

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 12 / Winter 2014

  1. 1. 1 BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA The Water Issue Less Water Equals More Lots Making Sense of CSA P.9-11 Rainwater for Use in Laundry Field Testing Sustainability in New Homes Water Pipe Sizing in OBC: A Solution Looking for a Problem PHOTO: BRENT PERRY PHOTOGRAPHY PUBLICATIONNUMBER42408014 IN THIS ISSUE
  2. 2. 2 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2015 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 Airmax ad with Prioritizing AMT 12430 AD FPG 09_HR.pdf 1 2013-04-18 8:46 AM
  3. 3. FEATURE STORY 16 Water Conservation, a Grey Issue BY ALEX NEWMAN 20 Getting Ahead of the Curve Through Decentralized Water Systems BY BILL GAULEY AND TRACY PATTERSON INSIDE THIS ISSUE 02 Publisher’s Note: Water – The Cup Is Half Empty BY JOHN GODDEN 03 The Bada Test: Less Water Equals More Lots BY LOU BADA 04 Industry News: There Is Power in Water BY LENARD HART 06 Industry Expert: Combination Space Heating and Domestic Hot Water Systems BY GORD COOKE 08 Builder News: Trying to Make Sense of CSA P.9-11 BY ALEX NEWMAN 13 Industry News: Rainwater for Use in Laundry BY MICHAEL LIO 22 61 Talwood Drive BY BARBINI DEVELOPMENTS INC. 24 Builder News: PRIORITY GREEN Clarington: Field Testing Sustainability in New Homes BY GLEN PLEASANCE 27 From the Ground Up: New Water Pipe Sizing in the Ontario Building Code: A Solution Looking for a Problem! BY DOUG TARRY 31 Winner – My Design Studio and Castleform Developments Inc. BY MY DESIGN STUDIO AND BETTER BUILDER STAFF 32 The Plane View: Need to Know Facts About Water BY BETTER BUILDER STAFF BETTER BuilderMAGAZINE the builder’s source 1 13 ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 27 3 PHOTO:WSB®CLEANWASTEWATERSYSTEMFROMRH2O®NORTHAMERICABOTTLE,MONEY:WWW.DESIGNPICS.COM;BALANCE:WWW.DREAMSTIME.COMPHOTO:WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  4. 4. 4 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 Publisher Better Builder Magazine 12 Rowley Avenue Toronto, ON M4P 2S8 416-481-4218 fax 416-481-4695 Better Builder Magazine is a sponsor of Publishing editor John B. Godden managing editor Wendy Shami To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact Feature Writers Tracy Hanes, Alex Newman ProoFreading Janet Dimond creative Robert Robotham Graphics This magazine brings together premium product manufacturers and leading builders to create better, differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. Publication number 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine cannot be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. trademark disclaimer All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. undeliverable mail Better Builder Magazine 12 Rowley Avenue, Toronto, ON M4P 2S8. Better Builder Magazine is published four times a year. L ife on this planet cannot survive without water. Fortunately the city of Toronto is situated on Lake Ontario supplying an abundance of water. Other localities rely on groundwater and wells for their water supply. In both cases the treatment process of pol- luted water and the movement of water for various uses is expensive. In fact, moving water in Toronto consumes 35 per cent of the city’s electricity bill. This consumption number for the central dis- tribution of water is higher than the cost to the Toronto Transit Commission to run the subways. The city of Guelph relies on pumped groundwater. The electricity consumption for their water supply accounts for 50 per cent of the city’s bill. Water can be wasted in a number of ways – by leaving a tap running or leakage in the cen- tral distribution system. This leakage accounts for 10 to 30 per cent of the total volume of water moved through the system. Increasing development and more people require more pipes, more pumps, more sewage treatment facilities and more infrastructure. Although average individual daily consumption of water is down, there are more people using it and they live farther and farther from the source. The average annual household water bill in Toronto went from $814 in 2013 to $887 in 2014 (the Toronto Star, Dec. 18, 2013). This rate will continue to increase by 8 per cent yearly for the next three years. Given that water is expensive to treat and move around, it is imperative we conserve. Currently certain localities are experiencing water shortages and experts warn that the water table is being depleted permanently. The cup is half empty. The current Ontario Building Code (OBC) has mandated low flow shower heads, fau- cets and toilets to ensure water conservation. Additional water conservation measures are needed to protect the fragile supply of water. A good example of leadership in water conservation is the Sustainable Home Incen- tive Program (SHIP). Introduced in 2009 by York Region, SHIP allocates up to 20 per cent greater water and sewer capacity to projects that meet water reduction targets. This means builders who construct homes that use less water will be granted allocations to build higher densities (more houses). In this issue of Better Builder all our contributors discuss important issues regarding water. Gord Cooke looks at combi- nation heating systems that use hot water to meet lower heating requirements for residen- tial applications. Alex Newman interviews a number of builders addressing the subject of greywater recycling. It turns out that greywater recycling is a practical way to reduce household demand of water by up to 30 per cent. Michael Lio examines the building code requirements when using rainwater for laundry uses. In approaching water efficiency we must determine what measures are cost effective. We include an article in this issue describing how initiatives like PRIORITY GREEN Claring- ton are essential for determining cost-effective measures through testing and monitoring water consumption. Doug Tarry reports on recent changes to the Ontario plumbing codes. Water is precious and in greater demand every day. A simple reminder – less water supplied to a house means less water leaving the house. The resulting reduction of water demand means less infrastructure, smaller pipes, fewer pumping stations, less electricity consumed and less treated water. A commit- ment to reduced consumption may – over time – fill our cups. BB Water–The Cup Is Half Empty publisher’snote By J oh n G o dden 4 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 It turns out that greywater recycling is a practical way to reduce household demand of water by up to 30 per cent.
