SlideShare a Scribd company logo
WINNERS
OF THE
2023
CROSS
BORDER
CHALLENGE
PUBLICATION
NUMBER
42408014 ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
www.airmaxtechnologies.com T 905-264-1414
Prioritizing your
comfort while providing
energy savings
Canadian Made
Manufactured by Glow Brand Manufacturing
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 arefully modulating at 10 to 1 and 2 inch PVC venting up to 100 feet.
Brand
TM
ENDLESS ON-DEMAND
HOT WATER
Models C95 & C140
Glow Brand C95 and C140 instantaneous combination ASME boilers for heating and on-demand
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
2
Lessons on Calibration
by John Godden
THE BADA TEST
3
Is Code No Longer King?
by Lou Bada
INDUSTRY EXPERT
5
Spring Training Camp 2023
by Gord Cooke
INDUSTRY NEWS
8
Building Buy-In
Lindvest Homes took home the
big prize in this year’s Cross
Border Builder Challenge.
by Rob Blackstien
BUILDER NEWS
11
Toronto Laneway LEED Home
by Marc Huminilowycz
BUILDER NEWS
14
A Tradition of Building Better
by Marc Huminilowycz
BUILDER NEWS
16
Award to Canadian Low-
Volume Builder Dietrich Homes
by Alex Newman
BUILDER NEWS
18
Ground Zero for Zero Net Now
by Rob Blackstien
INDUSTRY NEWS
21
Time to Pump it Up Q and A
Paul De Berardis and Mike Martino
INNOVATION AWARD
27
Minto Dreaming Big
by Marc Huminilowycz
BUILDER NEWS
30
Heathwood Home at Last
by Marc Huminilowycz
BUILDER NEWS
31
A Family Affair
by Alex Newman
BUILDER NEWS
32
The 2023 Cross Border Builder
Challenge Golf Tournament
BUILDER NEWS
34
Aiming High, Building Low
by Better Builder Staff
FROM THE GROUND UP
35
Working with Wind
by Doug Tarry
5
1
32
ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited.
18
Cover and award photos by Mike Day, theartofweddings.com
The 2023 Cross Border
Builder Challenge
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
Lessons on Calibration
From the Cross Border Builder Challenge
“A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a beef eater in a Prius.”
— Michael Pollan, science journalist and author
P
ollan’s comparison is germane to our challenge of counting carbon emissions for
houses. The image of the two vehicles is misleading as the footprint mostly depends
on the dietary choices of the driver. Similarly, occupants who consume large
amounts of electricity may worsen their home’s energy efficiency from an operational
standpoint. If any total comparison of energy use or carbon emissions is to be made,
there must be a standard approach to measurement.
Initial analysis of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s (CHBA) net zero
indicates that 13 homes consume, on average, 39% more energy than predicted. Three
reasons for this are (1) differences of occupant lifestyle, (2) the solar panels produced less
energy than modelled and, most importantly, (3) the measurement tool may not measure
occupancy loads (plug loads and hot water) accurately.
It makes more sense to use a standards-approved software that accounts for occu­
pancy rather than software that defaults all houses to the same operating conditions. As
52% of energy use in current Code homes is attached to occupancy loads, any attempt
to reach a “net” must recognize the behaviour of occupants. In the U.S., there are many
competing software providers, so HERS-based software is very accurate, user friendly
and under continuous improvement when it pertains to measuring zero.
HERS-based software is the first in North America to include standardized carbon
ratings (ANSI 301 2019). On the road to low carbon (no carbon does not exist), HERS
ratings provide the continuum for operational reductions.
This year’s RESNET/CRESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge reminds us that interna-
tional co-operation is key for any success. The challenge is a friendly annual competition
between American and Canadian homebuilders to determine just how energy efficient
builders can build. The rule is simple: the lowest Home Energy Rating System (HERS)/
Energy Rating Index (ERI) score wins. Lindvest Homes (page 8) and Zero Net Now (page
18) were the big winners of the President’s Award on either side of the border. All the win-
ning Canadian builders are graduates of Enbridge’s Savings by Design (SBD) program.
This year’s winners also surpassed the HERS 46 score recommended for Ontario under
ASHRAE 90.2, Energy-efficient Design of Low-rise Residential Buildings. Well done!
