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 18 / Summer 2016

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

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 18 / Summer 2016

  1. 1. PUBLICATIONNUMBER42408014 IN THIS ISSUE Designing HVAC Systems Small is Beautiful Home is Where the Heart Is RenewABILITY Celebrates 15 Years Homes of Tomorrow, Today ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 The Mechanical Issue
  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. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 4 1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2 HVAC Systems – Small is Beautiful by John Godden THE BADA TEST 3 Home is Where the Heart Is by Lou Bada INDUSTRY NEWS 4 RenewABILITY Celebrates 15 Years by Alex Newman 10 Zoning HVAC Systems by Brian Jackson INDUSTRY EXPERT 7 Advanced ERVs by Gord Cooke INDUSTRY EXPERT 12 Misguided Municipal Regulation of the Home Building Industry by Michael Lio BUILDER NEWS 14 Cross Border Challenge Winners by Patricia Duffy 28 John Godden Receives LIV Communities Vision Award by Better Builder Staff SITE SPECIFIC 24 David Fisher: Designing HVAC Systems That Meet Builders’ Needs by Alex Newman FROM THE GROUND UP 30 Imagine the Homes of Tomorrow, Today by Doug Tarry FEATURE STORY 16 Tower of Power Tridel and Tower Labs are on the cutting edge of creating systems designed to reduce the carbon footprint of high-rise residential buildings. by Rob Blackstien 14 16 30 ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 On our cover: HVAC design © vchal. Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited.
  4. 4. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 20162 T he book, Small is Beautiful: A study of economics as if people mattered by EF Schumacher has a relevant title to home builders. If we build homes with people as the focus, those homes need to be efficient, affordable, durable and comfortable. Energy performance standards in the Building Code have increased, resulting in smaller energy loads in newly constructed homes. If smaller loads are not factored into HVAC design, the unintended consequence is heating and cooling systems that don’t run long enough at lower outputs which creates discomfort for homeowners and complaints for builders. Ambient air temperature is measured by a thermostat that simply measures the average air temperature in a space. Mean Radiant Temperature (MRT) is a better metric for describing effective distribution of heat. Comfort in our homes is determined by radiant heat loss or heat gain from the human body to the surrounding surfaces. Radiant losses or gains are not determined by air temperature. A central thermostat with remote sensors measuring MRT would enable systems to run at lower outputs longer, in turn affecting surface temperatures. In new homes, single stage furnaces are often too large; we always need to heat hot water. The SB-12 2012 reference house has a heating load of 33MBtu/hr. Under package A1 of 2017 SB-12 the heating load is 28MBtu/hr. It seems logical to integrate space and domestic hot water heating into one unit. One gas appliance – a condensing hot water heater with a fan coil – easily and comfortably heats a large single-family home. One appliance with a single set of vents and gas line will reduce builders’ installation costs. The key to efficiency and comfort in a home is proper mechanical design. Our article on Dave Fisher of Martino HVAC explores how Dave works with builders to install right-sized systems. As furnace sizes shrink, air conditioning becomes a challenge. Zoning is an approach that provides affordable comfort. A walk-through of the math in Brian Jackson’s article proves that zoning is not as expensive as one would think. Conventional HVAC design in high-rise buildings employs huge make-up air units. Massive amounts of energy are required to preheat supply air for common areas and corridors. This issue features an article on Tridel’s innovation manager, Subhi Alsayed,, who developed an integrated fan coil and ERV system for individual condos that eliminates these large wasteful make-up air systems. Proving the old adage that good things come in small packages, Doug Tarry of Doug Tarry Homes shows us the house of tomorrow with a small but beautiful right-sized furnace. This system is coupled with an air source heat pump and small distribution ducts. BB HVAC Systems – Small is Beautiful PUBLISHER Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 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 Karen Hoffman CREATIVE Wallflower Design This magazine brings together premium product manufacturers and leading builders to create better, differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine cannot be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. UNDELIVERABLE MAIL Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 Better Builder Magazine is published four times a year. publisher’snote / JOHN GODDEN John Godden Alex Newman Gord Cooke Michael Lio Lou Bada Doug Tarry CONTRIBUTORS
  5. 5. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 3 The new Ontario Building Code SB-12 for 2017 and the drive for energy efficiency are forcing us to look more closely at the mechanical systems that we install in new homes. Tighter building envelopes and greater insulation levels present challenges when designing with conventional mechanical systems that are typically over-sized. A new built-form with smaller house footprints and multiple, back-to- back and/or stacked townhomes necessitate manufacturers, designers and builders to re-think and innovate. These new built-forms are relatively new to our industry, which used to build predominately detached homes or sufficiently wide semi-detached houses or townhomes. These new built-forms with lim­ ited exterior wall space for metering, gas-piping and venting appliances, for HRV intake and exhaust vents (that will be mandated by SB-12), and for the installation of air conditioning condensing units are challenging to build and design. The use of combination heating systems presents a possible solution to some of these challenges by combining two appliances into one. There is one less vent and one less intake to consider when installing a combo-system. Combined water and space heating entail the use of a dual- purpose water heater that feeds both the domestic hot water system and a forced-air fan coil (either high or low velocity) for heating. Although this technology is not entirely new, it is a change from our conventional forced-air furnaces. Builders in the mass market are just beginning to explore and gain experience with combination systems. Systems can use a water heater that is “tankless” (though they often require a small storage tank, oddly enough), or it can be a condensing hot water tank. Many condensing tank water heaters require only a single vent, are a simpler installation and are a great help when dealing with limited space. Tankless heaters usually require two vents (intake and exhaust) and are more restrictive in their venting requirements and installation, but there can be a place for them under the right conditions. New products are being developed constantly. Early iterations, 10 to 15 years ago, of some tankless systems were hailed as the Holy Grail of water heating, but failed miserably after a few years. One of the condensing tank water heaters had problems as well. Consumers, TARION and some builders were left to pick up the pieces. As an industry, we need to be cautious about moving too quickly so that we avoid unintended consequences. Consumers don’t want us experimenting with their homes’ heating systems. We need tried-and- true systems that are bullet-proof, cost effective, scalable and repeatable. The production home building industry is still finding its feet with this technology. We need flexibility and choice to address the myriad challenges presented by new regulations. SB-12 for 2017, as proposed so far, recognizes one prescriptive pathway for combination systems and correctly offers builders the possibility of using tankless or condensing water heaters. ENERGY STAR, however, mandates tankless systems that meet the CSA-P.9-11 performance standard for combination water heating systems. The process for certification has been difficult, time consuming and expensive for manufacturers. Forcing builders to use only tankless water heaters, whether or not they are the best solution for the host of challenges that we face, is not the best approach. Additionally, adding more layers of regulation is not always the answer to complex problems. Builders should use tankless or condensing water heaters where they work best. Builders will find a way to make the new and denser built-form work. Sometimes, one method or product will be more effective than another. Talk to your builder to understand the process behind deciding what’s best for the heart of your home. Because if it doesn’t work properly, we all have to deal with the heartache. BB Lou Bada is an executive with the Starlane Home Corporation in Vaughan as well as a member of RESCON’s technical council. Home is Where the Heart Is thebadatest / LOU BADA I have always had a sentimental reaction to the expression “home is where the heart is.” It often guides my approach to my work and my work/life balance. But, to me, the “heart” of a home is its mechanical systems. As you can see, I am quite the romantic. Let’s face it: mechanical systems are the heart, lungs and circulatory system of a home. These systems are vital.
