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ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018PUBLICATIONNUMBER42408014
INSIDE
Rosehaven on the Leading Edge
Streamlining Approvals
Village Homes’ Innovations
Campanale Offers Added Value
Climate Change Reality Check
The
MunicipalIssue
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BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
16
1
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
2
Rewarding Leadership and
Creative Thinking
by John Godden
THE BADA TEST
3
A Little Common Sense and
Technology Can Streamline
GTA Development Approvals
by Lou Bada
INDUSTRY NEWS
7
“Streamline” Finally Becomes
a Buzzword for Politicians,
Industry
by Richard Lyall
BUILDER NEWS
11
Village Homes
Exceptional Local Leadership
by Alex Newman
SPECIAL INTEREST
14
The Game Changer in
Air Sealing of Houses
by Gord Cooke
SITE SPECIFIC
20
Discovery Channel
by Rob Blackstien
20
A North American First
by Rob Blackstien
INDUSTRY NEWS
24
Campanale Homes
Commitment to Quality Gives
Home Buyers Better Values
by Alex Newman
FROM THE GROUND UP
30
Climate Change Reality
Check: A Call to Action
by Doug Tarry
FEATURE STORY
16
Leading Edge
East Gwillimbury may be ready to take its game to the next level – thanks
to a unique innovation driven by Rosehaven Homes.
by Rob Blackstien
11
ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
On our cover: Franco Fiorucci, Construction Site Manager, Rosehaven Homes;
Joe Laronga, Architecture and Engineering Manager, Rosehaven Homes; Marco
Guglietti, Owner, Rosehaven Homes; Mary Jafarpour; and Nick Sanci, Contracts
Manager, Rosehaven Homes. Photos by Rodney Daw courtesy of Enbridge Gas.
Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited.
7
14
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20182
W
hat makes good leadership? We know that poor leadership usually consists of
simplistic thinking or fundamentalism. In contrast, balancing pros and cons –
and preserving balance and choice – is key to effective leadership.
In training sessions, I usually ask the participants “yes” or “no” questions – but I rarely
get commitment to either response. Maybe people are afraid of suffering the disapproval
of the group. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing the answer, but asking yourself
the question is what’s most important. Good leadership is about constantly asking good
questions.
Here’s a question worth asking. In Ontario, we have a surplus of off-peak electricity and
challenges with fresh water supply and waste treatment capacity. What could be the best
way to manage our energy and water needs and reduce CO2 emissions? For the answer, let’s
look at Rosehaven Homes in East Gwillimbury, Ontario.
In 2015, East Gwillimbury launched the Sustainable Development Incentive Program
(SDIP). Under the SDIP, developers are offered 28% more lots if they guarantee that
builders provide ENERGY STAR certification and equip homes with water-saving measures,
which help to reduce infrastructure costs for the municipality. That sounds great, but the
unintended consequence of the program is that builders have to bear construction cost
increases of $3,000 to $5,000 per house to reach those goals.
Rosehaven Homes was an early adopter of ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide labelling
of homes. In 2012, it adopted its own brand using the Better Than Code platform. Other
municipalities, such as Vaughan and Oakville, allowed Rosehaven to use these guidelines
to meet the equivalency of an ENERGY STAR labelling – but unfortunately, after several
attempts to convince the town of East Gwillimbury, Rosehaven’s building permits were still
applied for under ENERGY STAR version 12.
Here is where the leadership kicks in. In a Savings by Design workshop in January 2018,
Rosehaven presented a challenge to East Gwillimbury’s Mayor Virginia Hackson. The
builder would construct a model home that would exceed energy savings from ENERGY
STAR and water savings from the SDIP checklist if the mayor would agree to host the open
house that summer. On August 30, 2018, the total water solution (TWS) was unveiled in
their discovery home. The mayor kept her part of the bargain, attended the open house
and – due to Rosehaven’s outstanding results – indicated the municipality would review the
SDIP. Read about this success story on page 16.
Campanale Homes is another leader that’s bringing energy savings and upgrade
packages to the market. They’ve developed a discovery home that functions as a sales
office, model home and public education space under one roof, and their marketing
message is consistently focused on their energy-efficiency efforts. And as you’ll read about
on page 24, Campanale is always working to develop partnerships so they can bring their
customers the best possible upgrade options. Campanale constructed their vision 2030
home in Ottawa using solar panels and the TWS, and it truly is net zero.
Good leadership requires two things: forward thinking and a willingness to question
existing norms and try new solutions. Both Rosehaven’s and Campanale’s discovery homes
are examples of such leadership. The real reward is a job well done. BB
Local Leadership
Rewarding Leadership
and Creative Thinking
publisher’snote / JOHN GODDENPUBLISHER
Better Builder Magazine
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PUBLISHING EDITOR
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FEATURE WRITERS
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PUBLICATION NUMBER
42408014
Copyright by Better Builder
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BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
A Little Common Sense and
Technology Can Streamline
GTA Development Approvals
3
T
here are two big policy issues
for the Greater Toronto Area
(GTA) these days: a lack of
affordable housing and inadequate
transportation infrastructure.
Housing affordability problems arise
mainly from too little housing supply
compared to demand. According to
BILD, GTA constraints result in a defi­
cit of 10,000 housing units every year.
One key factor artificially reducing
supply is the GTA’s very slow develop­
ment approval process. We may or
may not be a world-class city, but we
certainly have world-class red tape.
Very slow approvals not only delay
but reduce new supply. Even routine
projects that are compliant with the
provincial and municipal planning
policies face long and unexpected
delays. More complex projects , face
even bigger delays, with the result
that developers don’t consider these
projects or drop them along the way,
contributing to less new supply.
In July 2018, RESCON released
its Streamlining the Development
and Building Approvals Process in
Ontario report (find it at rescon.com/
news/files/RESCON_Streamlining_
Approvals_Process.pdf). RESCON’s
Michael de Lint was the lead author,
and Starlane’s Shawn Leonard was a
key working group participant.
Slow site plan approvals are a
big factor. This is a largely technical
process that should take one month,
according to the Planning Act. But
according to RESCON’s and other
reports, actual site plan approval time
frames are often over one year. This is
the proverbial “canary in a coal mine”
thebadatest / LOU BADA
– signalling that the health of the GTA
approval process is not at all good.
So how do we speed up the develop­
ment approvals process in the GTA?
RESCON’s report includes hard-to-
argue-with, common sense ideas to
speed up the planning machinery. The
report takes a bigger view and looks at
the building regulatory system ecology,
including approval agencies, builders,
e-permitting and building information
modelling (BIM) technology.
Corporate culture in regulatory
agencies is also a problem. Too often
there is no sense of urgency. Legislated
approval time frames are ignored
and treated as a nice idea. RESCON
recommends that the province
implement a “transparency checklist”
requiring, among other things, that
all regulatory agency websites report
actual median approval time frames.
Part of the reason for the slow
approvals is that, even after all
upfront planning requirements have
been completed, planners reviewing
applications are still in “planning
mode,” coming up with new ideas.
RESCON’s report recommends a “client-
centric checklist,” including the idea
that persons reviewing applications
be called “development facilitators”
(or something similar), rather than
planners. Some U.S. and Ontario
jurisdictions are starting to do this.
Often, regulatory agencies argue
that delays arise from incomplete
applications. But many agencies
are not transparent about all
of their requirements, making
it difficult for builders to avoid
incomplete applications. The report’s
“transparency checklist” recommends
that agency websites include:
checklists to help guide applicants
submit complete applications;
standard details for drawings (such
as standard drawings for site plan
applications, and standard house
designs); staff telephone and email
addresses (surprisingly, this is missing
from many agency websites). Pre-
Streamlining the Development
and Building Approvals Process in Ontario
Good practice concepts and a guide to action
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20184
consultation with key agency staff
prior to formal submission can also
help ensure a complete application
and fewer problems. The RESCON
report provides good information on
effective approaches.
As a builder, I know that the
building industry can, under the
right circumstances, also contribute
to a faster approval process. For
example, our firm makes sure that
even low-rise house plan designs
are coordinated and peer reviewed
by a professional to avoid design
clashes and ensure Code compliance.
Also, early in the process, we pre-
consult with all relevant agencies
to make sure our development and
building applications are complete
and compliant – this helps to speed
things up. However, many regulatory
agencies still need to be much more
efficient, transparent and client-
centric, and they should follow the
RESCON report’s recommendations to
guide them in that direction.
Builders can also have a role in
supporting innovation. RESCON’s
report argues that for larger buildings
involving several professionals, design
coordination and peer review can
make municipalities more comfortable
in approving complex, energy-efficient
and innovative designs, via alternative
solutions.
Finally, the report recommends that
Ontario expand the use of e-permitting
and BIM. Some municipalities have
started down the e-permitting road,
but we can do much more – many
G7 countries already have strategies
to expand e-permitting and BIM,
including a common platform allowing
municipal and provincial agencies
to share digital files more easily. But,
as RESCON recommends, we can’t
automate everything – builders still
need to be able to talk directly to a
development coordinator or building
official.
These are common sense ideas to
speed up and streamline the approval
process. By doing so, builders can
build much more of the innovative,
high-performance housing that home
buyers want. BB
Lou Bada is vice
president of low rise
construction at Starlane
Home Corporation
and on the board of
directors for the Residential Construction
Council of Ontario (RESCON).
4
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 5
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BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
Y
ou’ve probably heard the
term “red tape” floated about
Ontario for numerous years.
The longer the Liberal government
remained in power over the course
of 15 years, the more the opposition
brought up the layers of red tape that
were created between the provincial
and municipal governments, a
variety of industries and the people
of Ontario.
When looking at the red tape
involved in residential construction,
in 2015, RESCON identified at least 45
different provincial and municipal
approval agencies that builders
and developers have to deal with in
order to get anything built. Is there
any wonder why it takes 10 years for
residential developments to come to
fruition?
The Doug Ford government has
embraced “the cutting of red tape,”
even going as far as naming MPP Jim
Wilson as the “minister responsible
for red tape and regulatory burden
reduction,” according to a recent press
release – that’s in his spare time, when
he’s not busy as minister of economic
development, job creation and trade.
Since Ford, Wilson and the
Progressive Conservatives came
into power, another term has
been making the rounds publicly:
“streamline.” This is a word that we
have urged previous governments to
investigate and implement to help
the development approvals process
backlog within Queen’s Park as well
as municipalities across Ontario.
The approvals process has become
painfully slow, causing unnecessary
financial risk and uncertainty for
residential construction.
Suddenly, in July, those who were
looking in from the outside are now in
power at Queen’s Park – and suddenly,
“streamline” is being heard from the
lips of today’s elected officials and
industry stakeholders.
At a housing summit held in
downtown Toronto during the
fall, Ontario municipal affairs and
housing minister Steve Clark told
the crowd gathered that there was
“no silver bullet” to tackling housing
affordability and supply issues.
However, he added, the regulatory and
approvals process “takes too long” and
“creates barriers to construction of
new housing supply.”
What are the solutions to tackling
the GTA’s housing supply crisis?
We think Clark knocked it out of
the park – streamline development
7
“Streamline” Finally Becomes a
Buzzword for Politicians, Industry
industrynews / RICHARD LYALL
In 2015, RESCON identified at least 45
different provincial and municipal approval
agencies that builders and developers have
to deal with in order to get anything built.
247868038/SHUTTERSTOCK
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20188
approvals, reduce red tape, and plan
for growth which aligns with transit
and population growth. “The days of
excessive regulatory burden are over,”
Clark said, followed by a round of
applause.
Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario
Real Estate Association, opened the
same housing summit in conjunction
with the Ontario Home Builders’
Association and the Federation
of Rental-Housing Providers of
Ontario by talking about the need to
“streamline the approvals process”
and “bring more housing supply to
the market.” That’s music to our ears.
The Ontario Building Officials
Association (OBOA) recognizes this as
well. In its 2017–2018 annual general
report, OBOA president Matt Farrell
noted: “A new provincial government
has come into power with a goal to
streamline the development process
and make housing more obtainable.
They are asking for our help.”
During a mayoral candidates
debate organized by the Toronto Real
Estate Board before his re-election,
Toronto mayor John Tory made
it clear to his audience that the
approvals process has to speed up:
“I’m working very hard now to speed
up the approvals process at City
Hall for construction. We are at the
stage where things are simply too
complicated and taking too long, and
most of that was from a lack of proper
interdepartmental cooperation inside
the city… When I’m told it takes twice
as long to do things in Toronto as it
takes elsewhere, I don’t like that…
It doesn’t need to take twice as long.”
We can only hope that with the
888
mayor entering his second term
now, addressing housing supply and
affordability will be key mandates of
the city. The time for rhetoric is done;
it’s time for all levels of government to
act now.
In nearly two decades of
advocacy, we have been talking
about streamlining in reference
to cutting Liberal government red
tape within housing and municipal
affairs. And while we asked the Liberal
governments about cutting red tape
and streamlining approvals to prevent
a crisis with the housing chain of
supply, the residential construction
industry was ignored. Meanwhile,
we watched as the Kathleen Wynne
government’s red tape cuts were
announced to help auto parts
manufacturing, food processing,
financial services, mining, chemical
manufacturing, forestry… where was
residential construction?
New government, new look, new
buzzwords – including in their press
releases on other subjects.
An October release from the
Ministry of Economic Development,
Job Creation and Trade, announcing
the introduction of legislation to
dismantle Bill 148 and the winding
down of the Ontario College of Trades,
included the following statement:
“The government will continue to
systematically review Ontario’s stock
of regulations, then streamline,
modernize and, in some cases,
eliminate unnecessarily complicated,
outdated or duplicative regulations.”
Of course, there was also the
“streamlining” of Toronto city council
from 47 to 25 councillors. Whether
you agree with this decision or not, it’s
difficult to deny that this government
is energized, focused and active.
Government and industry will
continue to work together to eliminate
unnecessary steps and processes
within the bureaucracy – and we
would like to see streamlining used
as building approvals processes are
updated.