The international theme continues with Gord Cooke sharing lessons from the tenth
annual Building Knowledge Spring Training Camp, featuring expert presenters like Robert
Bean from the U.S. (page 5). Back home, Lou Bada describes the collaboration from the
Low Carbon Homebuilder Coalition, whose members have constructed 3,724 zero energy-
ready homes over the past three years (page 3). Lastly, Doug Tarry outlines potential
upcoming changes to structural requirements for the Ontario Building Code (page 35).
Returning to our comparison of cars and drivers, the right answer is not always
evident. For example, General Motors offers a Hummer with an electric vehicle option
– but the battery in it weighs more than a Honda Civic. In terms of energy efficiency, the
Civic may be the better choice. The way that we measure carbon emissions in residential
homebuilding must use a standardized accounting process, like the HERS/ERI used in
the Cross Border Builder Challenge. So where’s the beef? BB
publisher’snote / JOHN GODDEN
2
PUBLISHER
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 EDITORS
Crystal Clement
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,
Marc Huminilowycz
PROOFREADING
Carmen Siu
CREATIVE
Wallflower Design
This magazine brings together
premium product manufacturers
and leading builders to create
better, differentiated homes and
buildings that use less energy,
save water and reduce our
impact on the environment.
PUBLICATION NUMBER
42408014
Copyright by Better Builder
Magazine. Contents may not be
reprinted or reproduced without
written permission. The opinions
expressed herein are exclusively
those of the authors and assumed
to be original work. Better Builder
Magazine cannot be held liable
for any damage as a result of
publishing such works.
TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER
All company and/or product
names may be trade names,
trademarks and/or registered
trademarks of the respective
owners with which they are
associated.
UNDELIVERABLE MAIL
Better Builder Magazine
63 Blair Street
Toronto ON M4B 3N5
Better Builder Magazine is
published four times a year.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
levied on natural gas at $0.10 per cubic
metre. To put this in perspective,
someone driving a four-cylinder car
and living in an Energy Star home will
pay $421.77 in carbon tax annually.
In the summer 2022 issue, I intro­
duced the hybrid house approach.
The hybrid house approach advocates
reaching a HERS 46 for the point of
diminishing marginal returns and
using a combination natural gas
heating system and a three-season
heat pump or supplemental heating
using off-peak electricity in the
shoulder months. Adding solar panels
should be undertaken only after
battery is considered (see Figure 1
above). The hybrid home can reduce
carbon emissions by 50%.
If HERS is no longer a compliance
path in the OBC, then the likelihood
of using it as a method to comply with
local standards is diminished.
The Low Carbon Home­
builder Coalition (LCHC)
The idea behind the Low Carbon
Homebuilder Coalition (LCHC) is to
annually benchmark as many homes
T
he usefulness of a singular
Ontario Building Code (OBC) by
which we are governed cannot
be understated. It gives predictability,
transparency and accountability.
It allows us to build with the
confidence we need to address our
current housing supply crisis and
develop labour and supply chains to
move Ontario forward. One Code,
administered with common sense
by people of goodwill, would be best.
Unfortunately, this is not our case.
As homebuilders, we’ve (unfor-
tunately) become accustomed to
being a slave to many masters. As
many builders are aware, there is an
ongoing effort underway to harmo-
nize the latest proposed iteration of
the OBC with the National Building
Code (NBC). There maybe some good
reasons for this, but why strive for
harmonization if individual munic-
ipalities can impose their own local
green building standards on us? As
it stands, a builder cannot take an
approved plan by one municipality
and use it across the street (literally)
to build a home in another municipal-
ity. Maybe I don’t understand harmo-
nization as a concept.
More importantly, if harmoni­
zation means less flexibility to enable
a builder to meet municipal green
building standards, I am really
perplexed.
Currently, SB-12, Chapter 3 recog­
nizes the use of both the EnerGuide
Rating System (ERS) and Home
Energy Rating Scale (HERS) rating
systems. It already accommodates the
application of NBC 9.36.5.
The current harmonization drive
may codify the ERS only – not to
mention the ERS is also a proprietary
system. Having a single rating system
stifles innovation. EnerGuide is
fuel agnostic; however, the OBC
discriminates between different
fuel types. Ontario has its own peak
electrical challenges, so balancing the
wise use of natural gas with the need
for electricity for electric vehicles is key
for future success.
Starlane Homes participated
in the original ERS pilot in 2002.