  6. 6. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 20164 It’s one of the cheapest and easiest means of energy conservation, says the company’s VP of Operations, Jonathan Cook. “You’re extracting heat from warm water that is just going down the drain anyway.” Now, 15 years later, RenewABILITY is the only facility in Ontario to produce wastewater recovery units. Two other companies in Canada – one in Saskatchewan and one in Quebec – also produce them, but without the unique patented copper pipe that RenewABILITY uses. How it works The Power-Pipe® is a straightforward design. Made entirely of copper, it is wrapped with four to eight or more coils, depending on the requirements of the design application. Mounted on the Power-Pipe® is a mini manifold header that takes incoming water flow and divides it among the wrapped copper tubes. The Power-Pipe® itself replaces a straight vertical section of the home’s main drainage stack. Heat energy is extracted in a fairly simple way. When water from the shower or dishwasher goes down the drain, it clings to the inside walls of the copper pipe. Since copper is an efficient thermal conductor, as soon as warm water touches the inside wall of the pipe, heat energy transfers to the copper tubing wrapped around the outside of the Power-Pipe® which then warms up the incoming water. When it enters the water heater, less energy is required to heat it up. The Power-Pipe® is known as a double wall vented heat exchanger because incoming water doesn’t come into contact with outgoing drain water (two copper tubing walls separate them) eliminating any chance of cross contamination. The Power-Pipe® also saves a fair bit of money, says Cook. RenewABILITY’s calculations show savings up to 35% on water heating costs and up to 10% of the total energy bill. An added benefit is the heat transfer to the surrounding air when warm water runs through the copper pipe. Cook points out there is no need to upsize the water heater, “even with a household of teenagers all clamouring for a hot shower.” RenewABILITY Celebrates 15 Years industrynews / ALEX NEWMAN G erald Van Decker has always had a thing for energy efficiency and, after getting his degree in mechanical engineering, worked as a consultant and distributor for unique and specialized energy-conserving products. One of those products happened to be a first generation heat exchanger – not nearly as efficient as today’s but nonetheless filling a void in the market that wasn’t being addressed. That’s why Van Decker got involved in drain water heat recovery – and started his company, RenewABILITY Energy Inc. – in 2000. Gerald Van Decker celebrates 15 years of energy efficiency.
  7. 7. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 5 In addition to energy conservation, RenewABILITY does its part for sus­ tainability of the local economy. Their copper pipe and spools of copper tubing are purchased from Great Lakes Copper in London, ON, the only copper mill still operating in Canada. RenewABILITY is a local employer as well. At their site in Kitchener, the milled pipe is cut to a length determined by special orders from the builder, or from the stores that carry it, like Sears or Home Depot. Once the pipe is cut, specialized equipment tightly wraps and forms the copper tubing around the outside, and a process of brazing attaches it tightly to the pipe so it doesn’t uncoil. Who buys it? Cook has found that typical buyers range from the “DIY home handyman to the largest builders in Canada and the US. There are the people who are looking for every opportunity to reduce consumption, who are into net zero and passive homes, green roofs, to the simple householders who look at their gas and water bill and say, ‘This is crazy. We have to reduce.’ There are custom homebuilders, building a handful of high quality homes a year. There’s the smaller builder looking for savings on code credits, or striving for HERS credits.” RenewABILITY’s calculations show savings up to 35% on water heating costs and up to 10% of the total energy bill. Jonathan Cook shows how each Power-Pipe® is pressure tested.
  8. 8. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 20166 Displaying the copper DWHR pipes at home shows and selling at stores like Sears and Home Depot means the general public is more exposed to this technology and becoming more aware of its benefits. “People see it at a home show, then they see it online when they browse Sears or Home Depot while they’re looking at tankless hot water systems, or at an RO system.” The public is becoming increasingly aware of these relatively easy, inexpensive energy savers, and in its 15 years, RenewABILITY has seen the market expand exponentially – they now ship to France, UK, Sweden, and Mexico. “There’s just so much more market awareness, particularly as the awareness of reducing energy consumption is pushed to the forefront, in the news, and politics,” says Cook. He sees no let-up, either. Manitoba recently became the first North American jurisdiction to make heat water recovery mandatory in new home and multi-level construction. In California, HERS is the more accepted standard of rating a home’s energy efficiency and drain water heat recovery is part of the energy credit system. BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at Great Lakes Copper in London supplies copper produced locally. Manitoba recently became the first North American jurisdiction to make heat water recovery mandatory in new home and multi- level construction.