So what should streamlining look
like for residential construction? For
that answer, please turn to page 3 to
read Lou Bada’s excellent column. We
think you’ll agree that it’s about time
the use of “streamlining” moves from
industry rhetoric to government action
so that we can move on to the next
buzzword – whatever that will be. BB
Richard Lyall, president
of RESCON, has
represented the
building industry in
Ontario since 1991.
He is also a frequent speaker and
writer on issues related to the
construction industry. Contact him @
RESCONprez or at media@rescon.com.
“The government will continue to systematically
review Ontario’s stock of regulations, then
streamline, modernize and, in some cases,
eliminate unnecessarily complicated, outdated
or duplicative regulations.”
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 9
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Michael, who had studied archi­
tecture at California Polytechnic State
University, and Judy, who was doing
a master’s in ecology at University of
California at Davis in the early ’70s,
were inspired by the UK’s garden
cities. These innovative communities
were first envisioned by Ebenezer
Howard, a British urban planner in the
late 1800s who believed open green
space was the answer to polluted, post-
Industrial Revolution-era cities.
Fast forward to the early 1970s.
The Corbetts and a group of like-
minded graduate students started
meeting on Sunday nights, disturbed
by how North American cities were
developing, and particularly concerned
with suburban sprawl. The group fell
apart, however, when the Corbetts
started working on actually developing
a model neighbourhood, a vision which
included a local bus system, gardens,
orchards, a farmers market, a vineyard,
affordable housing and playgrounds.
That vision would eventually
become a planned community of
225 energy-conscious houses and
20 apartment units, situated along
pedestrian-friendly cul-de-sacs, which
were individually/privately owned.
The small retail area – containing a
ballet studio, a restaurant and other
businesses – generated income and
was operated and maintained by
Plumshire Corporation.
The 60-acre project was unique
in North America at the time. The
road from vision to shovels in the
ground, however, took two or three
years of “hell,” says Judy – pushing
and convincing city council, the
planning department, the police, the
fire department, public works, the
city attorney and, of course, the bank
that this could work. “They had never
seen anything like this before,” Judy
says. Though the community has had
a lasting impact on state building and
energy standards, she recalls that back
then they had “tremendous push back
from all city officials, except for the city
manager and city attorney.”
Ultimately, the project had to be
financed by friends and family, along
with a loan from a local savings and
loan company that already had a
relationship with Michael’s parents
(they were builders). It was completed
11
Village Homes
Exceptional Local Leadership
buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN
N
amed by Time magazine as one of the world’s best examples of sustainable
development, Village Homes is still going strong 40 years after its
inception.
The visionary brainchild of Michael and Judy Corbett, graduate students
in California who were married, Village Homes was intended to create higher
residential density while offering greater open space, discouraging car use and
encouraging human interaction.
THISPAGE&TABLEOFCONTENTS
DESIGNFORHEALTH|CCBY2.0
Abundant fruit for all.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201812
in five stages over six years, with 30 to
40 houses built each year, along with
the accompanying streets, greenbelts
and orchards. The Corbetts would
sell each unit before moving on
to the next. The prices for homes
were the same as other subdivision
developments in Davis, but because
the community has become such a
popular place to live, the prices are
now higher per square foot.
In the planning stages, they figured
the best way to discourage driving and
to promote human interaction was to
make it more difficult to drive than
to walk or bike around. Judy was in
graduate school at the time, looking at
how a sense of community happens.
They created clusters of seven houses,
with laneways in the rear for cars and
meandering paths in the front for
people. Each cluster received a one-
third-acre communal open space and
$600 – this was in 1977 – both of which
were intended to be incentives for
neighbours to get together and jointly
care for the land.
Many of the paths run beside
drainage swales that are part of
an overall system to protect the
development from flooding. In one
video, Michael describes how the
city engineers said their system of
edible landscaping, solar orientation
and natural drainage wouldn’t work,
and how they imposed an expensive
bond to cover the city having to fix
issues and lay new pipes. But in the
second year, a heavy storm sent water
backflowing into the project from the
city’s system. Michael went to council
to request they remove the bond,
which they did.
Although homes were built close
together, the vast green spaces –
orchards, vineyards and playgrounds
– represent 40% of the total land and
brought the density to around six
units per acre, Judy says. “You’d never
do this density now, especially since
we can do solar and passive energy on
much smaller land parcels.”
When it came to construction,
Corbett says they used a lot of high-
mass materials, such as tile floors and
tile roofs, which allowed for better air
ventilation, especially on hot summer
nights. Units face south to capture
sunlight; roof overhangs block the
summer sun from penetrating inside,
but during winter months (when
the sun is lower on the horizon),
the sunlight gets inside more easily.
Initially, the homes had structural
columns filled with water that
moderated the inside temperature – all
part of the passive solar technique,
Corbett says. They also had solar
greenhouses that would retain heat
in the floors and pulled cool night air
through the same system. Walls and
roofs had higher levels of insulation
than most homes of the day.
Today, residents are also looking
at water storage and water recycling.
The Corbetts had innovated a natural
drainage system that kept all storm­
water and urban runoff on the site,
allowing them to recharge the ground­
water supplies. “When the EPA
[Environmental Protection Agency]
instituted their non-point pollution
regulations, they used Village Homes
as an example for pollution control.
Now it’s an example for groundwater
recharge.”
Their one failure, Judy says, was to
run greywater from home to yard. The
health department took them on, and
they had to pour concrete in the drains
that allowed them to run from the
upstairs bathtub to the yard.
In 1991, a private non-profit group
in nearby Sacramento invited Michael
– along with fellow architects Andrés
Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and
Peter Calthorpe – to come up with
some principles for community
land-use planning. The group named
these the Ahwahnee Principles,
and presented them to government
officials. In 1993, the architects (not
In the planning stages, the
Corbetts figured the best
way to discourage driving
and to promote human
interaction was to make it
more difficult to drive than
to walk or bike around.
MODIFIEDFROMFGRAMMEN
Street network diagram of the Village
Homes community in Davis, California.
At its midpoint, the neighbourhood
measures 325 metres wide.
COLLECTOR ROADS
PATHS
LOCAL STREETS
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
including Corbett) founded the Congress for the New
Urbanism, which is now the leading international
organization promoting New Urbanist principles.
Looking back, Judy says that “I couldn’t imagine
doing this project today if we knew how difficult it would
be, and that we would have to elect a whole new city
council.” She adds that there have been other attempts
since, but most have failed, and none were mixed income
like Village Homes. “Bottom line is the final decision is
made by mayors, city councils … that’s why I started the
local government commission to educate local elected
officials and planners.”
Their stream of admirers have included the likes
of Jane Fonda, Rosalynn Carter, François Mitterrand,
and tons of students and professors. As Judy says: “You
can’t imagine how many people I meet who say they
learned all about us in planning or architecture school.”
(In fact, John Godden, president of Clearsphere and
publisher of Better Builder, credits Village Homes as the
catalyst for him to dedicate his career to energy-efficient
building and sustainable planning and development.
His honours thesis at the University of Waterloo was
titled The Resource-efficient Subdivision: An Alternative
Development Concept for Rural Lands.)
The biggest difference in building sustainably is
the emotional, cultural and physical impact it has on
the people who live there. In their book, Designing
Sustainable Communities: Learning from Village Homes,
the Corbetts’ son Christopher describes a feeling in
regular developments of being “locked in by the fence in
my backyard and the street in front of my house. [Living
in other communities,] I feel a loss of the freedom I had
as a child.” He recently purchased an empty lot to build a
home in the area.
Judy says many kids who were raised in Village Homes
want to come back and live there. She knows why: “Last
week I walked to the swimming pool, and as I passed the
dance studio, I could hear ballerinas in there practising.
I could hear high school students practising orchestra in
our community centre. I passed by the restaurant, and
you could hear people laughing and enjoying themselves.
Honestly, I never expected it to be this good.” BB
Alex Newman is a writer, editor and
researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com.
13
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
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201814
specialinterest / GORD COOKE
If you don’t know the legacy of
Mr. Orr, you should check it out at
the link below. In short, Mr. Orr was
recently honoured with the Order of
Canada for his pioneering work in the
1960s and 1970s on energy-efficient
housing construction. He was a key
contributor to the success of the
Saskatchewan Conservation House
that was the first comprehensive
demonstration of what became the
R-2000 program and the German
Passive House program. Mr. Orr is
credited with the development of the
first blower door system for measuring
airtightness. Thus it was great fun
for me to spend time with him at the
EEBA conference in San Diego and
hear about the early attempts to make
building enclosures very airtight.
Then, it was very satisfying for me
to introduce him to what I believe is
the game-changing new technology
for air sealing called AeroBarrier.
This technology could well be the
end game of our industry’s search for
a comprehensive, cost-effective way
to ensure the control of unwanted air
leaks through building enclosures.
I had heard about AeroBarrier in
the summer of 2017 from colleagues
of mine in Minnesota who were
conducting field trials of the system in
conjunction with the U.S. Department
of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home
research project. They were very excited
about the product and the amazing
results they were seeing in large-
volume builders’ homes. As I looked
into it more, I found that the product
was developed at the University of
California, Davis and has been licensed
to the same company that markets
the Aeroseal duct sealing system that
I have recommended to builders and
HVAC contractors for years.
Then, at the 2017 EEBA conference
in Atlanta, I met Geoff Ferrell, the chief
technology officer of Mandalay Homes
in Arizona. Geoff told me they had used
AeroBarrier on dozens of homes and
had already committed to using it on
the 200+ homes they build per year.
In Geoff’s words, “AeroBarrier may
be the most important innovation to
hit the building community in years.
The ability to consistently seal all the
small leaks that would otherwise take
countless man hours to seek and hand
seal, assuming you even find them all,
in just one automated application is
simply amazing. The cost effectiveness
is beyond immeasurable when you
consider the total sealing solution
AeroBarrier provides and all the labour
saved by automating the application
process. We couldn’t be happier with
AeroBarrier and the fine folks behind
the product.”
That was enough for me to explore
bringing the technology to Canada,
and the first system landed here in
April. We have done about 70 homes
in southern Ontario since, and Geoff’s
assessment was indeed correct. Large
custom homes, production detached
homes, townhomes and multi-family
suites were all sealed to whatever level
the builders’ goals were, including
The Game Changer in
Air Sealing of Houses
I
was very privileged recently to help present the Energy & Environmental
Building Alliance’s (EEBA) inaugural Legends award to the father of energy
efficiency in Canada, Harold Orr.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
three Passive Homes under 0.6 ACH
at 50 Pascal. In each case, the sealing
results are tracked in real time with a
certificate of completion outlining the
sealing work at the end.
AeroBarrier is a non-toxic,
water-borne acrylic sealant that is
aerosolized through a system that
includes a pump, hoses and up to 16
nozzles placed throughout the home.
The house is fogged with the sealant
while the house is pressurized up
to 100 Pascal of positive pressure,
using a blower door similar to the one
your energy advisor uses to air test
your homes. As air moves through
the house and towards any leakage
points in the enclosure, the sealant is
entrained in the air and coagulates
around the edges of holes in the
enclosure. It adheres well to over 20
different commonly used building
materials such as drywall, OSB, wood,
concrete, plastics, metal and foam. It is
important to note that it is not coating
surfaces, but rather just coagulating
around the edges of holes until the
holes are sealed. The whole process is
monitored by computer, with the air
sealing progress tracked and graphed
such that you can target any level of
airtightness you want. Once the target
is achieved, the sealant is stopped and
air is flushed out of the building. Some
residue of dried sealant falls to the
floor and any other horizontal surfaces
and can be swept up.
As you consider this technology,
there are a couple of things you
will want to keep in mind. First,
the system can be applied after
rough-ins and before insulation and
drywall if you use an exterior air
barrier such as extruded insulation
board. In fact, we have already
conducted demonstrations with
Owens Corning’s CodeBord Air
Barrier System. The other good time
to apply the system is just after the first
coat of drywall mud is applied. This
minimizes seal time and clean-up
time. With set-up, application and
clean-up, the process typically takes
between three and five hours – the
tighter the target, the longer it takes.
Next, the system pressurizes the
house. This has two implications. First,
window sashes and exhaust fan vents
need to be taped off so sealant doesn’t
find its way in those areas. It also means
that the final test results may be slightly
different than your regular energy
advisor’s depressurization test result.
Holes in houses can leak differently
depending on the direction of flow.
Finally, although it would seem that
older houses might really benefit from
the technology, recall that the sealant
does deposit out on horizontal surfaces,
and clean-up of furniture, flooring
and cabinets would be prohibitive.
If, however, you are doing a thorough
renovation with all new flooring and
new cabinets, and all furnishings are
out of the house, then AeroBarrier may
well be a very cost-effective way to air
seal an existing house.
When you consider the net zero-
ready goals for 2030 and the proposed
Ontario Building Code for airtightness
testing of all new homes by as early as
2021, I think you can agree with Geoff
Ferrell’s assessment that AeroBarrier
is an important technology. Consider
the opportunities to employ the
performance path of the Ontario
Building Code now, where airtightness
trade-offs can be used to offset other
expensive energy-efficiency elements,
such as increased insulation levels.
Consider, too, the labour to meet the 16
rigorous prescriptive air sealing clausess
already listed in Section 9.25 of the Code
and the liability if you aren’t able to
meet the ever-increasing expectations of
home buyers for the “perfect” house.
With this in mind, you can imagine
why I felt the need to bring the system
to Canada. I am hoping you will want
to learn more. Check it out at www.
aerobarrier.ca. BB
Gord Cooke is
president of Building
Knowledge Canada.
15
Setup for whole-house air sealing.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
LeadingEdge
featurestory / ROB BLACKSTIEN
One of Ontario’s most progressive
municipalities, East Gwillimbury may
be ready to take its game to the next
level – thanks to a unique innovation
driven by Rosehaven Homes.
W
hen it comes to showing
progressive municipal
leadership in the area
of sustainable development, East
Gwillimbury has few peers. Located at
the northernmost reaches of Highway
404, the town has long maintained a
focus on environmentalism, especially
in water conservation, given its limited
wastewater storage space.
In fact, in 2014 the town began
working on a comprehensive initiative
called the Sustainable Development
Incentive Program (SDIP). Launched
in January 2015, the program was
outlined in an 88-page tome of
guidelines and practices aimed at
developers and builders.