Starlane decided we could not use
that EnerGuide rating to market its
houses. My company was an early
adopter of Energy Star in 2005. Starlane
prefers to use HERS as an alternative
rating system for equivalency under
local green building standards. 226
houses have been third-party verified
using this system over the past five
years, largely due to local green
building standards. HERS allows
for rating operational carbon with
a scale similar to the HERS energy
scale. Measuring operational carbon
is very important with the advent of
the carbon tax. Currently, the tax is
3
thebadatest / LOU BADA
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
Is Code No Longer King?
4
1
4
R60
R27
R20
2 2 3
NATURAL GAS CONNECTION
SUPPLEMENTAL
5
FIGURE 1: HYBRID
HOUSE FORMULA
=
Thermal design 1 to
HERS 46 (ASHRAE 90.2)
+
Combination heat 2 2
(20% reduction) (could
be two-stage furnace)
+
Three-season
heat pump 3
+
Battery storage 4
with inverter 4
and critical circuits
+
Modest solar array 5
(5-7kW)
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
4
America over eight climate zones.
Last year, 337,962 American houses
were rated. In Canada, 1,834 homes
were rated, largely in Ontario (GTA)
with some in Quebec. In the past
three years, GTA LCHC builders using
HERS have rated 3,724 homes at a
HERS 46 or lower (see chart above). In
comparison, approximately 990 net
zero-ready homes have been rated
over the last 10 years.
The key question is: Why do
most local green building standards
reference net zero-ready homes with
no mention of zero energy-ready
homes (HERS 46)? Why would Ontario
use only the ERS as a method of Code
compliance?
The coalition promotes choice to
allow builders the tools to innovate.
Ontario has a proven system which has
worked over the last 10 years, and Code
harmonization should not mean the
elimination of choice. It must identify
other systems for energy performance
in the body of the Code, as is currently
the case.
The current SB-12 is well
understood by building officials across
Ontario. It allows choice and flexibility
so that Ontario can lead Canada
and North America in constructing
low-carbon, sustainable, affordable
and resilient housing. The coalition
is working hard to ensure that code
harmonization allows for innovation
to meet the challenges of the future.
Any builders interested in joining
the coalition should contact Paul De
Berardis at RESCON (deberardis@
rescon.com) to have these projects
benchmarked for carbon.
The OBC should be “king,” specific
to Ontario’s needs. We should be able
to build the same home no matter
where you live in an Ontario climate
zone. If the government wants us to
meet ambitious carbon reduction
goals, they need to please take the
ERS straitjacket off. 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).
as possible to see how progress in
new home construction is stacking up
against federal commitments – a type
of report card for residential builders.
This information can then be shared
with governments to inform their
decision making and timing of
building code updates. (Refer to
last year’s results: 2,506 tons of CO2
reductions with 527 cars off the road.)
As a member of RESCON and a
participating builder in the LCHC,
I recently met with the Ministry
of Municipal Affairs and Housing
(MMAH) to make them aware of the
coalition and our need to retain HERS
as a method of Code compliance.
Comparing ERS and HERS
ERS defaults (assumes) occupancy
loads for hot water and electricity
use. These loads account for 52%
of a home’s energy consumption.
Only envelope losses including
airtightness, increased insulation
levels and triple-glazed windows
count in ERS for reducing CO2
emissions. This means that ERS does
not accurately reflect true carbon
emissions reductions. Many net zero
houses end up consuming more
energy than predicted because energy
modelling does not capture the true
load created by the occupants.
On the other hand, zero
energy-ready homes, which I have
elaborated on in my previous article,
target a HERS 46 under the ASHRAE
90.2 standard, which describes
the point of diminishing marginal
returns for our weather zone 6.
This rating approach is used by the
International Energy Conservation
Code (IECC) and has been used to
rate over 3.6 million houses in North
NUMBER OF HOMES ACHIEVING
A HERS 46 OR LESS PER
BUILDER 2020–2022
YEAR
2020 2021 2022 TOTAL
HOMES
24
HERS
BUILDERS
138 205 80 423
57 35 61 153
4 17 1 22
0 13 9 22
0 6 24 30
841 559 428 1828
3 1 0 4
0 12 76 88
18 63 76 157
14 7 17 38
1 42 123 166
0 7 0 7
0 1 0 1
2 0 0 2
31 46 28 105
31 130 40 201
45 0 0 45
2 2 66 70
1 20 0 21
94 16 1 111
10 89 60 159
0 25 7 32
17 1 21 39
5 9 0 14
TOTAL
1309 1297 1118 3724
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
I
n April, we were proud to host our
tenth annual Spring Training Camp.