  9. 9. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 Somewhat surprisingly, the sensi­ ble recovery efficiencies listed in the prescriptive packages placed the gas heating options in a range of 65% - 81%, quite a jump. This can present a challenge for manufacturers who have been working over the last 25 years or so to make ever smaller, more cost effective, reliable and easy-to- install products. I look back fondly to the early days of HRVs. In 1986, VanEE had just introduced the double core 2000Plus HRV. The unit had an amazing efficiency of over 80%, but it was over 52" long and 20" deep. The thing was a monster with great thermal efficiency but less efficient fan motors. Nonetheless, my home unit (pictured here) lasted over 23 years with just one fan motor and one damper motor change. It still looks pretty good. This represents a proud moment in Cana­ dian manufacturing – HRVs and ERVs have now become an important element in houses throughout North America. However, it is time again to focus on overall energy performance. While attending the Canadian Mechanical Exposition last month, I was very pleased to see the unveiling of the newest VanEE and Venmar high efficiency series of products. The VanEE Gold Series features four new models – two HRVs and two ERVs – that are set to exceed the performance attributes of the Passive House certi­ fied products coming out of Europe. Here are a few highlights: • Sensible Recovery Efficiency (SRE) at 0ºC and 30 L/s (64 CFM) for the most efficient model is 84% • Total Recovery Efficiency at 35ºC and 30 L/s (64 CFM) (latent and sensible combined) is an amazing 68% • Perhaps most importantly, the fan efficacy of the ERV above is 2.9 CFM/watt and the other models have fan efficacies of over 3.5 CFM/ watt – about three times better than the ENERGY STAR HRV fan requirements, even better than the requirements for an ENERGY STAR qualified bathroom fan. That said, the size has increased. The new unit is not quite the monster that my old 2000Plus was, but dimensions of 32"w x 20"d x 31"h may take some planning in tight mechanical rooms. Out of curiosity, I checked the efficiency gains of these new high- performance models against a more normal ENERGY STAR qualified HRV at 65% SRE. In high-performance homes, such as Net Zero Ready or Net Zero Homes, the compelling metric is a comparison of costs and savings to the equivalent requirements of PV solar panels to make up the energy used. Using both HOT 2000 and REMRate to determine what difference the new Gold Series would make, I found that though the results were similar for both, the HOT 2000 has a little better algorithm in a Canadian context because it can capture the latent effects of an ERV. I compared an ENERGY STAR qualified HRV with a Sensible Recovery 7 Advanced Energy Recovery Ventilators industryexpert / GORD COOKE L ast month, the draft of the Ontario Building Code Supplementary Standard SB-12 Energy Efficiency requirements for January 2017 was released. It was no surprise that all of the prescriptive packages require a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). That means that those builders (and their energy evaluators) who don’t want to put in HRVs/ERVs will have to find some other compelling energy upgrade to replace the efficiency benefits of an HRV under one of the performance path options. Original High Efficiency HRV circa 1986.
  10. 10. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 20168 Efficiency (SRE) of 65% and a fan efficacy of 1.2 CFM/watt to the new Gold Series ERV, 84% SRE and 2.9 CFM/watt in a four-bedroom (75 CFM) near Zero Energy home in Toronto. The total annual energy consump­ tion was 820 kilowatt-hours per year less with the high performance ERV in this home. The improvement came from three important differences: the improvement in sensible recovery efficiency, the reduced fan power consumption of the ECM fan motor, and the improved cooling (latent and sensible) performance due to the ERV core. At current installation costs of $3.00 to $3.50 per installed watt capacity of PV panels, and knowing that in Toronto a 1000 W array capacity generates about 1200 kWh per year of electricity, the new Gold Series would be the equivalent of avoiding the installation of 680 watts of PV capacity or approximately $2,000 worth of solar panels. This would more than pay for the incremental cost of the new Gold Series product. Add to the conversation the increased high- speed airflow capacity of the unit, the lower noise levels and better moisture control of the ERV core, and we see a nice progression beyond the simple requirement for HRVs and ERVs that will be in effect next January. There are lots of encouraging things happening in mechanical systems for new homes and the continual improvement of HRV and ERV offerings is worth consideration to recalibrate your thinking regarding the best systems for your homes. BB Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. VENMARVENTILATION All these products meet ENERGY STAR’s higher standards For more information or to order, contact your local distributor. vänEE 100H vänEE 200HvänEE 60H vänEE 60H-V+ vänEE 90H-V ECMvänEE 40H+vänEE 90H-V+ vänEE 60H+ vänEE 50H1001 HRV vänEE Gold Series 2001 HRV vänEE Gold Series vänEE air exchangers: improved line-up meets ENERGY STAR® standards Superior Energy Efficiency Ideal for LEED homes and new building codes 5-year warranty* FRESH AIR JUST GOT GREENER *ON MOST MODELS. Next generation HRVs are more compact and efficient.