East Gwillimbury continues to
push this agenda. Earlier this year, the
16
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
town extended its “Thinking Green”
standards beyond the building
envelope “to encourage a holistic
approach to sustainability,” says
Mayor Virginia Hackson.
A tremendously ambitious under­
taking intended to reduce water
demand and wastewater and result in
more energy-efficient development,
the SDIP offered up some great
incentives for developers. Specifically,
those that agreed to abide by the
guidelines of this voluntary program
were eligible for a 28% boost in lot
allocation.
So developers are able to sell
nearly a third more lots – but it is the
actual home builders who are now
forced to construct houses to meet
SDIP requirements, including water
conservation, energy conservation
and renewable energy measures, plus
resource management and home
owner education.
This is all very well intentioned and
highly commendable. However, from
the builders’ perspective, it’s forcing
them to build in a rather prescriptive
– and often more costly – manner, at a
time when all levels of government are
decrying the rising cost of homes.
(You know what they say about the
road to hell…)
Unfortunately, East Gwillimbury’s
SDIP – while a huge push towards
sustainability – was already a tad
antiquated upon its release. It is
therefore hamstringing builders that
may have already evolved past the
program’s preferred methods.
Enter Rosehaven Homes, a builder
with a long history of innovation.
Its discovery home, launched in late
summer, may have finally opened up
the eyes of enough of the town’s key
stakeholders to usher in change.
Last year, Rosehaven was engaged
in the construction of its Anchor
Woods community in the Holland
Landing section of East Gwillimbury.
As part of the process, the company
was engaged in the Savings by Design
program (see Summer 2018 issue,
page 11), which includes its standard
charrette, this time involving key
stakeholders from the town (including
Mayor Hackson) and various
sustainable building experts, like
Clearsphere’s John Godden.
Having unsuccessfully lobbied
Facing page: East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson welcomes everyone to the open house.
Above right, from left to right: Homeowner Mary Jafarpour, Mayor Virginia Hackson, John Bell
(Greyter Water Systems), Marco Guglietti (Rosehaven Homes), and Ian MacPherson (Enbridge).
17
PHOTOSBYRODNEYDAWCOURTESYOFENBRIDGEGAS
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
THE TOTAL WATER SOLUTION HOW THE RENEWABLE STRATEGY WORKS
18
to build Anchor Woods using its
preferred HERS approach, by this
point Rosehaven was resigned to
using the SDIP-prescribed ENERGY
STAR program.
Still, knowing Rosehaven was
likely to produce similar (or even
better) results using HERS while
still achieving the goals of the SDIP,
Godden made a suggestion that put
both the builder and the mayor on
the spot: if Rosehaven were to build
a discovery home that met SDIP’s
standards, would the mayor come to
the opening and endorse it?
All parties agreed, and soon,
Godden was invited to speak at an
East Gwillimbury council meeting
to discuss Rosehaven’s plans. Mayor
Hackson wanted all the councillors to
understand and embrace this concept.
“It went very well,” she says. “[He]
delivered the message very strongly.”
And so it was that the wheels were
set in motion for Rosehaven to show
leadership through innovation (as it has
wont to do through its 26-year history),
and in this instance, perhaps do what
we’ve all likely dreamt of from time to
time – namely, change city policy.
Ushering in change is nothing new
to Rosehaven. The 80-plus-employee
firm has a long history of being on
the leading edge. In 2005, Rosehaven
built Riverstone Golf and Country
Club in Brampton, the first EnerGuide
(the forerunner to ENERGY STAR)
community. Rosehaven was also the
first builder to embrace the HERS
label with its Kleinburg community in
2012, ultimately proving its expertise
by winning the Cross Border Builder
Challenge President’s Award in 2016
with a home that had a HERS score of 46.
And now the company has helped
pioneer another first: the Total Water
Solution, a multi-company effort
featuring the integration of eight
technologies and the centrepiece of the
discovery home’s renewable strategy.
(For more on the Total Water Solution,
see the “A North American First”
sidebar on page 20.)
By spearheading the efforts of
several players to make this happen,
Rosehaven showed true leadership. But
Joe Laronga, the company’s architecture
and engineering manager, was quick to
deflect credit, calling it “a group effort.”
It’s important to understand that
when Rosehaven balked at the SDIP,
it did so mostly because the program
wasn’t in the spirit of the Building
Code, which specifically recognizes
several different energy rating systems,
not just ENERGY STAR.
Laronga set up a meeting with
the town to discuss the issue. “We
don’t have a problem with your SDIP,”
AIR CONDITIONER HEAT PUMP
uses off-peak electricity to provide
heat in the shoulder months
WATER MAIN
AIR HANDLER
GREYWATER
RECYCLING SYSTEM
2 showers provide
30 toilet flushes
DRAIN WATER HEAT
RECOVERY UNIT
50% efficiency
DUAL PURPOSE CONDENSING
HOT WATER HEATER
shower water goes through
DRAIN WATER HEAT RECOVERY UNIT
and then to greywater system
WATER LEAK
DEVICE AND
FLOW MONITOR
remotely shuts
off MAIN and
measures fixture
consumption
greywater feeds toilets
UPONOR
LOGIC PLUMBING
ERV
manages relative
humidity with
heat recovery
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
Laronga recalls telling the town
official. “What we have a problem with
is that it has prescriptive language
in it.” Essentially, ENERGY STAR is a
brand, “and the town should really
remain neutral in enforcing that.”
It’s not as if Rosehaven didn’t have
a ton of experience with ENERGY
STAR, but “our main concern is
that the ENERGY STAR is a moving
target,” he explains. “You can get
multiple versions within a project
that has different phases,” leaving
the company to constantly update
its drawings and specs to keep pace.
That becomes a costly proposition.
The SDIP also poses a challenge
because more items need to be
installed in these houses, says Franco
Fiorucci, Rosehaven’s site supervisor
and the person credited for making
this all happen on the ground. He
says this includes humidifiers;
on-demand hot water recirculation
pumps; WaterSense-labelled toilets
and faucets; and low-volatile organic
compound (VOC) paints and stains.
Laronga says that “HERS is part
of our DNA, really” – so the SDIP
requirements led to a standstill,
which will hopefully be rectified by
the discovery home. (For more on the
discovery house, see the “Discovery
Channel” sidebar on page 20.)
It’s clear that Rosehaven’s discovery
home will achieve the town’s goals.
In fact, building to SDIP guidelines
results in a home about 15% better
than code; Rosehaven’s discovery
home is 26% better than code.
“This is an eye opener for them,”
Laronga says. He’s hoping the
discovery home will help the town
realize that changing the SDIP to
allow for any home energy rating
system that’s Code-approved is
beneficial to all. Give builders more
choice, and not only will it help them
keep costs in check, but it will also
allow them to innovate.
Everyone involved lauds East
Gwillimbury’s desire to drive sustain­
ability, but the SDIP should be a living,
breathing document that can evolve
over time. “At the time it got produced,
it was leading edge, but by the time we
started implementing it and putting
it into practice, the technology had
changed already,” Laronga explains.
Adds Fiorucci: “We’re saying ‘hey,
we’re a leader in the industry, we want
to try something new. Are you willing
to work with us and see that there is a
better way to do things?’”
Of course, building this discovery
home is not without its risk. Fiorucci
admits, “if it doesn’t work, it kind of
backfires on us a bit.” But as we all
know, those on the leading edge must
take risks in order to innovate.
The question is: has Rosehaven
proven the technological development
here enough to prompt a review of the
SDIP?
“I believe so,” says Mayor Hackson.
“If you have a municipality that’s open
to flexibility, then it breeds creativity,
really, when it comes to environmental
stewardship. Our staff [is] very open to
listening and taking a look at all kinds
of ideas that aren’t standard or the
norm to make a difference.”
Mayor Hackson understands that,
in a market that’s flattened over the
last year, providing builders with
more choice is one way to lure them to
your community. Notably, she offers a
slight indication that the SDIP may be
changing: “Our council has directed
staff to review the technologies
and report back with ways for us to
continue to promote this and any other
options that builders come forward
with to incorporate into their design
for every home.”
Based on the fact that she attended
the Savings by Design charrette, invited
Godden to speak to council and went to
Rosehaven’s open house, it seems like
Mayor Hackson is on board with the
idea of builders finding the best energy
efficient solutions for their homes.. “Yes,
you’re absolutely right: I have bought
into this concept,” she confirms.
Fears that Mayor Hackson would
be voted out in October – and the new
boss may not see things the same
way – were assuaged when she was
re-elected. Regardless of the leadership,
Laronga says, “the discovery home is a
placeholder” that will show real energy
and water savings, and which ought
to pave the way for a more flexible
approach by East Gwillimbury.
We’re all familiar with the old adage
“you can’t fight city hall” – but perhaps
Rosehaven has found a way to at least
change its mind. BB
Rob Blackstien is a
Toronto-based freelance
writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca
19
“If you have a
municipality that’s
open to flexibility,
then it breeds
creativity, really,
when it comes
to environmental
stewardship.”
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201820
sitespecific / ROB BLACKSTIEN
U
pon deciding to build a
discovery home in Anchor
Woods, Rosehaven faced a big
question: which home owner would
be willing to try the experiment
(albeit in a good way, considering the
technology was all donated and would
add up to significant utility savings)?
Fortunately, the perfect candidate
existed in Mary Jafarpour. Not only
was she a long-time Rosehaven
customer, but she had extensive
building industry experience, so
she was in the unique position to
understand the value of what they
were trying to accomplish.
“Agreeing to have the mechanical
system installed in my home was a
win-win situation,” Jafarpour says.
“I would be helping the environment
by reducing my carbon footprint and
helping Rosehaven and the Town
of East Gwillimbury by agreeing to
promote sustainable development.”
Fiorucci says this discovery
home is filled with innovations,
as one of the first homes to
receive a greywater system that
reduces wastewater by around
25% and cuts sanitary inflow
and outflow. It’s the first home
to employ an energy recovery
ventilator (ERV) to manage
moisture, eliminating the need
for a humidifier. Combination
hybrid heat reduces natural gas
usage and employs off-peak
electricity through the heat
pump, he adds.
When Laronga and Rosehaven
contracts manager Nick Sanci ran the
idea for the discovery home up the
flagpole, it was met with enthusiasm by
Rosehaven’s owner, Marco Guglietti.
“I welcomed the idea… yet again,
I encourage new ideas for improved
performance and efficiency in our
homes,” he says. “Ideas like the
discovery home epitomize Rosehaven
Homes’ mission.”
All told, about $5,000 worth of
equipment was donated to make this
home a reality and help achieve a
HERS score of 41. Thanks to the home’s
energy-efficiency features, Jafarpour is
expected to save around $510 annually
off her utility bills.
continued
part of this because it was a great idea,
and I think that it’s time that we all
looked at this stuff.”
The Total Water Solution, the first of
its kind in North America, consists of
the following:
M	 Phyn flow monitor: to monitor
water usage and measure annual
savings;
M	 Drain water heat recovery
system: recovers up to half of the
heat from shower water to preheat
the home’s domestic water;
M	 Greywater recycling system: used
to treat water from the shower and
reuse it for flushing toilets (two
showers will deliver enough water
for 30 flushes);
M	 Logic plumbing: part of the
system (but not in this particular
home), this helps structure water
distribution to reduce the waiting
time for hot water, thereby saving
water;
M	 Radiant dual-purpose
condensing hot water heater:
employs a modulating boiler to
deliver space and hot water heating;
continued
I
t took a lot of parties to pull off
what Rosehaven accomplished in
its discovery home with the Total
Water Solution. One of the key players
involved was Joe Krebs, estimator
contracts manager for Applewood Air
Conditioning. He really stepped up
by helping convince Carrier – a long-
time Rosehaven supplier – to donate
a side discharge heat pump and
thermostat. vänEE donated the ERV
and Applewood supplied extra labour
at no charge to get it done.
“Everybody kind of kicked in,”
Krebs says. “I was really happy to be a
Discovery Channel
A North American First
Mayor Virginia Hackson presents homeowner
Mary Jafarpour with a certificate of recognition.
Visit RosehavenHomes.com
for directions, maps, hours and community information or call (1-888/416) 410-0175
On August 30, 2018, Rosehaven Homes, in partnership with Enbridge’s
Savings by Design and the Municipality of East Gwillimbury, proudly
unveiled the Discovery Home in our Anchor Woods community. A
symbol of our spirit of innovation, the Discovery Home incorporates the
latest, sustainable, energy-efficient features and finishes that go above
and beyond the Building Code. Just one of the many ways in which
Rosehaven Homes is building a better future for all of us.
We would like to sincerely thank all our trades, partners and associates who
collaborated with us in building our Discovery Home in East Gwillimbury.
Enbridge
Panasonic
Greyter
RESCON
Building Products of Canada
Thermal Hydronics
Renewability
Air Solutions
Applewood Heating
Carrier
Town of East Gwillimbury
Enercare
Better Than Code
Ecosmart Air
Radiant Hydronics
Uponor
DISCOVERTHEHOME
OFTHEFUTURE
ECO-FRIENDLY
STARTSAT HOME
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201822
M	 Ecosmart air handler: in
conjunc­tion with the boiler,
distributes heat and air
conditioning through forced
air ducting;
M	 Carrier air conditioner
heat pump: uses off-peak
(cheaper) electricity to provide
supplemental heat during
shoulder months; and
M	 vänEE energy recovery
ventilator: delivers high efficiency heat recovery for
ventilation and managing humidity levels.
John Bell, Greyter Water Systems’ vice president of
business development for residential homes, says this
solution will be ready for a full-scale launch in January
2019. “As water costs rise, home owners will start to ask
for the technology, but that’s really a couple of years out
before I would ever consider [it to become] mainstream
[for] end users,” he says. BB
Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer.