  5. 5. 5WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 F orce of Nature.” So too it seems that water can also be the driving force in land development. Pro- vincial legislation, plans and policies speak to the importance of sustain- ability in land development. Upper- and lower-tier municipalities, to be in alignment with provincial legislation, are responding to the growing priority of sustainable development. Municipal staff have developed sustainability metrics for new developments in vary- ing forms. Measurement is obviously important in setting and achieving goals, however it has become a tool for assessing the merits of new develop- ment proposals as well – a ranking sys- tem of sorts. Although measurement, verification and prioritization are important, alone these do not result in reaching our desired goals. Water – potable use, waste dis- charge and stormwater retention have rightly been included in the calculus of determining the desirability of a new project. Interestingly, potable water (and its inevitable waste discharge) and stormwater are yin and yang when viewing sustainability. Pumping and treating potable and wastewater and the infrastructure needed consume significant amounts of energy contrib- uting to climate change (depending on the source of electricity). Stormwater management is to a larger degree being considered part of climate change mitigation practices. The Ontario Building Code (OBC) has recognized this, and industry has stepped up its efforts in reduc- ing potable water use. Waterclosets have gone from 13L per flush to 3.86L per flush (a 70 per cent reduction) in relatively short order. Similarly faucets and shower fixtures have greatly reduced their flow rates without too much effect on the consumer experi- ence. Exciting new technologies on the near horizon such as greywater recy- cling are reducing both water intake and outflows at the same time. This technology is likely the next best step to get us even more efficient in our water use. Most important here is that manufacturers have innovated before government has mandated. Stormwater management goals largely revolve around keeping as much water on a property as possible via harvesting, reuse and greater infil- tration into the ground. This is done to keep runoff to a minimum. Some reasonable targets have been achieved given that compact development and density are often at odds with infil- tration and harvesting. That is to say that more hard surfaces (buildings and roads, etc.) on smaller properties test the physical limits as do native soil types. Some latitude must be given here since we are leaving much more land undeveloped today. The good news is that builders and developers who undertake more stringent potable/waste and storm- water management practices are being rewarded with more water and sewer allocation for their projects. York Region is a good example with its 2009 Sustainable Home Incentive Program (SHIP), which allocates up to 20 per cent greater water and sewer allocation for projects that meet their reduction targets. Incentive is the operative word in this program. This incentive program yields tangible results for all stakeholders – con- sumers, industry, government and the environment. It would be great if more conservation programs were conceived of in this way. Direct gov- ernment handouts should be avoided. It is rather simple. When we use less, we should get more – and/or pay less. Although measuring the sustainabil- ity performance of a new development may have its uses, checklists and point systems can be problematic. It can be viewed this way: Fill out these forms and promise to do these things (among a great many others), and you can compete for the privilege of taking an enormous amount of risk, and investing great amounts of time and energy in the hope of generating some all-around economic benefit in providing a basic societal need. What has happened is that we’ve raised the basic cost of admission. Incentives work better than checklists. I guess you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. BB Lou Bada is construction & contracts manager for Starlane Homes. thebadatest By L ou Ba da BOTTLE,MONEY:WWW.DESIGNPICS.COM;BALANCE:WWW.DREAMSTIME.COM Less Water Equals More Lots
  6. 6. WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 20144 E veryone knows that water is powerful. We see the effects of waves and floods, but it takes a lot of power to get us our drinking water and treat our sewage. In fact, water is actually fairly power inten- sive, and this may be good news for water conservation in general. In some ways water is the forgot- ten resource. Being situated beside the world’s largest freshwater reserves has not helped make water conservation a priority in the same way conserving natural gas, electric- ity and even gasoline has become in Ontario. Water efficiency has been written into the Ontario Build- ing Code (OBC), which means that extreme waste (like 20-litre flush toilets) has been relegated out of the new home market. Yet, there has been comparatively little in the way of programming or funding to significantly address water conserva- tion in the last five years. Canada has the lowest cost per cubic metre for water of any Western country, and is second only to the U.S. in terms of water consumption per capita, at 353 litres per person per day. Water management, both fresh and sewage, is typically the purview of local governments and there is no such thing as the Ontario Water Authority to serve as an equivalent to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to co-ordinate conservation efforts (although there are regional conserva- tion authorities that focus primarily on watershed preservation). Aside from the building code, there are some local initiatives for toilet retro- fits, downspout disconnections and rain barrel installations, and some widespread reductions have come from efforts to reduce hot water use by gas or electric utilities with low flow shower heads and faucet aera- tors to save energy used in heating. With little municipal funding to address water conservation, looking at the energy used to produce and then treat cold water is perhaps a short- term way forward to making water conservation a priority. More than one Ontario utility or local distribution company (LDC) has already looked into the amount of energy used to fil- ter, pump and treat water, and to date they have not yet seen it as a cost- effective area to address, but things may be changing. With the new Conservation First Framework, Ontario LDCs are tasked with very aggressive reduction tar- gets. Medium-sized LDCs often have the local water and sewage plants as their biggest use customers. Early adopters will likely be those LDCs who are closely tied to their munici- pal government, and who might even be active in delivery or billing for industrynews By L e n a rd Ha rt PHOTO: WWW.DESIGNPICS.COM POWER There Is in Water
  7. 7. 7WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 water, like Utilities Kingston or Public Utilities Commis- sion (PUC – Sault Ste. Marie), for example. Additionally, there could be early activ- ity in places where a greater energy is used to draw water from wells. The Conservation First Framework is a six-year funding envelope that has a total conservation target of 7 TWh. Each LDC is allotted a percentage of that total target based on its size, demo- graphics and regional needs. The OPA, a quasi-governmental agency that manages conservation in Ontario, is phasing out of its active leadership role and is set to merge with the Inde- pendent Electricity Service Operator (IESO) at the end of this year. This enables LDCs to take the lead on conserva- tion, and encourages them to be more innovative and more regionally distinct to meet the needs of their particular customer base. Most of the saveONenergy programs in the market for the last four years will continue into 2015 and beyond. This includes the New Home Construction Pro- gram, now registering homes for completion in 2015 (con- tact to register or find out more). Water conservation measures could easily be added to these programs to increase poten- tial electrical savings. LDCs are developing their conservation planning for 2015 and beyond, and there is an opportunity for water conservation to be part of those plans. For builders, this may allow for some incen- tives to use rain or greywater systems, real-time water monitoring, ozone washing machines and more. We all know that CO2 emis- sions are changing the climate, CFCs deplete the ozone and pollution affects our air quality, and this is why we are aggres- sively legislating and funding programs to reduce the causes of all three of these problems. Likewise, we know water is a limited and precious resource that sustains all life, but we are not pricing its consump- tion accordingly and not funding its conservation suf- ficiently. It’s hard to know why there is such a collective blind spot on this one issue. Perhaps we just need to look at water differently through an energy savings filter. Then we can find a way to prioritize significant water conservation efforts. Then the future of water conserva- tion may not be driven by local governments trying to conserve an important resource, but by LDCs trying to meet massive energy con- servation targets. BB Lenard Hart is vice-president of sales and marketing at Summerhill Group. Canada is second only to the U.S. in terms of water consumption per capita, at 353 litres per person per day. industrynews By Lenard Hart