This year, we held it in Stratford,
Ontario for two specific reasons.
We partnered with the Canadian
Home Builders’ Association (CHBA)
Net Zero Leadership Summit and
they organized tours to three sites,
including the Sifton West 5 Net
Zero Energy community in London.
The Stratford location provided a
convenient distance between the
Toronto travelling hub and the site
tour locations.
Moreover, the mash-up with CHBA
expanded attendance to over 200
people, and Stratford hotels were able
to accommodate this larger group of
enthusiastic builders, manufacturers
and industry influencers. We
were pleased that, even with the
larger crowd, participants engaged
proactively in panel discussions,
debates and demonstrations with the
over 20 presenters and facilitators.
The Camp agenda was extended
over a three-day experience to allow for
the site tours and workshops offered
by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
on new software tools available in the
energy modelling realm.
This year’s experiment with the
CHBA collaboration is consistent
with our vision of Camp to encourage
conversations with as wide a range
of industry participants as possible:
builders, manufacturers, utilities,
all levels of government, energy
advisors and consultants. We need
that depth of co-operation to tackle
5
Spring Training Camp 2023
industryexpert / GORD COOKE
Even with the larger
crowd, participants
engaged proactively
in panel discussions,
debates and demon­
strations with the
over 20 presenters
and facilitators.
Gord Cooke (left) and
Alexis Minniti of Building
Knowledge and John
Straube (right) of RDN
Building Science after
sharing a presentation on
the carbon implications of
high performance walls.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
6
the compelling challenges for the
industry. Specifically, this year’s focus
was on the intertwined imperatives
of housing affordability and supply,
resiliency, greenhouse gas (carbon)
emission reductions and healthier
indoor environments.
Not surprisingly, these themes
were explored by Brad Carr, CEO
of Mattamy Homes Canada. Brad
noted that Mattamy is now one of
the largest independently owned
new homebuilders in North America,
with divisions across Canada and
the southern U.S. He outlined their
corporate journey as the largest
Energy Star-qualified homebuilder
in Canada (with over 20,000 certified
homes), their involvement in the Net
Zero Energy pilot in 2015 and the
recent Net Zero Ready community in
Markham that includes a geothermal
district heating system. They are
now committing to a comprehensive
carbon reduction plan across all
divisions in North America.
When questioned about the
impact on affordability of homes, Carr
noted the industry’s responsibility to
simultaneously address the housing
availability crisis in Canada without
compromising the impact on climate
change. He challenged participants to
collaborate with all industry sectors,
including finance partners, to solve
these two challenges.
The technical portion of the
agenda started with the ever-thought-
provoking Robert Bean. Bean, an
ASHRAE Fellow, expanded the
audience’s understanding of energy
efficiency to the deeper discussion of
“exergy.” He noted that while society
has an intuitive understanding of
energy efficiency, exergy describes
the quality of the energy and its
potential capacity to do work. In this
context, he noted that burning natural
gas to create a flame at over 1500°C
should not be used solely for heating
houses – that flame has the capacity
for much greater work. The analogy
of using a chainsaw to cut a slice of
cheese was used. Bean reminded
Campers that, as we look to solve the
climate change crisis and even the
affordability challenge, understanding
the quality and value of energy sources
will be very helpful.
The discussion of appropriate
decisions for energy sources provided
a perfect segue to two sessions
on heat pumps. Specifically, John
Siegenthaler of Appropriate Designs, a
leading North American authority on
hydronic heating solutions, introduced
the audience to the “new frontier of
heating, cooling and domestic hot
water”: air-to-water heat pumps.
Siegenthaler noted the trend towards
net zero energy homes supports the
emerging market for these pumps,
stating that “they don’t have the
liability associated with fossil fuels;
they’re less expensive and disruptive
than geothermal.”
Then, Gary Proskiw of Proskiw
Engineering Ltd. headlined a panel
discussion on testing and in-field
performance of air source heat
pumps. Proskiw noted that the early
experiences with air source heat
pumps in net zero energy homes
show issues of inadequate airflow,
excessive cycling and incorrect cut-off
temperatures. There is work to be done
to improve design, installation and
control of heat pumps moving forward.
Dr. John Straube of RDH Building
Science Labs is always a featured
speaker at Camp, and his presentation
this year highlighted both carbon
reduction and resiliency as it relates
to the building science of high-
performance walls. With the help of
demonstration walls built with support
from NRCan’s LEEP team, using their
training videos and guides, Straube
was able to show and comment on
new wall details that can meet high-
performance objectives in a buildable
and cost-effective manner.