Pen-Ultimate.ca
Among the home’s energy-efficient features:
M	 High-performance envelope: rated 26% better than
Code;
M	 High-performance HVAC: a combination heating
system, including an electronically commutated
motor (ECM) blower, ensuring maximum air
distribution and comfort (controllable with a web-
based thermostat);
M	 Indoor air quality: an ERV delivering minimum
efficiency of 75% sensible recovery efficiency (SRE)
with exhaust ducting to the bathrooms;
M	 Reduced water usage: thanks to dual flush toilets
and greywater recycling; and
M	 Efficient lighting and material management:
with 90% compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED
lighting. BB
Discovery Channel, continued
Joe Krebs
A North American First, continued
EcoVent™
—The fan
that meets designed
airflow requirements.
For true performance under the hood,
install Panasonic EcoVent™
with Veri-Boost.™
Ideal for new residential construction,
EcoVent is the perfect solution for home
builders looking to meet designed airflow
requirements the first time and avoid the
hassle of replacing underperforming fans.
EcoVent is a cost effective ENERGY STAR®
rated
solution that delivers strong performance. If you need
to bump up the CFM output to achieve airflow design,
simply flip the Veri-Boost switch and increase the
flow from 70 to 90 CFM and you’re good to go!
Learn more at Panasonic.com
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201824
buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN
Campanale has been building
and developing low-rise, townhome,
commercial, purpose-built rental, and
high-/mid-rise projects since the late
1970s. They have always positioned
themselves as “leaders in change,
looking for ways to build better with
new products, always wanting greater
efficiency,” says Tony Campanale,
head of construction. “With rising
utility costs, buyers are increasingly
concerned about energy use.”
Always keen on using better
materials and methods for greater
efficiency and quality, the company
recently teamed up with Clearsphere
to refine their existing ideas and glean
new ones. Tim Campanale, manager
of contracts and estimating, says that
it isn’t just about being good stewards,
but also about making a better house
and saving their buyers money in
utility costs – “as much as 10% to
30%, depending on what they decide to
include.”
Instead of being dazzled by the icing
on the cake – like granite counters and
hardwood floors – home owners are
encouraged to focus on the bones of a
house. “[It’s] more important to have a
well-built, durable home that reduces
energy consumption and has more
comfortable interior air quality. We’re
building better and proving it’s better,
by doing a blower door test and giving a
seal guaranteeing that the house is 10%
to 30% better than code.”
It’s all in the envelope
Campanale Homes puts a focus on
a tight envelope with multiple air
barriers and exterior sheathing, so
their standard construction includes
Excel exterior sheathing, a structurally
rated product with an R-value of 1.5.
It’s three times more effective than
oriented strand board (OSB) because
of its higher R-value and its ability to
dry to the outside while preventing
thermal bridging.
Windows have lower U-values and a
lower solar heat gain coefficient, which
is superior to standard windows and
much better than the existing Building
Code. Essentially, they allow less heat
to escape in the winter and less heat to
penetrate during the summer months,
effectively reducing the heating and
cooling costs.
Insulation for the low-rise homes
is fibreglass batts on exterior walls.
Occasionally, they use ROCKWOOL in
demising walls and ceilings between
units to prevent fire spread and sound
transmission, but they rarely use it on
exterior walls unless required by code.
Typar on the inside of foundation
walls behind the insulation is a
moisture barrier and keeps moisture
from wicking into those walls.
Insulation stays dry and mould free,
and also retains its R-value. When and
when insulation gets wet, it does not
keep its thermal effectiveness.
Intelligent HVAC solutions
With a tight envelope, it’s critical
to have good ventilation. The
Campanales install HVAC systems that
include a Radiant boiler, which works
as a domestic hot water heater for
showers and taps, while also working
as a heating appliance with a Radiant
air handler. The combo system, Tim
says, creates a more efficient heating
system for the house. Instead of having
a hot water tank and a gas furnace,
which means burning gas for two
appliances, you use one burner and
Campanale Homes
Commitment to Quality Gives Home Buyers Better Value
Left to right: Tim Campanale, Rob Johnson, and Tony Campanale.
T
he principals of Campanale Homes – two generations of a family that work
very well together – have always been committed to quality building. That’s
something most builders say they’re committed to, but the Campanale
difference is that their definition of quality includes energy efficiency.
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201826
less gas. The boiler works on two
separate loops, which means that
your water heated for showers and
taps does not affect the water heated
for the air handler and heat for the
house. This new product, sourced
from Italy, has a coil system in it. “It’s
efficient, easy to use, and has one of
the most efficient heat exchangers.”
If a purchaser wants, a heat
pump air conditioner is offered as an
upgrade. A heat pump air conditioner
is essentially the air conditioner
working in reverse, using cheaper,
off-peak electricity to provide
supplemental heat. It saves money
during the shoulder months, when it’s
not really cold outside.
They also install an energy recov­
ery ventilator (ERV), rather than
a heat recovery ventilator (HRV),
which balances the home’s humidity
levels. Most builders use HRVs, but
Campanale finds that ERVs provide a
healthier interior environment for both
the house and the people who live in it.
The only fan vented to the outside
is in the master bathroom; the other
bathrooms’ exhaust air is ducted to
the ERV in order to provide balanced
ventilation.
The company also stresses the value
of renting HVAC elements. “Enercare
gets a great price for these, so we rent
and pass the savings on to the home
owner,” Tim says. “The big benefit is if it
breaks down, Enercare fixes it.”
Future-friendly options
A PVC conduit running from a
basement panel to a meter outside
and to the roof makes it possible to put
solar panels on the roof. A selection
of the homes is solar-ready, complete
with engineered trusses, giving home
owners the option to add solar later.
A web-based ecobee thermostat
is installed in all homes, in order to
program heat and air conditioning,
and to reduce bills.
An upgrade offer includes a drain
vanee.ca
All these products meet ENERGY STAR’s higher standards
For more information or to order, contact your local distributor.
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Available to water heater customers whose equipment is not operational (i.e. no hot water)
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201828
water heat recovery pipe, although
the Campanales didn’t install one
as a standard since they were able to
achieve 10% better than code without
it. Greywater recycling is also part of
that upgrade package, as is Uponor
Logic plumbing, which brings hot and
cold water separately to each fixture
so there’s no waiting for hot water.
Selling sustainability
Although home owners are
increasingly looking for ways to
reduce energy consumption, the extra
costs associated with efficiency are
sometimes harder to market. So the
Campanales have explored a variety
of ways to really cement their brand’s
quality and efficiency for consistent
messaging. Every marketing strategy
the company undergoes reinforces its
brand as the quality, energy-efficient
builder in Ottawa.
Builders and developers are well
aware that the challenge of being green
is communicating its value to potential
customers. Given their 40 years in the
business, the Campanales know that’s
best done concretely – through visual
aids, the indisputable results of blower
door tests, and honours and awards
bestowed by respected associations
like Greater Ottawa Home Builders’
Association.
The idea of “seeing is believing” is
one reason they opted to create a dis-
covery home that serves as a sales office,
model home and public education space
all in one. It shows potential home
buyers everything about a Campanale
home, including physical demos on
how the homes are built (using partial
wall construction models), HVAC
demos, a TV and whiteboard monitor
with an instructional video, and smart
home technology demos. “We make it
very clear what the advantage is, and in
clear, easy-to-understand language,”
explains Christian Campanale, who
oversees marketing.
In addition to having a presence
on all the major social media outlets
– Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and
Pinterest – they always put their name
forward for any builder awards under
consideration. Christian, who also
does land development with his cousin
Cody, says the company entered
the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’
Association awards competition and
won the Production Builder of the Year
award in 2017.
Partnerships push Campanale
forward
The company is also in the process of
working with an Ottawa car dealership
that will give new home owners a
discount on an electric car. Chargers
are included in an upgrade, along with a
garage rough-in for future installation.
They’re also in partnership with
Switch Energy, a solar panel manufac­
turer. For every solar panel upgrade
that’s made, a portion of proceeds
is donated to Canadian Indigenous
communities. All in all, Campanale
Homes strives to bring exceptional
value to its home buyers. BB
Alex Newman is a writer, editor and
researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com.
Reverse electric meter for solar PV system.
Check out our website at www.gsw-wh.com
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201830
fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY
This classic quote from Charles
Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities is one of
the greatest opening lines in literary
history. In this brief introduction,
Dickens deftly describes the conflict
between the established monarchy
and the revolution that would
ultimately topple the ruling class of
France and give to the commoners a
say in how they would be governed.
Democracy.
Despite the turmoil, this was
also a time known as the Age of
Enlightenment, with an incredible
number of new inventions, famous
philosophers such as Voltaire and
Kant, and inventors like Franklin and
Watt. Peasants began to have paying
jobs and were no longer indentured to
the landowner. This was the begin­
ning of the middle class and the
birth of modern democracy. Much of
our society, as we know it, is based
upon this incredible burst of energy
throughout Europe and the New
World.
So what does any of this have to
do with an article for Better Builder
magazine? As the saying goes: if you
don’t study history, you are bound to
repeat it. Dickens could very easily be
describing our own rapid transition to
a digital society. Technology changes
are advancing faster than any of us
can imagine, we have unlimited
information available to us right
on our smart phones, and we are
more connected than at any time in
human history – yet we are becoming
increasingly polarized in our views
on religion, on politics and on the
environment and climate change.
Climate change! Remember when
it used to be called “global warming”?
A lot has happened since most of us
first heard about greenhouse gas. As a
society, it seems we’ve fallen into two
camps: climate change believers and
climate change deniers. The believers
see this as a time of great peril but
also tremendous opportunity to do
something about the issue, much
like the revolutionaries of Dickens’s
novel. The deniers see any discussion
of climate change as a threat to their
current way of life, and they have
a steadfast refusal to consider any
change to the status quo – they’re the
monarchists, if you will.
But I’m going to propose that we
consider looking at things in a different
manner. Rather than the two camps
pro and con noted above, I’d like to
consider that there are two different
groups within the believers: climate
change optimists and climate change
realists.
To clarify this distinction, I’d like to
cite Michael Quist on Study.com: “The
optimist tends to see the positive side
of things, sometimes at an unrealistic
level. He tends to believe in people, and
thinks that things will turn out well.
He is the opposite of the pessimist,
who sees everything in as negative a
way as possible. The realist tries to see
the facts, uncolored by emotion.”
Climate change optimists are those
of us who believe that we must do
everything we can to reduce global
carbon emissions in order to limit the
effects of climate change. We believe
that we can do so by using existing
technologies to manufacture electric
Climate Change Reality Check:
A Call to Action
“I
t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it
was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of
incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season
of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter
of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing
before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were
all going direct the other way – in short, the period was
so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest
authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for
evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
204292300/DEPOSITPHOTOS
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018
vehicles and build net zero homes.
Within a few years, both of these will
be the new normal. We believe that
there will be disruptive technologies
that will help further reduce our
carbon footprint. When a disruptive
technology can also be utilized at
close to no additional cost, then it can
have a really significant impact.
Full disclosure: I am involved with
two of these technologies right now.
One is AeroBarrier, an aerosol
sealant that can dramatically reduce
the air leakage of our buildings. With
the right amount of insulation on
the exterior of the building envelope,
there is the further ability to remove
the poly vapour barrier, giving the
wall the ability to dry to the inside
of the home and reducing cost and
callbacks.
The other one is Graphenstone.
This is a company from Spain that
manufactures a variety of specialty
sealants, including paints, mortars,
stucco, sealants, primers and
stains. What makes these products
truly unique is that there is no off-
gassing, and the majority of their
products absorb CO2. That is because
Graphenstone has found a way to
marry limestone with graphene
nanotechnology that not only binds
the material together, but gives it a
great deal of strength while remaining
pliable. Imagine a thin mortar that
can bend without breaking after it
has dried. I was so blown away by
the potential for what the specialty
coatings from Graphenstone can do
31
When a disruptive technology can also be utilized at close to
no additional cost, then it can have a really significant impact.
Contains
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BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201832
that we are importing it from Spain as
the primary distributor for Canada.
But back to my main point. Climate
change realists understand that it
doesn’t really matter if you believe
climate change is happening because
of the actions of man or because it’s
just a natural cycle of Mother Earth,
who’s been on a warming trend since
the last mini ice age ended. Whatever
the cause, rising global temperatures
are resulting in more frequent and
more severe storms, such as the
recent hurricane in Florida, while
drought conditions in some areas
are resulting in massive forest fires
destroying thousands of homes.
My own conversion to becoming
a climate change realist happened
during our Hope Agua Vita missions
to Puerto Rico – seeing how people’s
lives are devastated by the effects of
a hurricane and knowing they don’t
have the money to rebuild, when
better construction techniques would
have withstood all but the most severe
parts of the storm. The destruction
could have been far less. And when
these people become your friends, it
makes it a lot harder to ignore more
resilient construction methods.
Back here in Ontario, I arrived
in Ottawa for the annual Ontario
Home Builders’ Association (OHBA)
conference, the day after six tornadoes
ripped through the Ottawa Valley. I’m
sure the people who lost their roofs
and belongings would have preferred
that their homes were built to a higher
residency standard. As builders,
suppliers, trades and municipal
inspectors, we need to understand
that this problem is not going to
go away. Our need to address more
resilient construction techniques is
going to accelerate rapidly as a priority
as municipalities become increasingly
concerned about the safety and
property of their voting tax base.
We don’t have decades to act – we
have years. Currently, Durham Region
is attempting to address this outside of
our normal Code cycles. This should be
alarming to all industry stakeholders.
The Code process may be tedious
and time consuming, but it is so for
the very reason that we need to know
that how we are asked to build a home
is based upon widely practiced and
understood standards and methods,
and just as importantly, that there is
industry capacity to make the change.
We face a choice. We can be
monarchists and decide to do nothing
and wait for the terms of this new
reality to be dictated to us, for better
or worse, without having brought our
cumulative experience to the dialogue.
Or we can be realists and work with
the researchers, the municipalities
and the insurance industry to develop
a pilot program around more resilient
construction.
So that is exactly what I am propo­
sing: that we, as the home building
industry, set up a pilot program,
working with leading researchers and
insurers to develop best practices
for our Canadian climate. Our goals
need to be simple and clear, and
any requirements must consider
affordability and capacity.