  8. 8. 8 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 L ast winter I wrote about the opportunities in multifamily buildings (low rise and high rise), for downsizing heating equip- ment because of the inherent effi- ciency of attached dwelling units due to fewer outside walls and ceilings, and because of the improved energy efficiency of houses overall. Now, while it is true space heating loads are on their way down, I am finding that the expectations of homeowners for increased hot water for domestic use is on its way up, in a pretty extraordi- nary way. To put this into perspective, consider the typical 1,000 to 1,200 sq ft starter home of the 1960s, like the one pictured here. From my memories of growing up in a family with six kids, we had one 40-gal water heater, perhaps with a capacity of 40,000 BTUs/hr serving the one bathroom. But there was also a big old natural draft boiler that was around 120,000 to 140,000 BTUs/hr capacity. Compare that to the 1,000 to 1,200 sq ft, 3.5-sto- rey townhome common today, where the capacities are typically reversed. The new space heating capacity needed is under 40,000 BTUs/hr, but the expec- tations of the 2.5 bathrooms is perhaps a tankless water heater or wall hung boiler with a 120,000 to 140,000 BTUs/ hr capacity. Even the new condensing tank water heaters often have a capac- ity of 90,000+ BTUs/hr. These great new efficient water heating options are sitting around most of the day waiting for someone to take a shower. But many builders and HVAC contrac- tors have figured out that an efficient domestic hot water heater can also be a useful appliance for space heating. One gas appliance instead of two means one less vent added to the crowded end walls, and hot water offers flexibility in heating distribution. A hot water air handler, radiant panel heaters and even in-floor heat can all be served off that one appliance. There is at least one important technical issue to be resolved – the efficiency of this one appliance but dual roles scenario. Even in my R-2000 home built in 1992, it was pointed out to me, and the industry, that the high efficiency water heater I used condensed nicely during a call for domestic hot water, but not when the air handler was pulling hot water for heating my home. This was due to the difference in return water temperature to the water heater and noticeable just by standing outside at the vent – steamy in hot water mode, no condensate in heating mode. Now, after much research and industry consultation and development, there is a new standard called CAN/ CSA P.9-11 – Test method for determin- ing the performance of combined space and water heating systems (combos) standard. This standard ensures that the total or overall efficiency of combi- nation systems is reported accurately and consistently. This is clearly a great goal for a technology that has a lot to offer in both new and existing homes. The standard is now referenced in the 2010 National Building Code and is also a requirement for combination systems used in ENERGY STAR-labelled homes as of September 2014. The essence of a truly energy- efficient combination system is that the heat exchange process must get to condensing mode not only in domes- tic hot water heating mode, but also in space heating mode. That is, when the return water temperature from the space heating coils will generally be much warmer than the city water inlet temperature that the system heats when providing potable hot water. This is particularly difficult in part load conditions or mild days, when the space heating needs are very low. Forward-thinking manufacturers have realized that good overall results, measured by a new energy performance metric called thermal performance factor (TPF), can only be achieved when efficient water heaters and air handlers are well matched and the operating system intelligently controls both the water heater and air handler together. Successful control strategies are able to vary the water temperature and flow to the air handler to ensure the water heater condenses all or at least most of the time. The TPF metric combines ratings for space heating and water heating performance, and takes a load- weighted average of the two to generate a performance rating. In many ways, the P.9 standard is more comprehensive than the stan- dards used to rate performance of water heaters and furnaces individu- Combination Space Heating and Domestic Hot Water Systems industryexpert By G ord Cooke systems with TPFs even under 0.80 outperform the more traditional high power-vented water heaters.
  9. 9. 9WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 ally, since it recognizes that heating systems will operate under part load conditions most of the time. Thus combination systems are tested under loads that equate to 100%, 40% and 15% of their space heating capacities. For comparison purposes, a combi- nation system with a TPF of 0.90 can be assumed to have an overall energy performance roughly equal to the combined performance of a 95% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) gas furnace and a water heater with an energy factor of 0.67. However, as we have been applying TPF perfor- mance-rated equipment specifically to efficient townhomes, where space heating loads are very small, we are finding combo systems with TPFs even under 0.80 outperform the more traditional high efficiency furnace and power-vented water heaters. There is a helpful list of manufac- turers who have either developed their own total package of air handler and water heaters, or have worked with other component manufacturers to get systems performance tested. The most current list can be found at: cfm?action=app.welcome-bienvenue I urge you to support these tested products as they represent the best combination of features that include: high combustion efficiency to ensure condensing mode as often as possible modulation of water temperatures variable flow water pumps with low electrical consumption variable air flow fans with low elec- trical consumption electronically commutated (ECM) fan motors optimized hot water coils for proper air temperature control great controls that adapt to space and water heating loads easily. The best combinations are able to achieve TPFs over 0.90 and offer a great match of efficiency while meet- ing the expectations of your homebuy- ers for more hot water. BB Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. 120 MBH 1960s starter home 40 MBH 30 MBH 2014 starter home 140 MBH SUPPLIEDPHOTOS
  10. 10. 10 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 U ntil recently, builders were given the freedom to match up HVAC components as they saw fit to make for as efficient a system as possible. For example, a contractor or engineer could select a hot water source – instantaneous water heater, boiler, combo unit and tank – and pick any type from any manufacturer. But as Brian Jackson, P.Eng., mechanical engineer with Airmax Tech- nologies, explains that didn’t neces- sarily mean you were getting the most efficient system even if you combined two high efficiency components. “For example, a 25,000 BTU/hr fan coil paired with a 120,000 BTU/ hr high efficiency instantaneous hot water heating device together might not be as efficient at one set of operating points, but very efficient at another,” Jackson explains. To ensure equipment is paired for the greatest efficiency, CSA has writ- ten a standard to assess whether two components from the same or two different manufacturers are working together to derive maximum system efficiency. The premise behind the CSA P.9-11 standard is a good one, Jackson adds. “It’s something that makes sense and can give you a system efficiency rating on two pieces of equipment combined.” This has potential rami- fications for ENERGY STAR for New Homes (ESNH) builders. As Jackson explains, when a building designer specifies the building construction details to ensure compliance to ESNH, they can approach it in one of two ways – prescriptive or performance. “Most builders prefer the easier, less complicated and less expensive choice of the prescriptive method. What that essentially means is choosing from a list a set of prescribed building details that when combined ensure compli- ance with the building code.” The other way to approach the design is using the performance method. “That’s used when you do not or cannot comply with the stan- dard set of details in the prescriptive method. In this application, a builder employs an energy evaluating firm like Clearsphere to model the build- buildernews By Al e x Ne w m a n Trying to Make Sense of CSA P.9-11 With changing urban densities, stacked townhouses are becoming a common housing form. These units need an integrated space and hot water heating system offered by combo systems. The efficiency of these combo systems is in question along with a reasonable standard for testing them. PHOTO: BAKER STREET RESIDENCES