  11. 11. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 PANASONIC HAS THE RIGHT PRODUCTS TO BUILD THE RIGHT HOME Learn more about Panasonic’s Partnership Program for rebates, co-branding and value added programs for your buyers and employees
  12. 12. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201610 industrynews / BRIAN JACKSON Historically, HVAC design pro­ fessionals calculated their heat gain/ loss scenarios based on peak demand, and provided oversized, single-point control mechanical systems to satisfy the overstated heating and cooling requirements. These systems are neither cost efficient to operate nor do a good job at providing occupant comfort. Recently, the industry has started to adopt the notion of “right sizing systems” for heating and cooling equipment that more realistically reflects actual load demand. Part of the process of sizing equip­ ment properly is zoning or isolating specific areas of the building for “time of greatest need” conditioning. This is not a new concept and has been deployed for specialized applications on premium housing types, but it has remained largely absent from the volume housing market. The concept involves sending heated or cooled air to where it is needed in the home. For instance, if the second floor is cold in the winter but the ground floor is mod­ er­ate, the hot air is sent to the second floor and the ground floor is left alone. To adapt this methodology, a designer can utilize a factory-designed zoned system, a field-fabricated zoned system, or, at the very least, design the air distribution system as zone ready to allow the home owner to upgrade to zoned equipment at a later date. The zoning of the HVAC system has two tangible positive results from a conservation perspective: a reduction in energy usage and a substantial reduction in peak demand of the structure or subdivision (Fig.1). From a comfort point of view, a zoned system aligns the indoor conditions with the ASHRAE ideal comfort zone, a zone that is ideal for optimal comfort (Fig.2). Aside from the savings and comfort benefit, any progressive builder promoting the application of zoned systems has an additional marketing tool to differentiate themselves from the less innovative status quo. A local manufacturer, Airmax Technologies, has advanced their zoned product offering to the point that the prime air handling unit ships to the job site pre-configured and wired for zone installation in both two- and three-zone models. The basic system is configured as high velocity to suit a vertical method of construction and is available as CSA P.9-11 certified. The only field work is the split ducting Zoning HVAC Systems R esidential home builders are being inundated with a great deal of informa­ tion about energy efficiency and how to make a home that is typically better than Code. However, an important aspect of any home design is human comfort. Providing proper humidity, temperature, and air filtration are essential for a satisfied customer. Many of the so-called conservation methods have a reasonable payback, while others do not. Zoned systems have a solid payback. Source: Natural Resources Canada / CanmetENERGY *based on 2,180 SF of finished area (incl. basement); and 2.7 occupants per household Fig.1 ZONED HVAC – HOMEOWNER ENERGY BENEFITS Fig.2 ZONED HVAC – HOMEOWNER COMFORT BENEFITS
  13. 13. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 for the zones and separate thermostat wires for each zone. In our very competitive market where system cost is so important, a system that appears to carry a premium price tag might be quickly dismissed. However, a recent comparison done for an HVAC designer yielded the following results: To drop from a Max 100e (62,741 BTUH @ 140ºF water) to a Max 70e (58,902 BTUH @ 160ºF water) resulted in a $135 savings. There is $315 difference between the Max 70e (1 zone) and the upgraded Max 70e P2 (2 zones). These are approximate wholesaler costs. Further savings were realized from the condensing unit cost as well. The designer was comfortable dropping 2,000 BTUH to the smaller condensing unit because of the zoned unit. 3 ton $1,138 2.5 ton $960 Again, costs to the contractor. A further $25 can be saved using a smaller evaporator coil. An additional thermostat for two zones costs $15. The design number of diffusers for a Max 100e is 22 outlets, and 19 outlets for a Max 70e P2. Net savings on material for three outlets at $40/outlet equals $120. Therefore, $315-($135+($1,138-$960)+$25-$15+$120) = $128/suite capital material cost savings for zoning. Additional costs include separate main duct runs for the third- and fourth-floor walk out, and main and basement levels. This equates to six pieces of eight-inch snap lock, elbows, and labour to install. Specifics of the building, an end-unit townhouse with three floors plus a fourth-floor rooftop terrace, were a heat loss of 58,000 BTUH and a heat gain of 32,000 BTUH. The building was designed as high velocity. Not using zoning in homes over 1,000 square feet doesn’t make sense, nor does it where the building is oriented or constructed in such a way that results in non- uniform heat gain/losses. For more information, visit the NRCan website at case-studies/17346 to review the latest publication on zoned systems, Zoning Decision Guide for Builders. BB Brian Jackson, P.Eng. is a professional engineer specializing in equipment and systems design. 11 Roof truss and wood sill connection. Simpson Strong Tie MGT system shown Drywall screwed into amvic polypropylene webs as per building code Electrical outlet Wood sub-floor installed as per local building Simpson strong tie ICFLC and wood floor joists connection Amvic insulating concrete forms Amdeck floor & roof system Exterior wood siding installed as per local building code Amvic high impact polypropylene webs Acrylic, standard ptucco or eifs applied to exterior face of Amvic ICF Brick veneer Parge face of exposed brick ledge Grade Peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane (or equivalent) as per local building code Perforated weeping tile INSULATED CONCRETEFORMS FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: AMVIC.COM
  14. 14. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201612 industryexpert / MICHAEL LIO The regulation of new construc­ tion is complex and justifiably so. The many systems in a building are interrelated and changes to one system often impact others. The introduction of new materials and components often requires time for builders to field test and debug performance to prevent what could be disastrous consequences. As a general rule, building Codes follow rather than lead in establishing minimum requirements for buildings. Code changes are often first adopted at the national level within the model National Building Code. The Canadian Commission for Building and Fire Codes oversees a national process that includes many standing committees, task groups, and working groups to carefully examine and research each and every proposed amendment to the Code. Code changes which pass this intense technical scrutiny are released for public examination and comment. Stakeholders from across the country examine each change and provide comment and guidance. Each comment is carefully examined and revisions are made accordingly. Each Code change then becomes available to the provincial regulator to consider within its jurisdiction. Provinces conduct their own technical and public review before finally adopting a change within the provincial Code. Changes to building standards are not taken lightly. Consider, on the other hand, municipal councils with paper- thin expertise enacting municipal regulation which could mandate Net Zero buildings or residential sprinklers, for example. What technical review, life cycle analysis, or public consultation has the municipality conducted to support its regulation? How many public comments or revisions from stakeholder groups has the municipality gathered? There is nothing wrong with municipalities encouraging builders to voluntarily improve building performance. There is nothing wrong if they choose to share the benefits from reduced infrastructure costs with those same builders as part of the encouragement. There is plenty wrong if they force the industry to build to: 1) standards that exceed those in the Code; 2) standards that impose components and practices that are new and untested; and, 3) standards that risk building defects and occupant discomfort. Municipalities who have regulated ENERGY STAR levels of performance should take particular heed. The 2017 version of ENERGY STAR will likely demand equipment and practices which can deliver a 35% improvement in energy efficiency compared to the current Code. The 2017 ENERGY STAR will impose practices which have not had a long history of field testing. Builders would need a number of years to try the new practices and perfect their construction in advance of any regulation. Municipalities who force builders to venture out into this uncharted territory put builders and their buyers at risk. ENERGY STAR was devised as a Code leading voluntary program Misguided Municipal Regulation of the Home Building Industry M unicipalities in Canada are creatures of statute. Generally, and unless they are specifically permitted otherwise, municipalities cannot pass legislation that infringes on areas regulated by the province or the federal government. For example, a municipality would not be able to regulate criminal law which is within the federal government’s jurisdiction. Recently within Ontario, a number of municipalities have regulated building standards which are part of the Building Code Act – provincial legislation. Aside from crossing over into provincial jurisdiction, these municipal regulations may, in the near future, force builders to adopt building systems that have not been fully field tested and which could result in defects and homeowner complaints. Builders would need a number of years to try the new practices and perfect their con­ struction in advance of any regulation.