This pilot and eventual program
should be created in a similar manner
to what the home building industry did
with the ENERGY STAR for New Homes
program. With a concentrated effort,
we can better prepare for what lies
before us.
Both the OHBA and Canadian
Home Builders’ Association are
actively engaging with industry
stakeholders. The goal is to provide
open source information so that we
can rapidly expand the dialogue
and knowledge base. This includes
engineered fastening details for
builders to test out so they can share
their experiences and bring them back
to our industry associations.
In closing, I leave you with one final
question: Are you a climate change
denier, optimist or realist? It’s worth
thinking about. BB
Doug Tarry Jr is director
of marketing at Doug
Tarry Homes in St.
Thomas, Ontario.
Our need to address more resilient
construction techniques is going to
accelerate rapidly as a priority as
municipalities become increasingly
concerned about the safety and
property of their voting tax base.
Homeowners, contractors,
and builders rely on
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a continuous layer of insulation
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is proud to now be known as ROCKWOOL™
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018

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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018

  • 1. ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018PUBLICATIONNUMBER42408014 INSIDE Rosehaven on the Leading Edge Streamlining Approvals Village Homes’ Innovations Campanale Offers Added Value Climate Change Reality Check The MunicipalIssue ProfilesinLocalLeadership
  • 2. 209 Citation Dr. Unit 3 & 4 Concord, ON L4K 2Y8 905-669-7373 · glowbrand.ca Models C95 & C140 Condensing Combination Boiler Glow Brand C95 and C140 instantaneous combination ASME boilers for heating and on-demand hot water supply. The ultra-efficient compact design combination boiler has an AFUE rating of 95%. These units are fully modulating at 10 to 1 and 2 inch PVC venting up to 100 feet. Canadian Made
  • 3. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 16 1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2 Rewarding Leadership and Creative Thinking by John Godden THE BADA TEST 3 A Little Common Sense and Technology Can Streamline GTA Development Approvals by Lou Bada INDUSTRY NEWS 7 “Streamline” Finally Becomes a Buzzword for Politicians, Industry by Richard Lyall BUILDER NEWS 11 Village Homes Exceptional Local Leadership by Alex Newman SPECIAL INTEREST 14 The Game Changer in Air Sealing of Houses by Gord Cooke SITE SPECIFIC 20 Discovery Channel by Rob Blackstien 20 A North American First by Rob Blackstien INDUSTRY NEWS 24 Campanale Homes Commitment to Quality Gives Home Buyers Better Values by Alex Newman FROM THE GROUND UP 30 Climate Change Reality Check: A Call to Action by Doug Tarry FEATURE STORY 16 Leading Edge East Gwillimbury may be ready to take its game to the next level – thanks to a unique innovation driven by Rosehaven Homes. by Rob Blackstien 11 ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 On our cover: Franco Fiorucci, Construction Site Manager, Rosehaven Homes; Joe Laronga, Architecture and Engineering Manager, Rosehaven Homes; Marco Guglietti, Owner, Rosehaven Homes; Mary Jafarpour; and Nick Sanci, Contracts Manager, Rosehaven Homes. Photos by Rodney Daw courtesy of Enbridge Gas. Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited. 7 14
  • 4. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20182 W hat makes good leadership? We know that poor leadership usually consists of simplistic thinking or fundamentalism. In contrast, balancing pros and cons – and preserving balance and choice – is key to effective leadership. In training sessions, I usually ask the participants “yes” or “no” questions – but I rarely get commitment to either response. Maybe people are afraid of suffering the disapproval of the group. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing the answer, but asking yourself the question is what’s most important. Good leadership is about constantly asking good questions. Here’s a question worth asking. In Ontario, we have a surplus of off-peak electricity and challenges with fresh water supply and waste treatment capacity. What could be the best way to manage our energy and water needs and reduce CO2 emissions? For the answer, let’s look at Rosehaven Homes in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. In 2015, East Gwillimbury launched the Sustainable Development Incentive Program (SDIP). Under the SDIP, developers are offered 28% more lots if they guarantee that builders provide ENERGY STAR certification and equip homes with water-saving measures, which help to reduce infrastructure costs for the municipality. That sounds great, but the unintended consequence of the program is that builders have to bear construction cost increases of $3,000 to $5,000 per house to reach those goals. Rosehaven Homes was an early adopter of ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide labelling of homes. In 2012, it adopted its own brand using the Better Than Code platform. Other municipalities, such as Vaughan and Oakville, allowed Rosehaven to use these guidelines to meet the equivalency of an ENERGY STAR labelling – but unfortunately, after several attempts to convince the town of East Gwillimbury, Rosehaven’s building permits were still applied for under ENERGY STAR version 12. Here is where the leadership kicks in. In a Savings by Design workshop in January 2018, Rosehaven presented a challenge to East Gwillimbury’s Mayor Virginia Hackson. The builder would construct a model home that would exceed energy savings from ENERGY STAR and water savings from the SDIP checklist if the mayor would agree to host the open house that summer. On August 30, 2018, the total water solution (TWS) was unveiled in their discovery home. The mayor kept her part of the bargain, attended the open house and – due to Rosehaven’s outstanding results – indicated the municipality would review the SDIP. Read about this success story on page 16. Campanale Homes is another leader that’s bringing energy savings and upgrade packages to the market. They’ve developed a discovery home that functions as a sales office, model home and public education space under one roof, and their marketing message is consistently focused on their energy-efficiency efforts. And as you’ll read about on page 24, Campanale is always working to develop partnerships so they can bring their customers the best possible upgrade options. Campanale constructed their vision 2030 home in Ottawa using solar panels and the TWS, and it truly is net zero. Good leadership requires two things: forward thinking and a willingness to question existing norms and try new solutions. Both Rosehaven’s and Campanale’s discovery homes are examples of such leadership. The real reward is a job well done. BB Local Leadership Rewarding Leadership and Creative Thinking publisher’snote / JOHN GODDENPUBLISHER Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 416-481-4218 | fax 416-481-4695 sales@betterbuilder.ca Better Builder Magazine is a sponsor of PUBLISHING EDITOR John B. Godden MANAGING EDITOR Wendy Shami editorial@betterbuilder.ca To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact editorial@betterbuilder.ca FEATURE WRITERS Rob Blackstien, Alex Newman PROOFREADING Carmen Siu CREATIVE Wallflower Design www.wallflowerdesign.com 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.
  • 5. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 A Little Common Sense and Technology Can Streamline GTA Development Approvals 3 T here are two big policy issues for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) these days: a lack of affordable housing and inadequate transportation infrastructure. Housing affordability problems arise mainly from too little housing supply compared to demand. According to BILD, GTA constraints result in a defi­ cit of 10,000 housing units every year. One key factor artificially reducing supply is the GTA’s very slow develop­ ment approval process. We may or may not be a world-class city, but we certainly have world-class red tape. Very slow approvals not only delay but reduce new supply. Even routine projects that are compliant with the provincial and municipal planning policies face long and unexpected delays. More complex projects , face even bigger delays, with the result that developers don’t consider these projects or drop them along the way, contributing to less new supply. In July 2018, RESCON released its Streamlining the Development and Building Approvals Process in Ontario report (find it at rescon.com/ news/files/RESCON_Streamlining_ Approvals_Process.pdf). RESCON’s Michael de Lint was the lead author, and Starlane’s Shawn Leonard was a key working group participant. Slow site plan approvals are a big factor. This is a largely technical process that should take one month, according to the Planning Act. But according to RESCON’s and other reports, actual site plan approval time frames are often over one year. This is the proverbial “canary in a coal mine” thebadatest / LOU BADA – signalling that the health of the GTA approval process is not at all good. So how do we speed up the develop­ ment approvals process in the GTA? RESCON’s report includes hard-to- argue-with, common sense ideas to speed up the planning machinery. The report takes a bigger view and looks at the building regulatory system ecology, including approval agencies, builders, e-permitting and building information modelling (BIM) technology. Corporate culture in regulatory agencies is also a problem. Too often there is no sense of urgency. Legislated approval time frames are ignored and treated as a nice idea. RESCON recommends that the province implement a “transparency checklist” requiring, among other things, that all regulatory agency websites report actual median approval time frames. Part of the reason for the slow approvals is that, even after all upfront planning requirements have been completed, planners reviewing applications are still in “planning mode,” coming up with new ideas. RESCON’s report recommends a “client- centric checklist,” including the idea that persons reviewing applications be called “development facilitators” (or something similar), rather than planners. Some U.S. and Ontario jurisdictions are starting to do this. Often, regulatory agencies argue that delays arise from incomplete applications. But many agencies are not transparent about all of their requirements, making it difficult for builders to avoid incomplete applications. The report’s “transparency checklist” recommends that agency websites include: checklists to help guide applicants submit complete applications; standard details for drawings (such as standard drawings for site plan applications, and standard house designs); staff telephone and email addresses (surprisingly, this is missing from many agency websites). Pre- Streamlining the Development and Building Approvals Process in Ontario Good practice concepts and a guide to action
  • 6. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20184 consultation with key agency staff prior to formal submission can also help ensure a complete application and fewer problems. The RESCON report provides good information on effective approaches. As a builder, I know that the building industry can, under the right circumstances, also contribute to a faster approval process. For example, our firm makes sure that even low-rise house plan designs are coordinated and peer reviewed by a professional to avoid design clashes and ensure Code compliance. Also, early in the process, we pre- consult with all relevant agencies to make sure our development and building applications are complete and compliant – this helps to speed things up. However, many regulatory agencies still need to be much more efficient, transparent and client- centric, and they should follow the RESCON report’s recommendations to guide them in that direction. Builders can also have a role in supporting innovation. RESCON’s report argues that for larger buildings involving several professionals, design coordination and peer review can make municipalities more comfortable in approving complex, energy-efficient and innovative designs, via alternative solutions. Finally, the report recommends that Ontario expand the use of e-permitting and BIM. Some municipalities have started down the e-permitting road, but we can do much more – many G7 countries already have strategies to expand e-permitting and BIM, including a common platform allowing municipal and provincial agencies to share digital files more easily. But, as RESCON recommends, we can’t automate everything – builders still need to be able to talk directly to a development coordinator or building official. These are common sense ideas to speed up and streamline the approval process. By doing so, builders can build much more of the innovative, high-performance housing that home buyers want. BB Lou Bada is vice president of low rise construction at Starlane Home Corporation and on the board of directors for the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). 4
  • 7. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 5 OneSolutionFOR CONTINUOUS INSULATION ®™ The DOW Diamond Logo is a trademarks of The Dow Chemical Company © 2018 STYROFOAM™ CLADMATE™ CM20 insulation is designed with the builder and contractor in mind. Changes to many Building Codes include requirements for increased R-values and improved air sealing control measures. With these new requirements come many options, which sometimes leads to confusion over howto meet code and which products to use. One of the biggest changes to complying with the Code, is the requirement of continuous insulation (ci). Continuous Insulation (ci): An uninterrupted layer of insulation that spans over structural members without thermal bridging, otherthan fasteners and services. A continuous layer of insulation helps reduce the potential for condensation within the wall where mold and mildew can accumulate undetected. DOW BUILDING SOLUTIONS 1-866-583-BLUE (2583) www.dowbuildingsolutions.com
  • 8. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20186
  • 9. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 Y ou’ve probably heard the term “red tape” floated about Ontario for numerous years. The longer the Liberal government remained in power over the course of 15 years, the more the opposition brought up the layers of red tape that were created between the provincial and municipal governments, a variety of industries and the people of Ontario. When looking at the red tape involved in residential construction, in 2015, RESCON identified at least 45 different provincial and municipal approval agencies that builders and developers have to deal with in order to get anything built. Is there any wonder why it takes 10 years for residential developments to come to fruition? The Doug Ford government has embraced “the cutting of red tape,” even going as far as naming MPP Jim Wilson as the “minister responsible for red tape and regulatory burden reduction,” according to a recent press release – that’s in his spare time, when he’s not busy as minister of economic development, job creation and trade. Since Ford, Wilson and the Progressive Conservatives came into power, another term has been making the rounds publicly: “streamline.” This is a word that we have urged previous governments to investigate and implement to help the development approvals process backlog within Queen’s Park as well as municipalities across Ontario. The approvals process has become painfully slow, causing unnecessary financial risk and uncertainty for residential construction. Suddenly, in July, those who were looking in from the outside are now in power at Queen’s Park – and suddenly, “streamline” is being heard from the lips of today’s elected officials and industry stakeholders. At a housing summit held in downtown Toronto during the fall, Ontario municipal affairs and housing minister Steve Clark told the crowd gathered that there was “no silver bullet” to tackling housing affordability and supply issues. However, he added, the regulatory and approvals process “takes too long” and “creates barriers to construction of new housing supply.” What are the solutions to tackling the GTA’s housing supply crisis? We think Clark knocked it out of the park – streamline development 7 “Streamline” Finally Becomes a Buzzword for Politicians, Industry industrynews / RICHARD LYALL In 2015, RESCON identified at least 45 different provincial and municipal approval agencies that builders and developers have to deal with in order to get anything built. 247868038/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • 10. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20188 approvals, reduce red tape, and plan for growth which aligns with transit and population growth. “The days of excessive regulatory burden are over,” Clark said, followed by a round of applause. Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, opened the same housing summit in conjunction with the Ontario Home Builders’ Association and the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario by talking about the need to “streamline the approvals process” and “bring more housing supply to the market.” That’s music to our ears. The Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) recognizes this as well. In its 2017–2018 annual general report, OBOA president Matt Farrell noted: “A new provincial government has come into power with a goal to streamline the development process and make housing more obtainable. They are asking for our help.” During a mayoral candidates debate organized by the Toronto Real Estate Board before his re-election, Toronto mayor John Tory made it clear to his audience that the approvals process has to speed up: “I’m working very hard now to speed up the approvals process at City Hall for construction. We are at the stage where things are simply too complicated and taking too long, and most of that was from a lack of proper interdepartmental cooperation inside the city… When I’m told it takes twice as long to do things in Toronto as it takes elsewhere, I don’t like that… It doesn’t need to take twice as long.” We can only hope that with the 888 mayor entering his second term now, addressing housing supply and affordability will be key mandates of the city. The time for rhetoric is done; it’s time for all levels of government to act now. In nearly two decades of advocacy, we have been talking about streamlining in reference to cutting Liberal government red tape within housing and municipal affairs. And while we asked the Liberal governments about cutting red tape and streamlining approvals to prevent a crisis with the housing chain of supply, the residential construction industry was ignored. Meanwhile, we watched as the Kathleen Wynne government’s red tape cuts were announced to help auto parts manufacturing, food processing, financial services, mining, chemical manufacturing, forestry… where was residential construction? New government, new look, new buzzwords – including in their press releases on other subjects. An October release from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, announcing the introduction of legislation to dismantle Bill 148 and the winding down of the Ontario College of Trades, included the following statement: “The government will continue to systematically review Ontario’s stock of regulations, then streamline, modernize and, in some cases, eliminate unnecessarily complicated, outdated or duplicative regulations.” Of course, there was also the “streamlining” of Toronto city council from 47 to 25 councillors. Whether you agree with this decision or not, it’s difficult to deny that this government is energized, focused and active. Government and industry will continue to work together to eliminate unnecessary steps and processes within the bureaucracy – and we would like to see streamlining used as building approvals processes are updated. So what should streamlining look like for residential construction? For that answer, please turn to page 3 to read Lou Bada’s excellent column. We think you’ll agree that it’s about time the use of “streamlining” moves from industry rhetoric to government action so that we can move on to the next buzzword – whatever that will be. BB Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to the construction industry. Contact him @ RESCONprez or at media@rescon.com. “The government will continue to systematically review Ontario’s stock of regulations, then streamline, modernize and, in some cases, eliminate unnecessarily complicated, outdated or duplicative regulations.”