  11. 11. 11WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 ing to determine and opti- mize the energy efficiency of the building. They will define the building construction techniques and all construc- tion details like insulation, architectural materials and mechanical equipment. A builder must pay for this service, then pay for a blower door test after it’s built, and those things cost money. Most builders doing subdivi- sion homes prefer to use the prescriptive method.” The new CSA P.9-11 standard, which applies only ESNH, will permit use of the prescriptive method if the selected combo systems’ thermal perfor- mance factor (TPF) is 0.89 or more. Since the CSA P.9-11 standard only applies to ESNH, builders must use combo systems with a certified CSA P.9-11 result if they want to build to ESNH standards and be certi- fied. If the TPF falls below 0.89, the builder must go with a performance method. In theory this is all well and good, but when manu- facturers of HVAC equipment went to conduct the P.9 tests on their equipment, there weren’t many labs that could complete the work – only one in Canada. “With several dif- ferent manufacturers trying to get quotes, book lab time, and the duration of a single test of about a week and a half, well, you can do the math. In process test condi- tion adjustments are only making that turnaround time longer,” Jackson says. And since Natural Resources Canada (NRCan – the federal body that publishes the test results and determined that 0.89 threshold number) only gave manufacturers six months to comply after releasing the TPF threshold, there was consider- able opposition to the stan- dard. Manufacturers and build- ers alike were complaining they didn’t have enough time to meet the April 1 deadline (which has since been extended to October 1). For the man- ufacturers, the tests are expen- sive – upwards of $10,000 per system, Jackson says – and there is no value added sales benefit. Also not all builders do ENERGY STAR homes and the standard only applies to ENERGY STAR builders. It’s an even bigger chal- lenge for small manufactur- ers, who can’t afford either the time or money to spend on testing their equipment. Jackson’s company Air- max Technologies is capable of absorbing the $100,000- plus they’ve spent on tests, but it doesn’t allow for the company to charge any more for their systems, so that is money straight out of their R&D budget. With the trend to build- The other way to approach the design is using the performance method. buildernews By Alex N ewman
  12. 12. 12 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014
  13. 13. 13WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 ing smaller homes – especially with the new stacked townhomes – which have a significantly smaller heating load, there’s a mis- match between the appliance capacity required for domes- tic water supply (at 120-200K BTUs/ hr), and the smaller space heat loads of around 25K. “These two pieces of equip- ment work better when they’re more closely matched in capacity,” Jackson explains. “When you take a 25K BTU/ hr fan coil and match it with a 125K BTU/hr instantaneous water heater, they might not work optimally together and may give you a TPF lower than 0.89, so now the builder has to have the home modelled to comply with the per- formance method.” Coming up with newer designs of equipment that work together more efficiently takes time, Jackson says. “A lot of manufactur- ers are working on the next genera- tion of instantaneous water heaters that can modulate lower and also maintain thermal efficiency at that lower modulation level to properly align with the smaller load required at the fan coil.” Bottom line, Jackson says, is the standard NRCan “wants you to achieve is currently difficult with equipment that’s commercially avail- able right now. Getting these things working in tandem properly is a multiyear project.” BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at Bottom line, Jackson says, is the standard NRCan “wants you to achieve is currently that’s commercially available right now.” buildernews By Alex N ewman
  14. 14. 14 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014
  15. 15. 15WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 F or the last 20 or 30 years, changes in housing have largely focused on energy efficiency. Ways to dramatically reduce water consumption are part of a new con- versation. There are many benefits associated with water conservation. For instance, using less water reduces the load on the urban infrastruc- ture (sewers and treatment plants), reduces energy consumption (less water to pump to households) and saves the homeowner money. While installing low flow faucets and showerheads are commonplace, new practices are being adopted that can dramatically reduce water consumption. Environment Canada reports that over the 20-year period from 1991 to 2011, Canadians reduced their overall water consumption by 27 per cent (from 342L/person/day to 251L/person/day). Only by adopting new, more aggressive measures can the savings continue to grow. Making better use of rainwater for household uses holds much promise. Rainwater capture and storage in rain barrels for use on lawns and gardens is not new – neither is using rainwater for toilets. What is new is using rain- water for household laundry. Washing clothes uses approxi- mately 20 per cent of household water consumption, and while harvesting rainwater does not offer year-round benefits, it can lower peak summer water demand. Rainwater harvesting also reduces wet weather sewage overflows by providing tem- porary storage for rainwater. The 2012 Ontario Building Code (OBC) allows, for the first time, the use of rainwater harvesting systems PHOTO:WSB®CLEANWASTEWATERSYSTEMFROMRH2O®NORTHAMERICA Rainwater for Use in Laundry industrynews By Mi c h a e l Li o A rainwater harvesting system.
  16. 16. 16 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 (RWH) for laundry purposes. The background of this code change lies in a 2010 Building Code Commission Hearing where we represented the applicant Rodeo Fine Homes. The house in question was a two-storey house in the town of Newmarket, which was completed and occupied. The builder applied for a permit to install a RWH system for laundry purposes, and was declined. The proposed RWH system used a prefilter system to catch debris, leaves and dirt prior to rainwater entering a storage tank. This filter- ing system had previously been demonstrated in a Guelph home by Reid’s Heritage Homes. The stor- age tank was designed to be buried underground and had a connection to municipal water should there be a short supply of rainwater. The rainwater was supplied to the washer through its cold water inlet, but the system did contain an on-demand water heater should hot water be required. The proposed system was connected to a front-loading wash- ing machine, as opposed to a top- loading machine, which prevented the opening of the appliance until after the water had fully drained. An air gap and backflow preventer were included to prevent rainwater from flowing back into the municipal water supply. The system conformed to CSA-B128.1-06 Design and instal- lation of non-potable water systems and CSA-B128.2-06 Maintenance and field testing of non-potable water systems. The sections of the code in question were from Part 7, which addressed storm drainage systems, water distribution systems and nonpotable connections. The intent of these code provisions is to limit the probability that an inappropriate location for outlets from nonpotable water systems would lead to the inadvertent use of nonpotable water for functions which require potable water. This could lead to the con- sumption of harmful substances. It was argued at the hearing that rainwater should be permitted in residential laundry facili- ties for four main reasons, which were supported by credible research: 1. It does not pose a health and safety risk: pathogens are more likely introduced by dirty laun- dry than rainwater contaminated rainwater fails to increase bacterial count in washed laundry rainwater is generally of good quality for laundry purposes rainwater contamination can be pre- vented through proper installation, storage and system maintenance contamination of the potable water system is prevented the system includes a number of fail- safes to minimize risk of contamina- tion from equipment failure. 2. It does not result in premature failure of appropriately designed laundry facilities: system maintenance is straightfor- ward for optimal performance. 3. Past performance proves it is a reli- able means of washing clothing: the building code already permitted the indoor use of nonpotable water (storm sewage/stormwater) RWH systems for laundry have been successfully demonstrated in Canada and elsewhere (past performance was cited from Guelph, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Germany, Texas, Australia and New Zealand). 4. It provides a significant benefit including a reduction in household water use: there is reduced water and energy demand and pollution when RWH is used for laundry homeowners benefit when RWH is used for laundry. We had argued that the proposed RWH system did not expose occu- pants to significant additional health and safety risk, that past performance indicated RWH has been used reliably for laundry in many jurisdictions, and the system conformed to two CSA standards. In the end, the commission ruled that the system demonstrated sufficiency of compliance. It should be noted that the ruling applied to the specific house in question only. However, the ruling provided the foundation for a code change. In the 2012 Ontario Building Code, treated rainwater free of solids is permitted to be used as a water sup- ply for clothes washers (see Article and For clothes washers supplied by rainwater and a potable water system, the potable water system needs to be protected by dual-check valve backflow preven- ters that conform to CAN/CSA-B64.6 for both area isolation and premise isolation (see Article Nonpo- table water systems are required to be designed and constructed to good engineering practices appropriate to the circumstances, as described in the ASHRAE handbooks, ASPE Data Books, or CAN/CSA-B128.1 (see Article These code changes are an exam- ple of the next wave of aggressive water conservation that will continue the efforts of past years. The wide adoption of RWH systems in homes across Ontario, in addition to saving homeowners money, will dramati- cally reduce water consumption and provide reduced loads for sewers and treatment plants that may become strained with increased density. Together, water efficiency and conser- vation will help protect our valuable water resource. BB Michael Lio is president and Ceara Allen is manager, technical services, at buildABILITY Corporation. industrynews By M ichael Lio Rainwater is generally of good quality for laundry purposes.