  15. 15. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 that could be used by builders to differentiate themselves. It was intended to field test near-Code-ready energy efficiency techniques and components. Its founding principles never contemplated municipal governments thoughtlessly referencing it in municipal regulation and forcing builders to build what they may not be ready to build. Climate change action is com­ mendable. Encouraging improved housing performance is admirable. Thoughtless municipal regulation is not in anyone’s best interest. BB Michael Lio is president of buildABILITY Corporation. 13 Dow’s full house of insulation, air sealants and adhesives work together to create an airtight, moisture resistant structure from roof to foundation, helping builders and contractors meet or exceed building codes, reduce callbacks and create a comfortable, durable, energy efficient structure for their customers. Dow BuilDing SolutionS 1-866-583-BluE (2583) ®™The DOW Diamond Logo is a trademark of The Dow Chemical Company © 2014 Whole-House SolutionstHAt HElP BuilDERS AnD ContRACtoRS outPERFoRM ENERGY PERFORMANCE IN ONTARIO MOVING FORWARD 2012 OBC 2017 OBC Estar V.15 BTC Near Zero R2000 Future Net Zero 0 +15% +35% +50% 100% HIGHER PERFORMANCE   
  16. 16. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201614 energy-efficient home building in the US and Canada that we decided to make the program an annual RESNET- CRESNET event.” With over 1,000 conference partici­ pants in attendance at the opening plenary, John Godden, President of CRESNET, Steve Baden, President of RESNET, and the award sponsors, Paul Duffy of Icynene and Rod Buchalter of RenewABILITY, presented the special President’s Awards. The 2016 RESNET President’s Award was issued buildernews / PATRICIA DUFFY T he second annual friendly competition between American and Canadian builders to see who can build the most energy- efficient homes was once again presented to a full audience at the 2016 RESNET Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona last March. Steve Baden, Executive Director of RESNET, noted that “the 2015 Cross Border Home Builder Challenge has been such a huge success in promoting the utilization of the HERS Index and to KB Home and the 2016 CRESNET President’s Award was awarded to Rosehaven Homes. The winners of the CRESNET and RESNET President’s Awards each won an insulation package from Icynene. Products included Icynene Classic Max and Classic Plus low density spray foams and Icynene ProSeal and ProSeal Eco, medium density spray foams. Later that same day, there was a workshop presentation of the other six winners in the following categories: Cross Border Challenge Winners Paul Duffy, CRESNET president, John Godden, Fred Vallozzi and Anthony Martelli, LIV Communities. John Godden presents the award to Anthony Martelli, Chief Operating Officer, LIV Communities.
  17. 17. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 • Lowest HERS score American Production Builder – Brookfield Residential, Colorado with a HERS Index of 32 • Lowest HERS score American Custom Builder – Greenhill Contracting, New York with a HERS Index of 25 • Lowest HERS score Canadian Production Builder – LIV Communities, Ontario with a HERS Index of 26 • Lowest HERS score Canadian Custom Builder – Seaman & Sons, Ontario with a HERS Index of 9 • American Net Zero Award winner – Greenhill Contracting, New York with a HERS Index of -5 • Canadian Net Zero Award winner – Denim Homes, Nova Scotia with a HERS Index of -3 Each winner in all lowest HERS Index scores categories received a free Power-Pipe® Drain Water Heat Recovery System. American and Canadian builders in attendance at the workshop had fun comparing notes over a few Canadian beers! All in all, the 2016 RESNET Conference was a very successful competition and event in Arizona. BB Patricia Duffy is Executive Director of CRESNET and the Sustainable Housing Foundation. 15 Announced at RESNET Conference Nick Sanci and Joe Laronga with the 2016 CRESNET President’s Award for Rosehaven Homes. Award-winning Canadian custom builder Derek Seaman with his son and Gord Cooke. Net Zero Award winner Caleb Howden, Denim Homes with Gillian Delaney.
  18. 18. 18 BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 Tower
  19. 19. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 17 As Tridel’s Innovation Manager and Projects Director at Tower Labs, Subhi Alsayed is at the centre of the company’s drive to be on the cutting edge of developing difference-making technology such as its integrated Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) and fan coil system that is now dominating the Ontario market. So what exactly does an innovation manager do? “It encompasses doing things better than the way they’re currently done, and doing things differently with the goal of always maintaining your leadership position in the industry and (gaining) a competitive advantage strategically over everybody else,” says Alsayed, a mechanical engineer who also earned his MBA this year, giving him a technical and business background. A decade ago, Tridel made the decision to go green and only build LEED-certified buildings that were highly energy efficient. This began with Alsayed and his team dissecting the various building systems to identify which consumed the most energy. Their research revealed that the ventilation system was one of the of Power featurestory / ROB BLACKSTIEN Tridel and Tower Labs are on the cutting edge of creating systems designed to reduce the carbon footprint of high-rise residential buildings. I n this age of hyper corporate social responsibility, you constantly hear companies touting their focus on making a difference in the world. In the case of condominium developer Tridel Corporation, it’s putting its money where its mouth is. Tridel is so committed to perpetually improving and innovating – especially in the green building space – that it not only has an innovation manager, but also its own non-profit green building technology adoption arm, Tower Labs.