  • 11. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 9 • PROVIDES A CONTINUOUS THERMAL RESISTANCE OF R-5; perfect for meeting the requirements of the Quebec & Ontario Building Code. • DOES NOT REQUIRE ADDITIONAL BRACING; one-step installation saving time and cost. • INTEGRATED AIR-BARRIER; no additional housewrap required saving material costs. • LIGHTWEIGHT AND EASY TO INSTALL; allows for fast installation saving time and cost. R-5 XP C O M B I N E S T H E W I N D B R A C I N G P R O P E R T I E S O F W O O D F I B R E W I T H T H E T H E R M A L R E S I S T A N C E O F E X T R U D E D P O L Y S T Y R E N E bpcan.com F O R O V E R 1 0 0 Y E A R S INSULSHEATHING Panel Introducing a Unique Innovation:
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  • 13. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 Michael, who had studied archi­ tecture at California Polytechnic State University, and Judy, who was doing a master’s in ecology at University of California at Davis in the early ’70s, were inspired by the UK’s garden cities. These innovative communities were first envisioned by Ebenezer Howard, a British urban planner in the late 1800s who believed open green space was the answer to polluted, post- Industrial Revolution-era cities. Fast forward to the early 1970s. The Corbetts and a group of like- minded graduate students started meeting on Sunday nights, disturbed by how North American cities were developing, and particularly concerned with suburban sprawl. The group fell apart, however, when the Corbetts started working on actually developing a model neighbourhood, a vision which included a local bus system, gardens, orchards, a farmers market, a vineyard, affordable housing and playgrounds. That vision would eventually become a planned community of 225 energy-conscious houses and 20 apartment units, situated along pedestrian-friendly cul-de-sacs, which were individually/privately owned. The small retail area – containing a ballet studio, a restaurant and other businesses – generated income and was operated and maintained by Plumshire Corporation. The 60-acre project was unique in North America at the time. The road from vision to shovels in the ground, however, took two or three years of “hell,” says Judy – pushing and convincing city council, the planning department, the police, the fire department, public works, the city attorney and, of course, the bank that this could work. “They had never seen anything like this before,” Judy says. Though the community has had a lasting impact on state building and energy standards, she recalls that back then they had “tremendous push back from all city officials, except for the city manager and city attorney.” Ultimately, the project had to be financed by friends and family, along with a loan from a local savings and loan company that already had a relationship with Michael’s parents (they were builders). It was completed 11 Village Homes Exceptional Local Leadership buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN N amed by Time magazine as one of the world’s best examples of sustainable development, Village Homes is still going strong 40 years after its inception. The visionary brainchild of Michael and Judy Corbett, graduate students in California who were married, Village Homes was intended to create higher residential density while offering greater open space, discouraging car use and encouraging human interaction. THISPAGE&TABLEOFCONTENTS DESIGNFORHEALTH|CCBY2.0 Abundant fruit for all.
  • 14. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201812 in five stages over six years, with 30 to 40 houses built each year, along with the accompanying streets, greenbelts and orchards. The Corbetts would sell each unit before moving on to the next. The prices for homes were the same as other subdivision developments in Davis, but because the community has become such a popular place to live, the prices are now higher per square foot. In the planning stages, they figured the best way to discourage driving and to promote human interaction was to make it more difficult to drive than to walk or bike around. Judy was in graduate school at the time, looking at how a sense of community happens. They created clusters of seven houses, with laneways in the rear for cars and meandering paths in the front for people. Each cluster received a one- third-acre communal open space and $600 – this was in 1977 – both of which were intended to be incentives for neighbours to get together and jointly care for the land. Many of the paths run beside drainage swales that are part of an overall system to protect the development from flooding. In one video, Michael describes how the city engineers said their system of edible landscaping, solar orientation and natural drainage wouldn’t work, and how they imposed an expensive bond to cover the city having to fix issues and lay new pipes. But in the second year, a heavy storm sent water backflowing into the project from the city’s system. Michael went to council to request they remove the bond, which they did. Although homes were built close together, the vast green spaces – orchards, vineyards and playgrounds – represent 40% of the total land and brought the density to around six units per acre, Judy says. “You’d never do this density now, especially since we can do solar and passive energy on much smaller land parcels.” When it came to construction, Corbett says they used a lot of high- mass materials, such as tile floors and tile roofs, which allowed for better air ventilation, especially on hot summer nights. Units face south to capture sunlight; roof overhangs block the summer sun from penetrating inside, but during winter months (when the sun is lower on the horizon), the sunlight gets inside more easily. Initially, the homes had structural columns filled with water that moderated the inside temperature – all part of the passive solar technique, Corbett says. They also had solar greenhouses that would retain heat in the floors and pulled cool night air through the same system. Walls and roofs had higher levels of insulation than most homes of the day. Today, residents are also looking at water storage and water recycling. The Corbetts had innovated a natural drainage system that kept all storm­ water and urban runoff on the site, allowing them to recharge the ground­ water supplies. “When the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] instituted their non-point pollution regulations, they used Village Homes as an example for pollution control. Now it’s an example for groundwater recharge.” Their one failure, Judy says, was to run greywater from home to yard. The health department took them on, and they had to pour concrete in the drains that allowed them to run from the upstairs bathtub to the yard. In 1991, a private non-profit group in nearby Sacramento invited Michael – along with fellow architects Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Peter Calthorpe – to come up with some principles for community land-use planning. The group named these the Ahwahnee Principles, and presented them to government officials. In 1993, the architects (not In the planning stages, the Corbetts figured the best way to discourage driving and to promote human interaction was to make it more difficult to drive than to walk or bike around. MODIFIEDFROMFGRAMMEN Street network diagram of the Village Homes community in Davis, California. At its midpoint, the neighbourhood measures 325 metres wide. COLLECTOR ROADS PATHS LOCAL STREETS
  • 15. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 including Corbett) founded the Congress for the New Urbanism, which is now the leading international organization promoting New Urbanist principles. Looking back, Judy says that “I couldn’t imagine doing this project today if we knew how difficult it would be, and that we would have to elect a whole new city council.” She adds that there have been other attempts since, but most have failed, and none were mixed income like Village Homes. “Bottom line is the final decision is made by mayors, city councils … that’s why I started the local government commission to educate local elected officials and planners.” Their stream of admirers have included the likes of Jane Fonda, Rosalynn Carter, François Mitterrand, and tons of students and professors. As Judy says: “You can’t imagine how many people I meet who say they learned all about us in planning or architecture school.” (In fact, John Godden, president of Clearsphere and publisher of Better Builder, credits Village Homes as the catalyst for him to dedicate his career to energy-efficient building and sustainable planning and development. His honours thesis at the University of Waterloo was titled The Resource-efficient Subdivision: An Alternative Development Concept for Rural Lands.) The biggest difference in building sustainably is the emotional, cultural and physical impact it has on the people who live there. In their book, Designing Sustainable Communities: Learning from Village Homes, the Corbetts’ son Christopher describes a feeling in regular developments of being “locked in by the fence in my backyard and the street in front of my house. [Living in other communities,] I feel a loss of the freedom I had as a child.” He recently purchased an empty lot to build a home in the area. Judy says many kids who were raised in Village Homes want to come back and live there. She knows why: “Last week I walked to the swimming pool, and as I passed the dance studio, I could hear ballerinas in there practising. I could hear high school students practising orchestra in our community centre. I passed by the restaurant, and you could hear people laughing and enjoying themselves. Honestly, I never expected it to be this good.” BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com. 13 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
  • 16. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201814 specialinterest / GORD COOKE If you don’t know the legacy of Mr. Orr, you should check it out at the link below. In short, Mr. Orr was recently honoured with the Order of Canada for his pioneering work in the 1960s and 1970s on energy-efficient housing construction. He was a key contributor to the success of the Saskatchewan Conservation House that was the first comprehensive demonstration of what became the R-2000 program and the German Passive House program. Mr. Orr is credited with the development of the first blower door system for measuring airtightness. Thus it was great fun for me to spend time with him at the EEBA conference in San Diego and hear about the early attempts to make building enclosures very airtight. Then, it was very satisfying for me to introduce him to what I believe is the game-changing new technology for air sealing called AeroBarrier. This technology could well be the end game of our industry’s search for a comprehensive, cost-effective way to ensure the control of unwanted air leaks through building enclosures. I had heard about AeroBarrier in the summer of 2017 from colleagues of mine in Minnesota who were conducting field trials of the system in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home research project. They were very excited about the product and the amazing results they were seeing in large- volume builders’ homes. As I looked into it more, I found that the product was developed at the University of California, Davis and has been licensed to the same company that markets the Aeroseal duct sealing system that I have recommended to builders and HVAC contractors for years. Then, at the 2017 EEBA conference in Atlanta, I met Geoff Ferrell, the chief technology officer of Mandalay Homes in Arizona. Geoff told me they had used AeroBarrier on dozens of homes and had already committed to using it on the 200+ homes they build per year. In Geoff’s words, “AeroBarrier may be the most important innovation to hit the building community in years. The ability to consistently seal all the small leaks that would otherwise take countless man hours to seek and hand seal, assuming you even find them all, in just one automated application is simply amazing. The cost effectiveness is beyond immeasurable when you consider the total sealing solution AeroBarrier provides and all the labour saved by automating the application process. We couldn’t be happier with AeroBarrier and the fine folks behind the product.” That was enough for me to explore bringing the technology to Canada, and the first system landed here in April. We have done about 70 homes in southern Ontario since, and Geoff’s assessment was indeed correct. Large custom homes, production detached homes, townhomes and multi-family suites were all sealed to whatever level the builders’ goals were, including The Game Changer in Air Sealing of Houses I was very privileged recently to help present the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance’s (EEBA) inaugural Legends award to the father of energy efficiency in Canada, Harold Orr.
  • 17. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 three Passive Homes under 0.6 ACH at 50 Pascal. In each case, the sealing results are tracked in real time with a certificate of completion outlining the sealing work at the end. AeroBarrier is a non-toxic, water-borne acrylic sealant that is aerosolized through a system that includes a pump, hoses and up to 16 nozzles placed throughout the home. The house is fogged with the sealant while the house is pressurized up to 100 Pascal of positive pressure, using a blower door similar to the one your energy advisor uses to air test your homes. As air moves through the house and towards any leakage points in the enclosure, the sealant is entrained in the air and coagulates around the edges of holes in the enclosure. It adheres well to over 20 different commonly used building materials such as drywall, OSB, wood, concrete, plastics, metal and foam. It is important to note that it is not coating surfaces, but rather just coagulating around the edges of holes until the holes are sealed. The whole process is monitored by computer, with the air sealing progress tracked and graphed such that you can target any level of airtightness you want. Once the target is achieved, the sealant is stopped and air is flushed out of the building. Some residue of dried sealant falls to the floor and any other horizontal surfaces and can be swept up. As you consider this technology, there are a couple of things you will want to keep in mind. First, the system can be applied after rough-ins and before insulation and drywall if you use an exterior air barrier such as extruded insulation board. In fact, we have already conducted demonstrations with Owens Corning’s CodeBord Air Barrier System. The other good time to apply the system is just after the first coat of drywall mud is applied. This minimizes seal time and clean-up time. With set-up, application and clean-up, the process typically takes between three and five hours – the tighter the target, the longer it takes. Next, the system pressurizes the house. This has two implications. First, window sashes and exhaust fan vents need to be taped off so sealant doesn’t find its way in those areas. It also means that the final test results may be slightly different than your regular energy advisor’s depressurization test result. Holes in houses can leak differently depending on the direction of flow. Finally, although it would seem that older houses might really benefit from the technology, recall that the sealant does deposit out on horizontal surfaces, and clean-up of furniture, flooring and cabinets would be prohibitive. If, however, you are doing a thorough renovation with all new flooring and new cabinets, and all furnishings are out of the house, then AeroBarrier may well be a very cost-effective way to air seal an existing house. When you consider the net zero- ready goals for 2030 and the proposed Ontario Building Code for airtightness testing of all new homes by as early as 2021, I think you can agree with Geoff Ferrell’s assessment that AeroBarrier is an important technology. Consider the opportunities to employ the performance path of the Ontario Building Code now, where airtightness trade-offs can be used to offset other expensive energy-efficiency elements, such as increased insulation levels. Consider, too, the labour to meet the 16 rigorous prescriptive air sealing clausess already listed in Section 9.25 of the Code and the liability if you aren’t able to meet the ever-increasing expectations of home buyers for the “perfect” house. With this in mind, you can imagine why I felt the need to bring the system to Canada. I am hoping you will want to learn more. Check it out at www. aerobarrier.ca. BB Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. 15 Setup for whole-house air sealing.