  17. 17. 17WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 Features
  18. 18. 18 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 featurestory By Al e x N e w m a n Water Conservation, R educing water consumption not only saves money and is simple to do, but also keeps municipalities happy. And when local municipalities – and their sustainability checklists – are satisfied, builders can do their job better. Bob Finnigan, COO of Heathwood Homes, explains, “Water allocation is a serious issue for municipalities, who are trying to reduce water consumption now for the future. For builders, it’s not just a slam dunk – buy the land and automatically get approvals – because water isn’t always so readily available.” Chris Thompson, cofounder and CTO of Greyter Water Systems, whose technology creates water-efficient build- ings and homes adds, “It’s not just inaccessibility of water, but challenges in delivering water from the source to the customer. York Region, for example, doesn’t have direct access to Lake Ontario, forcing them to purchase from other municipalities. Water is transported to the region through pump stations, which adds greatly to the cost and creates a bottleneck.” In Richmond Hill, where Heathwood is now building 113 homes at its Forest Hill on the Green site, greywater recycling rough-ins are part of the whole package. Finni- gan says, “One component the municipality looks at in allocating development permits is what you are doing with respect to water conservation. That factors into the municipality’s ability to grant permits – the less con- sumption, the more homes they can give allocation to. It’s a simple equation.” This is particularly true in York Region, he adds, where new sources of water had to be found and created because until now most water had come out of wells. So anything
  19. 19. 19WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 that can slow down the consumption of such a hard-to-get resource isn’t only good for future generations, but also for future development. In suburban areas where development has covered up much of the ground, water hasn’t had a chance to reach below the surface into the water table. Instead, it’s been running off into storm ponds – not so bad in itself except when heavy rains threaten to cause floods and overrun storm sewers and ponds. As well, especially around the Oak Ridges Moraine, municipal governments are making efforts to keep the water table up. For Boaz Feiner, housing division president of Gera- nium Corporation, greywater recycling just makes “good sense.” Geranium has just finished greywater rough-ins in 18 homes at its Ballantrae site, because as Feiner points out, “There is no logical reason or purpose to be flushing perfectly good drinking water down the toilet.” He is well aware of the sustainability checklist of municipalities in which his company builds, and with the recent innovations in greywater recycling he says it’s so much easier to build homes that are future proofed. “This ensures a user-friendly and energy-efficient tomorrow – and adds a lot of life to your housing stock,” Feiner says. Greywater recycling has proven to be one of the highest water reducers in a home. In 2011 when Heathwood built both a green home and an ENERGY STAR home in Richmond Hill, they monitored the results, with Ryerson students ana- lyzing the raw data. Finnigan says of all the green compo- nents in the green home – some more successful than others – the one that consistently achieved very high sustainability results was greywater recycling. The recycling system works by taking wastewater from A Grey Issue PHOTO: BRENT PERRY PHOTOGRAPHY
  20. 20. 20 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 showers and tubs, which consumes the most domestic water in a home. Those isolated drains are plumbed to the mechanical room and tied into the sanitary drain. When the greywater system is installed, the shower and bath water are redirected into a sys- tem that filters, stores and disinfects the greywater, which is then pumped to the toilets to use for flushing. This year, Heathwood expects to build about 300 homes with greywater system rough-ins, Finnigan says. The rising cost of water is another potential concern, say both builders. At the moment, most homeowners don’t think about their water bill, Feiner says, because it’s still so cheap. But as water costs continue to escalate, it will become top of mind. “We have abundant water now,” Feiner says. “But we can’t rest on our laurels. In many areas of the world, including some parts of North Amer- ica, there’s a shortage of water. Water is the next major item that needs to be dealt with. We’re in the same place with water consumption now that we were with energy consumption 10 or 15 years ago. I’m not saying we’ve maxed our energy savings, but we in the industry have done well to track it, and have come a long way in terms of energy efficiency. But we need to start dealing with the water issue now.” Thompson says the amount of water saved is significant. When he first installed a system at home, he was “tracking between 28 and 40m 3 of water every month for five people. Partly that was so high because of a swimming pool, and also making a skating rink in the backyard. But normally it was around 24m 3 . When I did greywater recycling, it went down to 9m 3 and when the municipality saw my bill, they thought the household size had dropped to one or two.” Thompson figures he has saved about 130,000 litres a year, which amounts to about four swimming pools. “We flush on average seven times a day, and if you have 6-litre toilets, that’s 42 litres per person per day, the equivalent of two of those big jugs of water at the store. If you recycle the water from tubs and showers, that’s how much you’re sav- ing. For the end user it’s a huge cost savings. And what you save on your monthly water bill is much greater than the cost of installation.” Greywater ready- ing is incredibly easy to install dur- ing the construction phase – a couple of extra pipes is all that’s needed. And the cost is minimal – between $400 and $600. Compare that to installing after the fact, says Feiner, when it is likely to cost thousands in ripping out walls and retrofitting the right drains and pipes. So why don’t we see more resi- dential greywater recycling systems? “There are no affordable, practical and efficient products on the market that achieve a high quality of water back to the toilets and are simple to main- tain,” says Chris Thompson. “Until now.” While Greyter has been actively selling its commercial building grey- water systems around the world, they have spent the greater part of the last three years designing and testing the Greyter HOME. According to Thomp- son, it has been designed to efficiently deliver a high quality of water for reuse with minimal maintenance. Furthermore, it will be priced around $2,000 and take up a small footprint within the home. The highly antici- pated Greyter HOME is expected to be available on the market as early as the end of 2015. BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at In many areas of the world, including some parts of North America, there’s a shortage of water.