  20. 20. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201618 major energy consumers, as high rises at the time were ventilated by a huge makeup air unit that sat on the roof. It had enormous motors, big fans and it would basically supply massive amounts of outside air to be pumped into the corridors. “The fans consumed a lot of energy to ensure there’s enough pressure in the corridors to allow the air or a fraction of the air to enter each suite from under the door,” he explains. Alsayed says the problem with this system was wasted energy that was needed to make up for the air that escaped through the garbage chute or elevator shaft. Also, stack effect – uncontrollable air movement in the building resulting from the high difference between the indoor temperature and the outdoor temperature, mainly in the cold temperatures season. “That caused a lot of resistance to the delivery of ventilation air through the centralized system,” he says. This revelation led Tridel to an alternative: in-suite ventilation, whereby an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) is placed in every suite, bringing in air from outside. They started by testing this concept in a small number of suites, at the time trying a standalone ERV. It’s a ceiling mounted piece of equipment with two fans and an energy recovery core and was installed in suites at different elevations to test the performance at various heights. This type of device had been used in single family homes, but Tridel was the first to successfully bring it to a high-rise dwelling. The experiment was run over a whole year to see the affect during the different extremes of weather. The result? All that air that was being heated or cooled (depending on the time of year) – and ultimately wasted because of stack effect or losses Because air is now brought directly from outside into the living space, the suite door can be completely sealed from the corridor – the opposite of what was done in the past. Luxury design with energy and space efficiency.
  21. 21. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 19 in the corridors and envelope – was no longer required. Heating or cooling a huge volume of air that nobody would use just did not make sense. “The ventilation efficiency was very low because there’s no guarantee that every suite in the building would receive the appropriate or the required amount of outside air with the central system,” he says. Tridel’s strategy was to recover part of the energy in the air that was being exhausted by the washroom fan and to supply only the required ventilation air volume directly into the suites – reducing the fan power required and the electrical consumption of the central makeup air fans. The company began installing ERVs into the next generation of buildings, and now because air is brought directly from outside into the living space, they’re able to completely seal the suite door from the corridor – the opposite of what was done in the past. The makeup unit has been reduced to a third of its previous size, because now they only need to supply enough outside air to meet the Fire Code requirements, and the amount of energy used on heating or cooling
  22. 22. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201620 and distributing the air has been reduced by almost two-thirds. Once this ERV unit was perfected and the industry started using it, the newly-formed Tower Labs (launched in 2010) realized that it would make more sense to integrate the ERV into the vertical fan coil instead of having an extra piece of equipment in each suite. With funding from SDTC (Sus­ tainable Development Technology Canada), Tower Labs partnered with dPoint Technologies Inc., which had developed an innovative ERV membrane, and two of the province’s leading fan coil unit manufacturers (Unilux and EnerZone) to develop a product in which the ERV became part of the fan coil unit. While this new integrated unit won’t reduce the cost of the suite, it will contribute to the reduction of energy costs and perhaps common elements fees, Alsayed says. The product also solved another problem: bulkhead space. When they used standalone ERVs, they needed to add an additional set of ducts, so that added more bulkheads in the condo, but with the integrated fan coil unit, those are reduced. “Everybody likes fewer bulkheads in their suite because everybody wants higher ceilings,” he says. Before testing was even complete, the market started jumping on this technology, and it’s now become virtually ubiquitous in Ontario, with an estimated market share of 60 to 80 per cent. While Tower Labs is currently working on a few other projects, Alsayed prefers to keep most of them under wraps until they are ready to launch. However, he did mention that they’re developing “the next generation fan coil unit with an economizer cycle” with funding from NRCan. The concept involves bringing in outside air during the shoulder seasons (spring and fall) to offset the mechanical heating and cooling processes. Traditionally in high rises, there is a seasonal switch over for heating and cooling, with heating generally being available until the Victoria Day weekend. However, the recent trend of milder springs has created times when it becomes unseasonably warm for a week or so before cooler weather returns and it simply isn’t feasible to switch to cooling for that brief period. The solution currently being tested by Tower Labs (and expected to be launched within the next year) Above: The integrated heating and fresh air system allows for in-suite ventilation. Right: The system balances supply and exhaust air in individual condo units and saves energy. “Everybody likes fewer bulkheads in their suite because everybody wants higher ceilings.”
  23. 23. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201622 involves bringing in during the shoulder seasons higher volumes of outside air than what’s required for ventilation and bypassing the mechanical heating and cooling to use that air to reduce the temperature in the suite. This isn’t a new concept; it’s used in rooftop units in commercial plazas, but this will be the first time it’s been used in high-rise condos, he says. Another initiative is NetZed, net zero energy dwelling, where Tower Labs is attempting to develop condo suites that can produce as much energy as they need – all powered by renewable energy in the form of dedicated solar panels. In time, the company hopes to scale that up to an entire floor and ultimately an entire building. The advantage of Tower Labs (co-founded with MaRS) as a non- profit is that it allows it to work with federal and municipal agencies, work with academia (such as George Brown College and U of T) and combine research and working with manufacturers and technology partners. “So as a non-profit, you have that flexibility to do that kind of work, “ Alsayed says. That flexibility has bred an environ­ ment of innovation and has benefited the industry as a whole as all these publicly-funded projects are available for the rest of the market to use. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. The central air handler with ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilator) is monitored for recovery efficiency. The ERV core is integrated into the air handler.
  24. 24. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201624 sitespecific / ALEX NEWMAN When builders first contact Martino HVAC, they meet with both the sales and design teams (but not at same time). After going over the blueprints, designers help to determine where to locate the heating and cooling systems so that they don’t impede the design of the home itself, says David Fisher, Estimation and Design Department Manager for Martino HVAC. Homeowners want open space, he explains, but locating the mechanical system sometimes gets lost in that. Conversely, he adds, mechanical systems can intrude on the architec­ tural integrity of a home’s interior. “Purchasers are still concerned more with esthetics than with energy efficiency,” Fisher says. “We can help the builder design both efficiently and esthetically.” With the Building Code changes in January 2015, a major emphasis was on the right sizing of equipment, Fisher says. “The goal of proper home assessment is to help you design a system that uses effective R-values and is the right size for your home.” Fisher has created a Microsoft Excel program to do the calculations. He also knows AutoCAD and when it comes to blueprints, he uses the architect’s drawings and superimposes the heating system on top of them. “You want the drawings to look professional so others will understand them. If it goes to the municipality and they can’t read the drawings, that delays the permit process. My goal is to not receive a single complaint from the municipality so the builder doesn’t have a problem with the process.” Designers then communicate with the installers to help them clearly understand the design and make their job as easy as possible. Fisher says they keep communication and discussion very open between mechanical contractor, installers and builder. “We also coor­dinate everyone so the builder doesn’t have to deal with all these different subcontractors.” This aspect of the business has grown so much that Fisher now oversees two full-time designers. David Fisher Designing HVAC Systems That Meet Builders’ Needs G ood design, good communication, and having everything under one roof are key elements to the Martino HVAC success story. Working primarily with new homebuilders, the company designs, installs, services and even manufactures parts for heating systems for new housing projects.