We feel Camp should always high­
light the experiences of builders. To
this end, three leading builders –
represented by Carl Pawlowski from
Minto Group, Stefanie Coleman of
Doug Tarry Homes, and Oding and
Phillip Santana from Mattamy Homes
– were asked to share their carbon
reduction strategies and experiences in
a panel discussion. They each outlined
the work they have undertaken so far,
as well as their one-year, five-year and
10-year plans. They also offered their
advice of first steps for other builders.
Each company has undertaken a
benchmarking or baselining of their
current building practices and engaged
with employees, trades and customers
to learn their expectations as they set
their future goals.
Our goal at Camp is to highlight problems and
challenges the new homebuilding industry is
facing, provide insights from the leading experts
in the field that are researching these challenges
and encourage discussion from builders who
have found solutions to these problems.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
We were very pleased to have
Mike Memme of Mountainview
Building Group and Andy Oding of
Building Knowledge Canada revive
the most popular session from 2022:
the Home Builder Night in Canada
segment. Memme went over the
top 10 things that keep him up at
night. No surprise that it starts with
the basics to avoid costly warranty
defects, such as flashing, airtightness
and framing missteps. In addition,
Memme captured the approval of
the audience as he expressed his
concern for practices to ensure the
safety of his employees, trades and
homeowners. Finally, he noted the
angst of swimming upstream in trying
to change and do things differently to
improve productivity.
Our goal at Camp is to highlight
problems and challenges the new
homebuilding industry is facing, pro-
vide insights from the leading experts
in the field that are researching these
challenges and encourage discussion
from builders who have found solu-
tions to these problems. We are so
appreciative of the presenters and pan-
ellists who shared their insights and
experiences. We are thankful as well to
both the regular and first-time Camp-
ers from across Canada and parts of
the U.S. who actively engaged in the
discussion and then generously helped
us raise over $10,000 for the Stratford
United Way Affordable Housing Initia-
tive through a charity auction. Thanks
to all of those who donated and bid on
auction items. BB
For the full agenda and copies of
presentations from this year’s Camp,
go to www.buildingknowledge.ca/
spring-camp.
Gord Cooke is
president of Building
Knowledge Canada.
7
110 to 160 CFM
Quickest Set-up With
Consistent Results
AI Series
vänEE introduces
its NEW Series
with higher CFM
NEW
HIGHER CFM
UP to 230 CFM
QUICKER SET-UP
CONSISTENT RESULTS
PREMIUM ECM MOTORS
WITH BUILT-IN SMART
TECHNOLOGY
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
8
industrynews / ROB BLACKSTIEN
O
ver his nearly three-decade
career in housing, Anthony
Martelli has always been a
big proponent of green building. “It’s
what I believe in,” he says.
This philosophy has taken him
from Greenpark Homes to LIV
Communities to CountryWide Homes
and, since 2018, to Lindvest, where
he took over as CEO at the beginning
of last year and has now guided the
Toronto-based builder to the most
coveted award available in the Cross
Border Builder Challenge – the
CRESNET President’s Award.
Lindvest earned this honour for its
Klein subdivision in Vaughan, Ontario,
scoring an average fleet HERS score of
45. But, the truth is, the homes in this
development weren't necessarily any
better than Lindvest’s usual offerings.
That’s because, as Martelli says, the
company pretty much uses the same
specs across all its projects.
Among the features the builder
employed to help win this award were:
• Airtightness is very important to
them, he says, and “we’ve found
the best way to achieve that is
through care and attention during
the build process.”
• A finish-ready basement (FRB)
with ROCKWOOL on the outside
of the framed wall, plus as much
insulation as possible between
the studs (R-22 or R-24). They
really try to push up that R-value
on the outside as high as they
can, Martelli says. Many Lindvest
homes have FRBs including R-10
under slab insulation.
• In terms of mechanicals, they use
drain water heat recovery for pre-
heating (PowerPipe) with energy-
efficient hot water tanks, furnaces
and air handlers. Lindvest prefers
energy recovery ventilators (ERVs)
over heat recovery ventilators
(HRVs) and heavily employs water-
saving devices throughout the home.