  22. 22. 22 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 T here is no question it requires less energy, effort, and cost to operate a system efficiently than it does to operate a system inefficiently. Any system. In fact, that is essentially the definition of efficiency. As such, an efficient system will require less revenue to operate in a full cost recovery manner and, therefore, future increases in customer water rates will be minimized. In short, oper- ating an efficient system is a win-win scenario. Nearly everyone is aware that indoor residential per capita water demands are declining in North America at an unprecedented rate due to programs like WaterSense and the recent marketplace shift to water-using fixtures and appliances that are more efficient – specifically high effi- ciency toilets and clothes washers. But what about outdoor water demands? After all, it is the increase in outdoor demands after extended periods of hot and dry weather that lead to high peak day ratios, and the need to expand our water supply infrastructure (at a huge cost!) to meet demands that may only occur for a few days each year. Landscapes generally get the water they require either naturally through precipitation or somewhat unnaturally through manual or automatic irrigation systems. Since landscapes do not require potable water, it makes little sense in a philosophical way to spend money and effort to convey nonpotable water from a site (rainwater) and, at the same time, spend money and effort to convey potable water to the same site to be used for nonpotable purposes. In some municipalities like Kitchener, the munic- ipality charges each customer a fee (stormwater utility fee) based on building size for residences and the amount of impervious cover for nonresidential properties. A credit is available to those customers who capture rainwater for reuse or increase the permeable areas on their properties by using rain gardens or soak-away chambers. Such storm- water fee structures are getting municipal attention and are the approach of choice to address costly infrastructure and encourage at-source stormwater management. Why do more large industrial or institutional customers not collect and use the rainwater that falls on their properties to irrigate their landscapes? Well, the answer is partly related to costs and partly to convenience. The water bill is still one of the least inexpensive bills many industrial or institutional custom- ers receive. Spending a lot of money to build a rainwater harvesting system to save a little bit of money on the water bill does not make great financial sense. Two things are likely to change this situation in the future: 1. Not only are water rates increasing at a far greater rate than inflation to make up for charging too little for water historically, more and more municipalities are begin- ning to look at incorporating a seasonal water use rate into their rate structure – a rate that would charge customers a much higher rate for each cubic metre used as irrigation. 2. The opportunity to install larger communal rain- water harvesting systems (vs. a single smaller system for each customer) takes advantage of economies of scale, allows a single operator to service the needs of multiple sites, allows sites with little or no irrigation needs, but large roof areas, to provide their water for a fee to other sites that do have irrigation or other non- potable needs such as processing water, and it allows sites to keep the rainwater on site, thus not incurring any stormwater utility fees. This type of system is called a district water system and is defined by The Water Strategy as: A decentralized publicly-operated, privately-operated or jointly-operated (public-private venture) water management system that captures rainwater or greywater and treats the collected water to suitable standards for its intended use. Currently, district water refers to treatment for nonpotable purposes with water provided to customers for irrigation, boiler and cooling tower make-up water, toilet and featurestory By Bi l l G a u l e y a n d Tra c y P a t t e rso n Getting Ahead of the Curve Through Decentralized Water Systems Bill Gauley SUPPLIEDPHOTO
  23. 23. 23WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 RELIABLE, CONSISTENT, MARTINOHeating • Air Conditioning • Indoor Air Quality • HVAC Design www.martinohvac.com1-800-465-5700 ™ urinal flushing, car washing, back-up fire flow, etc., on a multibuilding scale or for aquifer recharge. District water systems are likely to become more popu- lar as more municipalities start developing stronger require- ments for stormwater manage- ment, flood mitigation, reduc- tion of contaminant loadings to water bodies, watershed protection and water conserva- tion (particularly for peak time, seasonal water use). In fact, the trend among leading jurisdictions is to require builders to use low impact development (LID) practices and technology to control and manage rainwa- ter at its source, such as rainwater/stormwater capture and reuse, bioretention, porous paving, etc., as well as conveyance controls, such as bioswales, perforated pipe, grassed swales, etc. Eliminating the need for stormwater retention ponds in new subdivisions not only improves the aesthetics of the subdi- vision, it also allows more building sites to be developed, which is a financial benefit to the developer and the town. Thinking outside the box takes a little more effort but, with forward thinking and a little ingenuity, we can begin to work in closer harmony with nature – improving not only the environment, but the bottom line as well. BB Bill Gauley, P. Eng., is principal of Gauley Associates Ltd. Tracy Pat- terson is a managing consultant and principal of Freeman Associates. featurestory By Bill Gauley and Tra c y P a t t e rson
  24. 24. 24 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 sitespecific By Barbini Developme n t s I n c . T his is BARBINI’s latest offering – a luxury contemporary home that sits on a generous corner lot in a quiet Toronto neighbourhood and is easily accessible by two major highways. This contemporary home was renovated with sustainability in mind. It provides a complete array of elegant contemporary design details, meticulously selected fin- ishes, together with the advantages of a superior building envelope and efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system deliver- ing pure air quality and energy-effi- cient operation. The design approach to the home was a holistic one, and so the experience of the benefits is also holistic. The home performs as a total environment and all the compo- nents are experienced together. 61 Talwood was designed for the future. The home is future proofed so it can evolve and adapt to the requirements and technological changes of the future including a 100 amp panel for an electric car charger in the garage and prepara- tion for solar panelling to be inte- grated with the HVAC system. With sustainability in mind, the home was redesigned so that not only did it comply with the Ontario Build- ing Code (OBC), it ranked way above code requirements, therefore pro- viding a better living environment, air quality, mechanical systems and significant energy savings, which in turn lower the carbon footprint of that residence and family while providing a superior comfort level for living. The ground level of this home features an open concept kitchen, dining room, interior/exterior liv- ing room design for today’s living style. The side entrance features a dog/ boot shower and is acces- sible from a two-car garage with easy assess to a large kitchen designed for family use and entertaining. The home is flooded with natu- ral light through oversized windows and doors, and is very much part of the lush exterior. The Award: Barbini Developments Inc. winner of the 2014 Ontario Home Builders’ Association Awards of Distinction for the “Most Out- standing Home Renovation” (Actual Retail Value Over $500,001). BB 61 Talwood Drive Credits: We wish to thank our in-house team – interior designer Vanja Stepanek, site supervisor Raul Alberto and project manager Amedeo Barbini for their vision, hard work and determination. Talwood would not be what it is today if it weren’t for our team’s co-ordination and collaboration with our friends and colleagues at Integral Design Associ- ates, M.G. Pascoe & Associates Ltd., Clearsphere, Alpha Comfort Control Ltd., Inline Fiberglass Ltd., Amberwood Doors Inc., Vanity Island Custom Cabinets, Alli- ance Stucco & Moulding Ltd., R&A Stairs Ltd., Adanac Glass, Rockport Painting Inc., and many other companies that assisted us in making our concept and vision a reality. Amedeo Barbini SUPPLIEDPHOTO