  • 18. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 LeadingEdge featurestory / ROB BLACKSTIEN One of Ontario’s most progressive municipalities, East Gwillimbury may be ready to take its game to the next level – thanks to a unique innovation driven by Rosehaven Homes. W hen it comes to showing progressive municipal leadership in the area of sustainable development, East Gwillimbury has few peers. Located at the northernmost reaches of Highway 404, the town has long maintained a focus on environmentalism, especially in water conservation, given its limited wastewater storage space. In fact, in 2014 the town began working on a comprehensive initiative called the Sustainable Development Incentive Program (SDIP). Launched in January 2015, the program was outlined in an 88-page tome of guidelines and practices aimed at developers and builders. East Gwillimbury continues to push this agenda. Earlier this year, the 16
  • 19. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 town extended its “Thinking Green” standards beyond the building envelope “to encourage a holistic approach to sustainability,” says Mayor Virginia Hackson. A tremendously ambitious under­ taking intended to reduce water demand and wastewater and result in more energy-efficient development, the SDIP offered up some great incentives for developers. Specifically, those that agreed to abide by the guidelines of this voluntary program were eligible for a 28% boost in lot allocation. So developers are able to sell nearly a third more lots – but it is the actual home builders who are now forced to construct houses to meet SDIP requirements, including water conservation, energy conservation and renewable energy measures, plus resource management and home owner education. This is all very well intentioned and highly commendable. However, from the builders’ perspective, it’s forcing them to build in a rather prescriptive – and often more costly – manner, at a time when all levels of government are decrying the rising cost of homes. (You know what they say about the road to hell…) Unfortunately, East Gwillimbury’s SDIP – while a huge push towards sustainability – was already a tad antiquated upon its release. It is therefore hamstringing builders that may have already evolved past the program’s preferred methods. Enter Rosehaven Homes, a builder with a long history of innovation. Its discovery home, launched in late summer, may have finally opened up the eyes of enough of the town’s key stakeholders to usher in change. Last year, Rosehaven was engaged in the construction of its Anchor Woods community in the Holland Landing section of East Gwillimbury. As part of the process, the company was engaged in the Savings by Design program (see Summer 2018 issue, page 11), which includes its standard charrette, this time involving key stakeholders from the town (including Mayor Hackson) and various sustainable building experts, like Clearsphere’s John Godden. Having unsuccessfully lobbied Facing page: East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson welcomes everyone to the open house. Above right, from left to right: Homeowner Mary Jafarpour, Mayor Virginia Hackson, John Bell (Greyter Water Systems), Marco Guglietti (Rosehaven Homes), and Ian MacPherson (Enbridge). 17 PHOTOSBYRODNEYDAWCOURTESYOFENBRIDGEGAS
  • 20. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 THE TOTAL WATER SOLUTION HOW THE RENEWABLE STRATEGY WORKS 18 to build Anchor Woods using its preferred HERS approach, by this point Rosehaven was resigned to using the SDIP-prescribed ENERGY STAR program. Still, knowing Rosehaven was likely to produce similar (or even better) results using HERS while still achieving the goals of the SDIP, Godden made a suggestion that put both the builder and the mayor on the spot: if Rosehaven were to build a discovery home that met SDIP’s standards, would the mayor come to the opening and endorse it? All parties agreed, and soon, Godden was invited to speak at an East Gwillimbury council meeting to discuss Rosehaven’s plans. Mayor Hackson wanted all the councillors to understand and embrace this concept. “It went very well,” she says. “[He] delivered the message very strongly.” And so it was that the wheels were set in motion for Rosehaven to show leadership through innovation (as it has wont to do through its 26-year history), and in this instance, perhaps do what we’ve all likely dreamt of from time to time – namely, change city policy. Ushering in change is nothing new to Rosehaven. The 80-plus-employee firm has a long history of being on the leading edge. In 2005, Rosehaven built Riverstone Golf and Country Club in Brampton, the first EnerGuide (the forerunner to ENERGY STAR) community. Rosehaven was also the first builder to embrace the HERS label with its Kleinburg community in 2012, ultimately proving its expertise by winning the Cross Border Builder Challenge President’s Award in 2016 with a home that had a HERS score of 46. And now the company has helped pioneer another first: the Total Water Solution, a multi-company effort featuring the integration of eight technologies and the centrepiece of the discovery home’s renewable strategy. (For more on the Total Water Solution, see the “A North American First” sidebar on page 20.) By spearheading the efforts of several players to make this happen, Rosehaven showed true leadership. But Joe Laronga, the company’s architecture and engineering manager, was quick to deflect credit, calling it “a group effort.” It’s important to understand that when Rosehaven balked at the SDIP, it did so mostly because the program wasn’t in the spirit of the Building Code, which specifically recognizes several different energy rating systems, not just ENERGY STAR. Laronga set up a meeting with the town to discuss the issue. “We don’t have a problem with your SDIP,” AIR CONDITIONER HEAT PUMP uses off-peak electricity to provide heat in the shoulder months WATER MAIN AIR HANDLER GREYWATER RECYCLING SYSTEM 2 showers provide 30 toilet flushes DRAIN WATER HEAT RECOVERY UNIT 50% efficiency DUAL PURPOSE CONDENSING HOT WATER HEATER shower water goes through DRAIN WATER HEAT RECOVERY UNIT and then to greywater system WATER LEAK DEVICE AND FLOW MONITOR remotely shuts off MAIN and measures fixture consumption greywater feeds toilets UPONOR LOGIC PLUMBING ERV manages relative humidity with heat recovery
  • 21. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 Laronga recalls telling the town official. “What we have a problem with is that it has prescriptive language in it.” Essentially, ENERGY STAR is a brand, “and the town should really remain neutral in enforcing that.” It’s not as if Rosehaven didn’t have a ton of experience with ENERGY STAR, but “our main concern is that the ENERGY STAR is a moving target,” he explains. “You can get multiple versions within a project that has different phases,” leaving the company to constantly update its drawings and specs to keep pace. That becomes a costly proposition. The SDIP also poses a challenge because more items need to be installed in these houses, says Franco Fiorucci, Rosehaven’s site supervisor and the person credited for making this all happen on the ground. He says this includes humidifiers; on-demand hot water recirculation pumps; WaterSense-labelled toilets and faucets; and low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and stains. Laronga says that “HERS is part of our DNA, really” – so the SDIP requirements led to a standstill, which will hopefully be rectified by the discovery home. (For more on the discovery house, see the “Discovery Channel” sidebar on page 20.) It’s clear that Rosehaven’s discovery home will achieve the town’s goals. In fact, building to SDIP guidelines results in a home about 15% better than code; Rosehaven’s discovery home is 26% better than code. “This is an eye opener for them,” Laronga says. He’s hoping the discovery home will help the town realize that changing the SDIP to allow for any home energy rating system that’s Code-approved is beneficial to all. Give builders more choice, and not only will it help them keep costs in check, but it will also allow them to innovate. Everyone involved lauds East Gwillimbury’s desire to drive sustain­ ability, but the SDIP should be a living, breathing document that can evolve over time. “At the time it got produced, it was leading edge, but by the time we started implementing it and putting it into practice, the technology had changed already,” Laronga explains. Adds Fiorucci: “We’re saying ‘hey, we’re a leader in the industry, we want to try something new. Are you willing to work with us and see that there is a better way to do things?’” Of course, building this discovery home is not without its risk. Fiorucci admits, “if it doesn’t work, it kind of backfires on us a bit.” But as we all know, those on the leading edge must take risks in order to innovate. The question is: has Rosehaven proven the technological development here enough to prompt a review of the SDIP? “I believe so,” says Mayor Hackson. “If you have a municipality that’s open to flexibility, then it breeds creativity, really, when it comes to environmental stewardship. Our staff [is] very open to listening and taking a look at all kinds of ideas that aren’t standard or the norm to make a difference.” Mayor Hackson understands that, in a market that’s flattened over the last year, providing builders with more choice is one way to lure them to your community. Notably, she offers a slight indication that the SDIP may be changing: “Our council has directed staff to review the technologies and report back with ways for us to continue to promote this and any other options that builders come forward with to incorporate into their design for every home.” Based on the fact that she attended the Savings by Design charrette, invited Godden to speak to council and went to Rosehaven’s open house, it seems like Mayor Hackson is on board with the idea of builders finding the best energy efficient solutions for their homes.. “Yes, you’re absolutely right: I have bought into this concept,” she confirms. Fears that Mayor Hackson would be voted out in October – and the new boss may not see things the same way – were assuaged when she was re-elected. Regardless of the leadership, Laronga says, “the discovery home is a placeholder” that will show real energy and water savings, and which ought to pave the way for a more flexible approach by East Gwillimbury. We’re all familiar with the old adage “you can’t fight city hall” – but perhaps Rosehaven has found a way to at least change its mind. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca 19 “If you have a municipality that’s open to flexibility, then it breeds creativity, really, when it comes to environmental stewardship.”
  • 22. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201820 sitespecific / ROB BLACKSTIEN U pon deciding to build a discovery home in Anchor Woods, Rosehaven faced a big question: which home owner would be willing to try the experiment (albeit in a good way, considering the technology was all donated and would add up to significant utility savings)? Fortunately, the perfect candidate existed in Mary Jafarpour. Not only was she a long-time Rosehaven customer, but she had extensive building industry experience, so she was in the unique position to understand the value of what they were trying to accomplish. “Agreeing to have the mechanical system installed in my home was a win-win situation,” Jafarpour says. “I would be helping the environment by reducing my carbon footprint and helping Rosehaven and the Town of East Gwillimbury by agreeing to promote sustainable development.” Fiorucci says this discovery home is filled with innovations, as one of the first homes to receive a greywater system that reduces wastewater by around 25% and cuts sanitary inflow and outflow. It’s the first home to employ an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to manage moisture, eliminating the need for a humidifier. Combination hybrid heat reduces natural gas usage and employs off-peak electricity through the heat pump, he adds. When Laronga and Rosehaven contracts manager Nick Sanci ran the idea for the discovery home up the flagpole, it was met with enthusiasm by Rosehaven’s owner, Marco Guglietti. “I welcomed the idea… yet again, I encourage new ideas for improved performance and efficiency in our homes,” he says. “Ideas like the discovery home epitomize Rosehaven Homes’ mission.” All told, about $5,000 worth of equipment was donated to make this home a reality and help achieve a HERS score of 41. Thanks to the home’s energy-efficiency features, Jafarpour is expected to save around $510 annually off her utility bills. continued part of this because it was a great idea, and I think that it’s time that we all looked at this stuff.” The Total Water Solution, the first of its kind in North America, consists of the following: M Phyn flow monitor: to monitor water usage and measure annual savings; M Drain water heat recovery system: recovers up to half of the heat from shower water to preheat the home’s domestic water; M Greywater recycling system: used to treat water from the shower and reuse it for flushing toilets (two showers will deliver enough water for 30 flushes); M Logic plumbing: part of the system (but not in this particular home), this helps structure water distribution to reduce the waiting time for hot water, thereby saving water; M Radiant dual-purpose condensing hot water heater: employs a modulating boiler to deliver space and hot water heating; continued I t took a lot of parties to pull off what Rosehaven accomplished in its discovery home with the Total Water Solution. One of the key players involved was Joe Krebs, estimator contracts manager for Applewood Air Conditioning. He really stepped up by helping convince Carrier – a long- time Rosehaven supplier – to donate a side discharge heat pump and thermostat. vänEE donated the ERV and Applewood supplied extra labour at no charge to get it done. “Everybody kind of kicked in,” Krebs says. “I was really happy to be a Discovery Channel A North American First Mayor Virginia Hackson presents homeowner Mary Jafarpour with a certificate of recognition.