  25. 25. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 15
  26. 26. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201626 Company history The company has been through a few iterations since Mike Martino started it in Barrie, Ontario almost 30 years ago – taking on partners, buying partners out, moving from Barrie to Toronto. He’s added divisions and departments as needed: the service department which Fisher ran for awhile; the design division; another location that specializes radiant in-floor and boiler installations; and manufacturing parts like ducts, rectangular trunks and fittings. Everything is geared to making it easier and faster to install and service. Even hiring Fisher was a deliberate step to improving delivery of systems. He and Martino met when he spent summers with the Martino kids – their Bala, Ontario cottages were a stone’s throw from each other. After Fisher finished university in the US, he returned to Canada to study architectural technology at Humber College. Martino approached him about a design division he had in mind, and he asked Fisher to learn more about right-sizing a home’s heating system, and calculating heat loss and gain. The learning didn’t stop there, though – Fisher now attends almost every available course on net zero construction, air quality, how to measure HERS ratings. He likes to keep up with what’s current so he can understand how builders aim to make their homes better in the future. He has also learned the business from the ground up. Even with all his school background, Martino had him work virtually every department of the company – sales, service, installation, design. “I’d be installing furnace vents, going through as many as 25 houses a day, and seeing how one builder’s homes were different from another’s, the different applications of their heating systems. I ended up asking a lot of questions.” Builders and HVAC Builders must comply with Ontario Building Code energy efficiency requirements. Although a house today is still so much more efficient than a house built in 2010, Fisher says some builders will strive to go above and beyond the Building Code, aiming for greater functionality and interior air comfort. Every five years, the Building Code renews HVAC requirements, with specific enactment dates built in to that term. It’s not Fisher’s job, however, to tell builders to take one product over another, only to advise within Code, and for right-sizing of the system as a whole. “The builder really lays out what they want for homeowners and we provide based on what they want.” But Fisher is finding that more and more builders are taking a further step toward energy efficiency. One of them recently gave a workshop presentation to 10 of their purchasers. Fisher, Martino and John Godden led the seminar, explaining what an upgraded heating system could do, and asking if they would change their furnace to an upgraded model. Once the benefits were clearly explained, nine of the 10 couples opted for the upgrade. Company upgrades Martino HVAC also builds in upgrades of its own, like its patented air box that comes with every new home. Every new furnace has its air filtration system, with filters that are usually an inch thick. Four- or five-inch filters are better, Fisher says, but to improve most existing filtration systems to accept them would require taking apart the ductwork and installing a new air box. “Mike said he was tired of forcing homeowners to pay extra,” Fisher recalls. “So we created a Martino air guard, which still has a one-inch sec­ tion inside the air box, but also incor­ porates a separate section to install a four- or five-inch upgraded air filter.” Martino also offers free home visits when homeowners take possession. “They call us and we send out a service technician to explain exactly how and why the system performs the way it does. Technology is more complicated, especially the high-cost thermostats, and it’s easier if someone is there to show you how it all works.” BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at “I’d be installing furnace vents, going through as many as 25 houses a day, and seeing how one builder’s homes were different from another’s, the different applications of their heating systems. I ended up asking a lot of questions.”
  27. 27. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201628 buildernews / BETTER BUILDER STAFF “Vision is about being able to see an idea before it exists. It requires thinking outside the box, which can be difficult in our industry, dominated by conservative practices and strict regulations. “We are directed by the OBC, but that is a minimum standard that government legislates. That doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the only way or the best way. It takes vision to see beyond that to what is possible. This award encompasses true vision, the ability to see a better way of doing things through new processes or materials. “It can often be a very lonely undertaking, since they’re often travelling against the current. Through tireless efforts, passion, clear and concise messages and determination, this individual has inspired many people in our industry. He has not only shown us how to develop new solutions to improve our customers’ lives, but has presented them from a business perspective that allows us to deliver more while protecting our bottom line. His organization has been instrumental in training our trade partners and our staff members on the merits of transformation, and made them advocates for building better performing, efficient, quality homes. As he often says, ‘It’s the triple bottom line,’ doing what’s best for the customer, for business and for the environment. Please join me in congratulating our Vision Award winner John Godden.” BB John Godden Receives LIV Communities Vision Award A nthony Martelli, Chief Operating Officer for LIV Communities presented the Vision Award at LIV’s June 8, 2016 luncheon and awards event. Anthony’s award presentation speech follows. “It’s the triple bottom line: do what’s best for the customer, for business and for the environment.” John Godden with LIV Communities (from L to R) Anthony Martelli, Kevin Watt, Aaron Roque and Dorian Grah. McCABEPHOTOGRAPHY
  28. 28. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201630 fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY I recently attended the Building Science Spring Training Camp in Huntsville, a great opportunity for leading industry experts to get together and exchange what we’ve learned over the last year and beyond. This event is a must-attend date on my calendar. The event organizers, Gord Cooke, John Straub and Tex McLeod put on another fantastic session and I was honoured to be asked to provide an update on our work and how it relates to home comfort and energy efficiency. Over the last several years, I have been very fortunate to work with industry experts (building scientists, manufacturers, educational partners and government) on Code research projects that will enable builders to create the next generation of high- performance housing. These experiences have given me two key lessons: 1. I’ve done complicated. It’s COMPLICATED. You might want to avoid that. 2. For every action (that you take), there is an equal and opposite reaction (that you have to figure out). As my friend Andy Oding said recently, “We can’t live long enough to make all the mistakes ourselves.” So I’d like to share my experiences to help others