  25. 25. 25WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 ®™The DOW Diamond Logo is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company © 2014 Dow’s full house of insulation, air sealants and adhesives work together to create an air- tight, moisture resistant structure from roof to foundation, helping builders and contractors meet or exceed building codes, reduce callbacks and create a comfortable, durable, energy efficient structure for their customers. DOW BUILDING SOLUTIONS 1-866-583-BLUE (2583) Whole-House Solutions THAT HELP BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS OUTPERFORM
  26. 26. 26 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 Context The population of Clarington will double within 20 years. Recognizing these pressures on its infrastructure, the municipality has launched PRIOR- ITY GREEN Clarington (PGC). By field testing numerous beyond code water and energy efficiency technologies and techniques, Clarington will gain clarity on which technologies make economic and environmental sense. These results will provide direction on how to reduce the water and sewer footprint of new homes, lessening the growth pressures on water and sewer infrastructures and pointing the way to more sustainable growth. Three Projects in One Beyond the field test there are two other facets to PGC: 1. Clarington will be refining develop- ment approvals to favour green development by reviewing cur- rent practices and changing them to expedite approvals for green homes and neighbourhoods. 2. The Province’s Places to Grow Act (2005) dictates higher densities through intensification. In Claring- ton, public opposition to town- homes and apartments is impeding intensified development. Various innovative community engage- ment techniques such as visioning walkabouts will involve a variety of community members (including those opposed to intensification). Broader public outreach will be tested in late 2014 to inform the larger community of the benefits of higher densities. Field Testing Green In 2013, Clarington requested pro- posals from area homebuilders. The municipality secured the participation of three innovative companies – Brook- field Residential, Halminen Homes and Jeffery Homes. Each one agreed to enhancing two homes each with over 20 water- and energy-efficient beyond code improvements. Each builder chose its own enhancements from a schedule provided by Clarington and each covered related costs. In addition to a great response from the homebuilding community, a number of leading-edge technology suppliers have donated products to the project. Examples include Profi- ciency 3-litre flush toilets from Water Matrix, ecobee smart thermostats, Panasonic Whisper bathroom fans and three Recover greywater units from Canplas. The Recover units take shower and bath water, cleanse it and return it to flush toilets. They have the potential to reduce indoor water use by 25 per cent. The greywater systems are being monitored for inflow, outflow, potable water top-up and water quality. This project com- buildernews By G l e n P l e a sa n c e Water meter used to measure water use reductions. PRIORITY GREEN Clarington: Field Testing Sustainability in New Homes An ecobee smart thermostat. SUPPLIEDPHOTO
  27. 27. 27WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 ponent holds great promise. The beyond code improvements or best management practices (BMPs) will be measured by an average of ten water and eight electricity submeters. These submeters will record data for at least four months, transmitting it daily via Wi-Fi to a dedicated web- site. Water submeters are measuring clothes washers (hot and cold), drain- water heat recovery units, showers, kitchen faucets, greywater recovery units, etc. Note there is sufficient data from other studies on high efficiency toilet (HET) water use. Electricity submetering includes furnaces, air conditioners, heat recovery ventilators (HRV), clothes washers and dryers, etc. The combined water and energy metering will enable measurement of the water/energy synergies within the homes. (Note: whole home natural gas consumption is also being recorded.) By understanding these water-energy synergies, water, electricity and natu- ral gas consumption can be reduced. This holistic approach to home energy and water use will enable return on investment (ROI) calcula- tions to be determined for many of the BMPs. The ROIs will identify the BMPs that make the most sense for homebuilders and homebuyers. It will also allow the measurement of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reductions for each home. The field study report will be completed in March 2015. What we know so far is that the energy performance ratings of the six homes averaged 21 per cent better than code (the Ontario Building Code). Jeffery Homes has already released its next phase of 20 townhomes, built and marketed to PRIORITY GREEN Claring- ton specifications. Many Partners A project of this complexity requires broad partnerships to be success- ful. Partners include both levels of municipal government (Clarington and Region of Durham), Ministry of the Environment’s Environmental Innovations Branch (Showcasing Water Innovation Program), Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Munici- pal Fund, our three homebuilders, the Sustainable Housing Foundation, Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. BB Glen Pleasance, from the Municipality of Durham, has 20 years as Durham's water
  28. 28. 28 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 1-800-567-2733 WARM AIR GAS FURNACE DESIGNED, RIGHT-SIZED, AND MANUFACTURED IN CANADA FOR HEATING AND COOLING CANADIAN RESIDENCES Full line 15,000 to 120,000 BTU Coming in January 2015 Modulating outdoor condensing variable speed units for central air system. Making Dettson the first residential HVAC manufacturer offering a variable speed / right sized central system for comfort year round. Ultra compact size, featuring the industry’s smallest footprint Ideally suited to the replacement market Designed with a gas laboratory and builders’ input Stainless primary and secondary heat exchanger 95 % AFUE and above Right-sized for today’s tighter homes and new codes
  29. 29. 29WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 I was just recently on holiday at one of my favourite resorts down in Jamaica, looking at that beautiful blue Caribbean water. As my article on plumbing and water conservation was due, a sign in the bathroom got me thinking about hotels and water conservation. Some of us will remem- ber that years ago we used our hotel towels and the next day fresh ones magically appeared. Then suddenly little signs appeared in the hotel bathrooms asking us to hang up our towels for reuse unless we required fresh ones. In one stroke it made hotels look like environmental leaders while at the same time reducing their operational costs. They looked like they were leading the way to a greener planet and their bottom lines were improved. A win-win by all. Fast-forward 20-odd years and look at the incredible work by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), and our many locals and members, at transforming our industry in reducing both energy and water usage through mostly voluntary programs. We are proud to say we are the only Cana- dian industry that has both met and exceeded our Kyoto Accord targets, and before the deadline! As this article is focusing on water, I am proud to be one of the many members who advocated for low flow toilets and showers for the most recent building code change, as both are environmen- tally responsible at the same time as understanding the connection to rising electrical and water treatment costs for our customers. Like the hotel industry we saw this as a win-win. Then the 2012 code came into full effect on January 1, 2014 and we began to realize that some things had entered our Ontario Building Code (OBC) that we will call unintended and/or unforeseen consequences such as water service sizing. Our members understood the reduction in measured water flow, and using fixtures that met the new building code requirements should have been fairly straightforward. Selecting fix- tures that met the EPA WaterSense or equivalent requirements would meet the code requirements, were readily available, would have limited impact on installation costs to the builders, provide long-term savings to our customers, and the flow rates were clearly defined in the OBC. Now here comes the blindside. At the same time as we advocated for and got the inclusion of smaller fixtures, for some reason both the National Building Code, followed by the OBC, changed the requirements for pipe sizing to be increased. What? What does this mean? I’m not really sure anyone has completely figured it out, but it appears that unless you have a detailed plumbing design, you will need to run 3/4” pipe to all fixtures rather than the previous 1/2” pipe (in the majority of cases). So let’s be clear. What worked yes- terday with larger fixtures, volumes and 1/2” plumbing lines today does not work with smaller fixture lines, and we now have to replace 1/2” plumbing lines with 3/4”? How did this happen? Why was this change needed and how in the world of con- servation is it justified? Where is the PHOTO:WWW.SHUTTERSTOCK.COM New Water Pipe Sizing in the Ontario Building Code: A Solution Looking for a Problem! fromthegroundup By Dou g Ta rry