  • 23. Visit RosehavenHomes.com for directions, maps, hours and community information or call (1-888/416) 410-0175 On August 30, 2018, Rosehaven Homes, in partnership with Enbridge’s Savings by Design and the Municipality of East Gwillimbury, proudly unveiled the Discovery Home in our Anchor Woods community. A symbol of our spirit of innovation, the Discovery Home incorporates the latest, sustainable, energy-efficient features and finishes that go above and beyond the Building Code. Just one of the many ways in which Rosehaven Homes is building a better future for all of us. We would like to sincerely thank all our trades, partners and associates who collaborated with us in building our Discovery Home in East Gwillimbury. Enbridge Panasonic Greyter RESCON Building Products of Canada Thermal Hydronics Renewability Air Solutions Applewood Heating Carrier Town of East Gwillimbury Enercare Better Than Code Ecosmart Air Radiant Hydronics Uponor DISCOVERTHEHOME OFTHEFUTURE ECO-FRIENDLY STARTSAT HOME
  • 24. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201822 M Ecosmart air handler: in conjunc­tion with the boiler, distributes heat and air conditioning through forced air ducting; M Carrier air conditioner heat pump: uses off-peak (cheaper) electricity to provide supplemental heat during shoulder months; and M vänEE energy recovery ventilator: delivers high efficiency heat recovery for ventilation and managing humidity levels. John Bell, Greyter Water Systems’ vice president of business development for residential homes, says this solution will be ready for a full-scale launch in January 2019. “As water costs rise, home owners will start to ask for the technology, but that’s really a couple of years out before I would ever consider [it to become] mainstream [for] end users,” he says. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca Among the home’s energy-efficient features: M High-performance envelope: rated 26% better than Code; M High-performance HVAC: a combination heating system, including an electronically commutated motor (ECM) blower, ensuring maximum air distribution and comfort (controllable with a web- based thermostat); M Indoor air quality: an ERV delivering minimum efficiency of 75% sensible recovery efficiency (SRE) with exhaust ducting to the bathrooms; M Reduced water usage: thanks to dual flush toilets and greywater recycling; and M Efficient lighting and material management: with 90% compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lighting. BB Discovery Channel, continued Joe Krebs A North American First, continued
  • 25. EcoVent™ —The fan that meets designed airflow requirements. For true performance under the hood, install Panasonic EcoVent™ with Veri-Boost.™ Ideal for new residential construction, EcoVent is the perfect solution for home builders looking to meet designed airflow requirements the first time and avoid the hassle of replacing underperforming fans. EcoVent is a cost effective ENERGY STAR® rated solution that delivers strong performance. If you need to bump up the CFM output to achieve airflow design, simply flip the Veri-Boost switch and increase the flow from 70 to 90 CFM and you’re good to go! Learn more at Panasonic.com
  • 26. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201824 buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN Campanale has been building and developing low-rise, townhome, commercial, purpose-built rental, and high-/mid-rise projects since the late 1970s. They have always positioned themselves as “leaders in change, looking for ways to build better with new products, always wanting greater efficiency,” says Tony Campanale, head of construction. “With rising utility costs, buyers are increasingly concerned about energy use.” Always keen on using better materials and methods for greater efficiency and quality, the company recently teamed up with Clearsphere to refine their existing ideas and glean new ones. Tim Campanale, manager of contracts and estimating, says that it isn’t just about being good stewards, but also about making a better house and saving their buyers money in utility costs – “as much as 10% to 30%, depending on what they decide to include.” Instead of being dazzled by the icing on the cake – like granite counters and hardwood floors – home owners are encouraged to focus on the bones of a house. “[It’s] more important to have a well-built, durable home that reduces energy consumption and has more comfortable interior air quality. We’re building better and proving it’s better, by doing a blower door test and giving a seal guaranteeing that the house is 10% to 30% better than code.” It’s all in the envelope Campanale Homes puts a focus on a tight envelope with multiple air barriers and exterior sheathing, so their standard construction includes Excel exterior sheathing, a structurally rated product with an R-value of 1.5. It’s three times more effective than oriented strand board (OSB) because of its higher R-value and its ability to dry to the outside while preventing thermal bridging. Windows have lower U-values and a lower solar heat gain coefficient, which is superior to standard windows and much better than the existing Building Code. Essentially, they allow less heat to escape in the winter and less heat to penetrate during the summer months, effectively reducing the heating and cooling costs. Insulation for the low-rise homes is fibreglass batts on exterior walls. Occasionally, they use ROCKWOOL in demising walls and ceilings between units to prevent fire spread and sound transmission, but they rarely use it on exterior walls unless required by code. Typar on the inside of foundation walls behind the insulation is a moisture barrier and keeps moisture from wicking into those walls. Insulation stays dry and mould free, and also retains its R-value. When and when insulation gets wet, it does not keep its thermal effectiveness. Intelligent HVAC solutions With a tight envelope, it’s critical to have good ventilation. The Campanales install HVAC systems that include a Radiant boiler, which works as a domestic hot water heater for showers and taps, while also working as a heating appliance with a Radiant air handler. The combo system, Tim says, creates a more efficient heating system for the house. Instead of having a hot water tank and a gas furnace, which means burning gas for two appliances, you use one burner and Campanale Homes Commitment to Quality Gives Home Buyers Better Value Left to right: Tim Campanale, Rob Johnson, and Tony Campanale. T he principals of Campanale Homes – two generations of a family that work very well together – have always been committed to quality building. That’s something most builders say they’re committed to, but the Campanale difference is that their definition of quality includes energy efficiency.
  • 28. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201826 less gas. The boiler works on two separate loops, which means that your water heated for showers and taps does not affect the water heated for the air handler and heat for the house. This new product, sourced from Italy, has a coil system in it. “It’s efficient, easy to use, and has one of the most efficient heat exchangers.” If a purchaser wants, a heat pump air conditioner is offered as an upgrade. A heat pump air conditioner is essentially the air conditioner working in reverse, using cheaper, off-peak electricity to provide supplemental heat. It saves money during the shoulder months, when it’s not really cold outside. They also install an energy recov­ ery ventilator (ERV), rather than a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), which balances the home’s humidity levels. Most builders use HRVs, but Campanale finds that ERVs provide a healthier interior environment for both the house and the people who live in it. The only fan vented to the outside is in the master bathroom; the other bathrooms’ exhaust air is ducted to the ERV in order to provide balanced ventilation. The company also stresses the value of renting HVAC elements. “Enercare gets a great price for these, so we rent and pass the savings on to the home owner,” Tim says. “The big benefit is if it breaks down, Enercare fixes it.” Future-friendly options A PVC conduit running from a basement panel to a meter outside and to the roof makes it possible to put solar panels on the roof. A selection of the homes is solar-ready, complete with engineered trusses, giving home owners the option to add solar later. A web-based ecobee thermostat is installed in all homes, in order to program heat and air conditioning, and to reduce bills. An upgrade offer includes a drain vanee.ca 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. 0
  • 29. Barrie, GTA West, GTA North Eric Byle | 416-937-8793 Toronto East Al Crost | 416-676-0168 Available to water heater customers whose equipment is not operational (i.e. no hot water)
  • 30. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201828 water heat recovery pipe, although the Campanales didn’t install one as a standard since they were able to achieve 10% better than code without it. Greywater recycling is also part of that upgrade package, as is Uponor Logic plumbing, which brings hot and cold water separately to each fixture so there’s no waiting for hot water. Selling sustainability Although home owners are increasingly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption, the extra costs associated with efficiency are sometimes harder to market. So the Campanales have explored a variety of ways to really cement their brand’s quality and efficiency for consistent messaging. Every marketing strategy the company undergoes reinforces its brand as the quality, energy-efficient builder in Ottawa. Builders and developers are well aware that the challenge of being green is communicating its value to potential customers. Given their 40 years in the business, the Campanales know that’s best done concretely – through visual aids, the indisputable results of blower door tests, and honours and awards bestowed by respected associations like Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. The idea of “seeing is believing” is one reason they opted to create a dis- covery home that serves as a sales office, model home and public education space all in one. It shows potential home buyers everything about a Campanale home, including physical demos on how the homes are built (using partial wall construction models), HVAC demos, a TV and whiteboard monitor with an instructional video, and smart home technology demos. “We make it very clear what the advantage is, and in clear, easy-to-understand language,” explains Christian Campanale, who oversees marketing. In addition to having a presence on all the major social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – they always put their name forward for any builder awards under consideration. Christian, who also does land development with his cousin Cody, says the company entered the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association awards competition and won the Production Builder of the Year award in 2017. Partnerships push Campanale forward The company is also in the process of working with an Ottawa car dealership that will give new home owners a discount on an electric car. Chargers are included in an upgrade, along with a garage rough-in for future installation. They’re also in partnership with Switch Energy, a solar panel manufac­ turer. For every solar panel upgrade that’s made, a portion of proceeds is donated to Canadian Indigenous communities. All in all, Campanale Homes strives to bring exceptional value to its home buyers. BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com. Reverse electric meter for solar PV system.
  • 31. Check out our website at www.gsw-wh.com
  • 32. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201830 fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY This classic quote from Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities is one of the greatest opening lines in literary history. In this brief introduction, Dickens deftly describes the conflict between the established monarchy and the revolution that would ultimately topple the ruling class of France and give to the commoners a say in how they would be governed. Democracy. Despite the turmoil, this was also a time known as the Age of Enlightenment, with an incredible number of new inventions, famous philosophers such as Voltaire and Kant, and inventors like Franklin and Watt. Peasants began to have paying jobs and were no longer indentured to the landowner. This was the begin­ ning of the middle class and the birth of modern democracy. Much of our society, as we know it, is based upon this incredible burst of energy throughout Europe and the New World. So what does any of this have to do with an article for Better Builder magazine? As the saying goes: if you don’t study history, you are bound to repeat it. Dickens could very easily be describing our own rapid transition to a digital society. Technology changes are advancing faster than any of us can imagine, we have unlimited information available to us right on our smart phones, and we are more connected than at any time in human history – yet we are becoming increasingly polarized in our views on religion, on politics and on the environment and climate change. Climate change! Remember when it used to be called “global warming”? A lot has happened since most of us first heard about greenhouse gas. As a society, it seems we’ve fallen into two camps: climate change believers and climate change deniers. The believers see this as a time of great peril but also tremendous opportunity to do something about the issue, much like the revolutionaries of Dickens’s novel. The deniers see any discussion of climate change as a threat to their current way of life, and they have a steadfast refusal to consider any change to the status quo – they’re the monarchists, if you will. But I’m going to propose that we consider looking at things in a different manner. Rather than the two camps pro and con noted above, I’d like to consider that there are two different groups within the believers: climate change optimists and climate change realists. To clarify this distinction, I’d like to cite Michael Quist on Study.com: “The optimist tends to see the positive side of things, sometimes at an unrealistic level. He tends to believe in people, and thinks that things will turn out well. He is the opposite of the pessimist, who sees everything in as negative a way as possible. The realist tries to see the facts, uncolored by emotion.” Climate change optimists are those of us who believe that we must do everything we can to reduce global carbon emissions in order to limit the effects of climate change. We believe that we can do so by using existing technologies to manufacture electric Climate Change Reality Check: A Call to Action “I t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” 204292300/DEPOSITPHOTOS
  • 33. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 vehicles and build net zero homes. Within a few years, both of these will be the new normal. We believe that there will be disruptive technologies that will help further reduce our carbon footprint. When a disruptive technology can also be utilized at close to no additional cost, then it can have a really significant impact. Full disclosure: I am involved with two of these technologies right now. One is AeroBarrier, an aerosol sealant that can dramatically reduce the air leakage of our buildings. With the right amount of insulation on the exterior of the building envelope, there is the further ability to remove the poly vapour barrier, giving the wall the ability to dry to the inside of the home and reducing cost and callbacks. The other one is Graphenstone. This is a company from Spain that manufactures a variety of specialty sealants, including paints, mortars, stucco, sealants, primers and stains. What makes these products truly unique is that there is no off- gassing, and the majority of their products absorb CO2. That is because Graphenstone has found a way to marry limestone with graphene nanotechnology that not only binds the material together, but gives it a great deal of strength while remaining pliable. Imagine a thin mortar that can bend without breaking after it has dried. I was so blown away by the potential for what the specialty coatings from Graphenstone can do 31 When a disruptive technology can also be utilized at close to no additional cost, then it can have a really significant impact. Contains graphene fibres Purifies the environment Breathable. Absorbs CO2 High performance Washable UNIQUE PROPERTIES The most advanced solution in ecological paints & coatings with graphene technology. ® www.graphenstone.com Contact us at: info.canada@graphenstone.com Telephone: 519-488-5200 | Toll Free: 1-888-840-0153 17-280 Edward Street E. St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4C2
  • 34. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201832 that we are importing it from Spain as the primary distributor for Canada. But back to my main point. Climate change realists understand that it doesn’t really matter if you believe climate change is happening because of the actions of man or because it’s just a natural cycle of Mother Earth, who’s been on a warming trend since the last mini ice age ended. Whatever the cause, rising global temperatures are resulting in more frequent and more severe storms, such as the recent hurricane in Florida, while drought conditions in some areas are resulting in massive forest fires destroying thousands of homes. My own conversion to becoming a climate change realist happened during our Hope Agua Vita missions to Puerto Rico – seeing how people’s lives are devastated by the effects of a hurricane and knowing they don’t have the money to rebuild, when better construction techniques would have withstood all but the most severe parts of the storm. The destruction could have been far less. And when these people become your friends, it makes it a lot harder to ignore more resilient construction methods. Back here in Ontario, I arrived in Ottawa for the annual Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) conference, the day after six tornadoes ripped through the Ottawa Valley. I’m sure the people who lost their roofs and belongings would have preferred that their homes were built to a higher residency standard. As builders, suppliers, trades and municipal inspectors, we need to understand that this problem is not going to go away. Our need to address more resilient construction techniques is going to accelerate rapidly as a priority as municipalities become increasingly concerned about the safety and property of their voting tax base. We don’t have decades to act – we have years. Currently, Durham Region is attempting to address this outside of our normal Code cycles. This should be alarming to all industry stakeholders. The Code process may be tedious and time consuming, but it is so for the very reason that we need to know that how we are asked to build a home is based upon widely practiced and understood standards and methods, and just as importantly, that there is industry capacity to make the change. We face a choice. We can be monarchists and decide to do nothing and wait for the terms of this new reality to be dictated to us, for better or worse, without having brought our cumulative experience to the dialogue. Or we can be realists and work with the researchers, the municipalities and the insurance industry to develop a pilot program around more resilient construction. So that is exactly what I am propo­ sing: that we, as the home building industry, set up a pilot program, working with leading researchers and insurers to develop best practices for our Canadian climate. Our goals need to be simple and clear, and any requirements must consider affordability and capacity. This pilot and eventual program should be created in a similar manner to what the home building industry did with the ENERGY STAR for New Homes program. With a concentrated effort, we can better prepare for what lies before us. Both the OHBA and Canadian Home Builders’ Association are actively engaging with industry stakeholders. The goal is to provide open source information so that we can rapidly expand the dialogue and knowledge base. This includes engineered fastening details for builders to test out so they can share their experiences and bring them back to our industry associations. In closing, I leave you with one final question: Are you a climate change denier, optimist or realist? It’s worth thinking about. BB Doug Tarry Jr is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ontario. Our need to address more resilient construction techniques is going to accelerate rapidly as a priority as municipalities become increasingly concerned about the safety and property of their voting tax base.
  • 35. Homeowners, contractors, and builders rely on ROCKWOOL™ for dependable insulation solutions. More than a rock, ROCKWOOL™ insulation products resist fire, repel water and absorb sound. This year, start your renovation right with easy-to-use ROCKWOOL™ stone wool insulation. www.rockwool.com What it’s made of makes all the difference. ROCKWOOL COMFORTBATT® An exterior insulation product for use in both new residential construction and renovations where wood or steel studs are used. ROCKWOOL SAFE’n’SOUND® A residential insulation product for interior walls constructed with wood or steel studs, where superior fire resistance and acoustical performance are required. ROCKWOOL COMFORTBOARD™ 80 An exterior non-structural insulation sheathing that provides a continuous layer of insulation around the building envelope. ROXUL® is proud to now be known as ROCKWOOL™