avoid some of our “lessons.” For example, during one project, in order to reduce the chances of condensation and mold, we decided to foam our rim joist. An added bonus was that the air leakage reduced from an average of 1.9 ACH to an average of 1.1 ACH. (We are now down to an average of 0.76 ACH). That reduced our total heating load on our homes to the point where any furnace we could find was oversized for the home’s needs, which introduced new challenges. We tried combo systems only to be thwarted by the P9-11 testing requirements. (I felt the requirements were rolled out before industry capacity had been built up.) Also, it turns out it’s not the best idea to us a combo system in a home with hard water. Who knew? By now, most readers are aware that the Ontario Building Code (OBC) is set to improve performance by a 15% reduction in energy consumption starting in January 2017. What you may not know is that the ENERGY STAR program in Ontario will likely require builders to meet a reduction approximately 20% less than these new OBC requirements. The 35% total reduction is about the same level of performance that we currently build at Doug Tarry Homes. From a planning and design perspective, this creates an interesting dilemma for us, as this level of efficiency is closer to Net Zero Ready than it is to the current OBC. The question we faced was, do we stay put, or do we move up to Net Zero Ready? The next logical step is a Net Zero or Net Zero Ready Home, and we have been exploring the transition towards this goal. Our net zero home design Our Net Zero Ready specifications feature the same Dettson Chinook furnace and Dettson Alize air conditioner (Air Source Heat Pump) as our regular homes and we’ve partnered with Dettson and Fanshawe College to test and study our Net Zero Home’s energy performance. So, what is different from our regular homes? • Slightly higher level of insulation in our walls, basements, basement slabs and ceilings, but with all the same materials and details we normally use • Dettson Smart Ducting HVAC Sys­ tem, for smaller ducting, better air flow and greater occupant comfort • Triple-glazed (rather than double- glazed) North Star windows with low solar coatings as required Imagine the Homes of Tomorrow, Today The OBC is set to improve performance by a 15% reduction in energy consumption starting in 2017 … the ENERGY STAR program in Ontario will likely require builders to meet a reduction approximately 20% less than these new OBC requirements.
  29. 29. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 2016 • Staying with our usual ERV manufacturer (VanEE) with the addition of an ECM motor (our “fresh air machine”) that is controlled by easy-to-use “set-it and forget-it” technology • High-performance water heater along with a recirculation system for instant hot water • Drain water heat recovery pipe to capture waste water heat The addition of solar (PV) panels that create the amount of energy the home needs, enabling the home to be fully Net Zero and able to feed excess electricity to the grid for net metering, thus providing credits on the homeowner’s electricity bill. What are the customer benefits of owning a Net Zero Home? Making the decision to purchase a Net Zero Energy Home provides customers with years of increased comfort: a healthier, safer home with fewer drafts, more even interior temperatures, fewer humidity issues and better indoor air quality. These homes are also more durable, and have fewer long-term maintenance costs, as well as being “future proof” in regard to rising energy costs. In fact, when compared to a Code-built home in Ontario, combined mortgage and utility costs often make a Net Zero Home the more affordable choice overall. Net Zero Homes are also more environmentally sustainable, with lower greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, they provide a more responsible use of resources and reduce the household’s overall carbon footprint. But can the customer operate the home? We ask our customers to imagine owning a home that produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. That’s what our Net Zero Energy Homes can do, but it depends on occupant behaviour. If the homeowner doesn’t understand and operate it properly, the home will not perform to its full potential. Our goal As I said at the beginning of this article, if it’s complicated, it is exactly that – COMPLICATED. If you can’t describe to your customer, clearly and simply, how the mechanical system works, the odds of that customer running the home successfully will be very low. 31 With Net Zero Homes, smaller heating loads mean a smaller furnace. Smaller furnace, smaller smarter ducting.
  30. 30. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 18 | SUMMER 201632 Action: You installed a complicated system. Equal and opposite reaction: Your warranty staff are going to be really busy. Been there, done that, didn’t like the t-shirt. Key goal for this project: Keep it simple. We install a Dettson program­ mable thermostat (in all of our homes, not just our Net Zero Homes). Then we install the VanEE ERV control right beside the thermostat. We show the customer the smart mode setting, and tell them to “set it and forget it.” The only requirement of the customer is to change their furnace filter and clean the ERV filters regularly. That’s it! Two controls that the customers need not touch. “Set it and forget it.” It works. It’s simple. It’s not rocket science. This is the biggest piece of advice I have: keep it simple and your customers will actually enjoy their high-performance homes. BB Doug Tarry Jr is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ontario. The Dettson Alize air source heat pump and air conditioner up to 21 SEER performance.
  31. 31. Your reputation is built, or crumbles, long after the keys have been handed over. That’s why projects like The Edelweiss Home – Canada’s first LEED® v4 home, and second in the world to achieve Platinum status – rely on the continuous insulation of ROXUL® COMFORTBOARD™ exterior sheathing. Its vapour permeability enables your wall assembly to dry to the outside, providing your clients with durability and comfort. See why ROXUL is a better fit for your next project at A BETTER WAY TO BUILD YOUR HOMES – AND YOUR REPUTATION. CAVITYROCK ® and COMFORTBOARD TM . For a better way to build. COMFORTBOARD™ . For the better way to build.LEED® is a registered trademark of United States Green Building Council.
  32. 32. The demand for energy efficient homes is increasing and building codes will be changing in 2017. Enbridge can help. Our Savings by Design (SBD) program offers free access to design and technical experts, plus up to $300,000inincentives.* It’s the support you need to construct energy efficient, healthy and sustainable homes beyond code requirements. Find out how the SBD program helps builders like you at Getthesupportyouneedtobuilditright. *Builders can earn $300,000 in incentives by participating in the program three separate times. To qualify for the program, your project must be located in the Enbridge Gas Distribution franchise area. Participation is a three-year commitment. During that time, builders are expected to design and construct at least one new construction home based on resulting recommendations. In order to receive incentive payments, you must agree to all program terms and conditions, must fully participate in all stages of the program and must meet all program requirements.