  30. 30. 30 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 evidence of failure to suggest larger piping is needed en masse? These are the questions our association and other industry stakeholders are ask- ing the three levels of government. I get it if you put a car wash into a home, you might need to have larger supplies. But every home regardless? This goes against our conservation efforts and here’s why. Under the previous code you installed a 1/2” supply for a typical shower head. Now under the new code you will have a 3/4” pipe with a restricted flow shower head. You have all that additional hot water to heat that will sit in a pipe waiting for use. More correctly, you will have all that cool water in the larger pipe that has to be used through a low flow fixture before you can even get to the hot water. The customer that would have complained about waiting for hot water with a larger flow shower head is now going to be waiting even longer before they have hot water. Get ready for the complaint calls! But wait! There’s more! We are also dealing with municipalities insisting on having a 1” service to the house regardless of what housing type has been planned for. The builder/devel- oper will comply with the municipal requirement for oversized service, so that a building permit will be issued and the added cost ultimately passed on to the new homebuyer. I’m not talking about McMansions, just a common two-storey home design with two baths on the second floor, a main floor powder room, typical kitchen and laundry room along with a base- ment bath rough-in. So what’s the problem? There’s plenty of water, because the water meter is a 5/8” service. So the most common size of water meter service municipalities have in abundance is also the first and greatest restric- tor of water flow. That makes this an exercise in just plain bad plan- ning – added costs with no benefit to the customer or the municipality. When you add it all up, you have a lot of wasted water, water treat- ment and extra heating costs – for what? It goes against everything we have been advocating for and is not responsibly considering the cost to the new homebuyer. The OHBA is working with other industry stakeholders to request a code change to resolve this issue: We are surveying our members to see if there have been any reported issues of water flow that would require this change. We are discussing this issue with Tarion to see if there has been a significant increase in warranty complaints concerning water pres- sure related to water service sizing. We continue to work with the Ontario Building Officials Associa- tion to ensure the change we are requesting makes sense and greatly appreciate their partnership efforts with us on this and other issues. We are asking upper levels of gov- ernment for the evidence that this change was based on, and if the change to low flow fixtures was con- sidered part of the decision-making process. Admittedly, I am not an expert on plumbing design. However, I have consulted with industry stakeholders who are. We need to share with you some of the concerns we are working on, both for our members and for the consumer. BB Doug Tarry Jr. is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ont. fromthegroundup By Doug Tarry
  32. 32. 32 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014
  33. 33. 33WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 OTTAWA, ONTARIO (September 22, 2014) – My Design Studio was among the winners announced at the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) Awards of Distinction held in Ottawa this year for taking home the award for Most Outstanding New Home Kitchen (New Home 2001 sq ft and Over) for 29 Yorkview, Castleform Developments Inc. behind Peter Voong’s Castleform Devel- opments – quality craftsmanship paired of our environment. Presented by the Ontario Home Build- ers’ Association, the Awards of Distinction applauds the talent of builders, renovators, designers and marketers in the new home and construction industry in Ontario. “It’s an incredible honour to be rec- ognized among the best from all the en- tries throughout Ontario,” says Yasmine Goodwin, principal, My Design Studio. Yasmine Goodwin and My Design Stu- dio were also nominated in 2014 for Most Outstanding New Home Kitchen (New Home up to 2000 sq ft) and had previously won in 2010 for Best Interior Decorating – Model Home/Suite (Under 2000 sq ft). The Ontario Home Builders’ Associa- tion represents 4,000 member companies organized into 31 local associations across the province. BB sitespecifictoo By My De si gn S t u di o an d Be t t e r Bu i l de r st a ff Annual OHBA Awards of Distinction Most Outstanding New Home Kitchen (New Home 2001 sq ft and Over) in the Annual OHBA Awards of Distinction 2014 Top left and top right: The “Most Outstanding New Home Kitchen" (New Home 2001 sq ft and Over). Lower right: Castleform Developments LEED Gold-certified home. Inset: Peter Voong (Castleform Developments Inc.) with Yasmine Goodwin (My Design Studio) and Joëlle Goodwin. 33WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2015 SUPPLIEDPHOTOS
  34. 34. 34 WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 theplaneview By Be t t e r Bu i l de r S t a ff Canada has more lake area than any other coun- try in the world – approximately 8 per cent of its territory is covered by lakes. Canadians, it seems, have no trouble consuming lots of it. Canada ranks second highest in terms of per capita water consumption at 353 litres per day, and is 65 per cent above the OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) average. It’s not just Canadians who are consuming more water – water use increased six-fold during the 20th century, more than twice the rate of popu- lation growth. The Conference Board of Canada ranked Canada 15th out of 16 peer countries in terms of water withdrawals. This ranking is second only to the United States. Eight of the peer countries consume less than half that of Canadians per capita. There is still little known nationwide about the quantity and quality of fresh groundwater. What is known is that approximately one-third of Canadians depend on groundwater as their freshwater source. This fact coupled with the following should be enough to rouse some alarm. Twenty five percent of Canadian municipalities have experienced water shortages in the past several years. Add the fact that warmer climates and altered precipitation patterns are causing increased evaporation of surface water, which in turn may result in summer droughts in the interior of Southern Canada, and a bit of panic may set in. In Western Canada, these shortages may be worsened by the slow but steady disappearance of alpine glaciers that currently provide much of the freshwater input in regional rivers and streams. David Crane for Water Canada ( says the first step toward an action-positive move for Canadians will be “to raise the level of understanding, not only among policymakers, but also among the wider public; that there is an enormous challenge facing the world and that there is also a significant opportunity for Canada, by strengthening our research base and the strength of our companies….[we need to] identify our water champions who will provide leadership to make Canada a water-solutions country.” BB Sources: “The World and Water Fact Sheet.” RBC. Accessed Novem- ber 18, 2014. assets-custom/pdf/Fact-Sheet-The-World-and-Water-EN.pdf “High and Dry: What Canadians Don’t Know About Water Could Usher in Global Crisis.” Accessed November 20, 2014. http:// don-t-know-about-water-could-lead-global-crisis Need to Know Facts About Water PHOTO:WWW.DESIGNPICS.COM
  35. 35. 35WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 2014 With residential building codes changing across Canada you need an exterior insulated sheathing that measures up. In the move from nominal to effective R-values, ROXUL® COMFORTBOARD™ IS provides a stable solution. Vapour permeable, it dries easily even if the framing gets wet, guarding against mould and mildew all while delivering an extra layer of thermal protection. DON’T JUST INSULATE, ROXULATE | 1-800-265-6878 Find comfort in a world of change.
  36. 36. WWW.BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 12 | WINTER 201434 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.