For the Klein subdivision, Lindvest
participated in Enbridge’s Savings by
Design (SBD) program and echoed the
sentiments of countless builders who
have graduated: the most valuable
aspect of the initiative is the charrette,
which offers a fantastic opportunity
to strategize over building technique
innovations and ensure the entire
team is on the same page. “I think the
best part of it was bringing everyone
into the room and getting real-time
feedback,” Martelli says.
For instance, if the company
proposes a new spec for a particular
project when the stakeholders are
all there, they can get opinions or
comments on it right away, and
that’s invaluable from an efficiency
standpoint. “What appears to be a
good idea in the boardroom doesn’t
always make its way to becoming a
good idea in the field. So having them
there to help vet some of the proposals,
I think, was very beneficial.”
He adds that this process really
helped drive buy-in, because the key
stakeholders (building supervisors,
key trades, etc.) understood what
the company was trying to do. “And
that’s part of the reason we’ve been so
successful.”
In fact, Martelli maintains that this
buy-in is what differentiates Lindvest
from other builders. The company
takes a top-down approach to ensure
their outside team gets very involved
in understanding what the builder’s
Building Buy-In
Lindvest Homes Takes Home the Big Prize
45
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Richard Lyall of RESCON presents the
President’s Award to Dan LaCroix (left)
and Jason Morin (right) of Lindvest.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
goals and objectives are. “If they don’t
understand it, how can they oversee the
trade partners that are coming onto the
job site to make sure that every house
is going to be built to the best level
that we can possibly achieve?”
Information sharing and training
is key to this process, but they don’t
just shout into a vacuum – great care
is taken to ensure that every­
thing is
clearly understood.
Generally speaking, Martelli says,
when it comes to creating energy-
efficient homes, the specs are
likely going to be quite similar
from builder to builder. So how
can you truly differentiate
your housing offerings from
the pack? “I think it comes
down to the execution and the
commitment of the people doing the
execution,” he explains.
Looking forward, Lindvest is
considering building a demo home
in Klein with the hopes of driving
down its HERS score through the
use of renewables. The builder is
participating in SBD’s new Zero Energy
Ready Program. “We can’t be satisfied
to stay at 45, so we’re certainly looking
to drive that number down.”
Of course, how much lower will
be based on the specs they consider,
and those are still being written. But
Martelli says, “I would love to get
under 40 without solar PV.”
Speaking of the future,
Building Code changes that will
affect all industry players are
coming next spring, but Lindvest
9
is confident that it’s well-prepared for
the new regime. “This is something
we’ve been working on for a few years
now, always trying to be ahead of the
requirements,” he says. “We feel that
we’re very well positioned.”
Still, Martelli says the company
would like further clarity on what’s
being planned down the road, so it can
continue to be ahead of any changes.
“We’ve always been 20% or more better
than code,” he states. “If the code is
changing – well, we don’t want to sim-
ply comply, we want to look at oppor-
tunities to still be better than code.”
Now that sounds like the mindset of
an award-winning company. BB
Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based
freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca   
Our easy-to-install Intelli-Balance Energy Recovery Ventilators feature a BOOST function that increases airflow on
demand, helping to combat air quality challenges in both multi-family and single detached homes. With the flip of a
switch, two ECM motors with Smart Flow™ technology BOOST air exchange to provide healthier indoor environments.
FV-20VEC1
BALANCED
Expel stale polluted air while
supplying fresh, filtered air for
healthy, comfortable homes
Build healthier, more efficient
homes with Panasonic ERVs
EFFICIENT
Provide consistent, predictable airflow &
reduce heating & cooling loads with ‘set it and
forget it’ operation, saving energy & money
VERSATILE
Meet the latest codes and
standards and exceed
homeowner expectations
Panasonic ERVs and Swidget Smart Devices are Holmes
Approved and part of Breathe Well, The Only Complete Air
Quality Solution™. Learn more at PanasonicBreatheWell.com
FV-10VE2
FV-10VEC2
20/40/60 Dry Contact Timer Switch
S16008WA
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
A
state-of-the-art, LEED
Platinum home on a tiny
25-feet by 25-feet laneway
property in the downtown Toronto
neighbourhood of Leslieville has
won a Zero Energy-Ready award in
the Annual Cross Border Builder
Challenge, achieving an impressive
HERS (Home Energy Rating System)
score of 35.
The project, built by Toronto
builder Barbini Design Build in
partnership with leading high-
performance home product
manufacturers, features the very
latest in energy efficiency, indoor
air quality and water conservation.
“We are very honoured to receive
this award. It’s been a fascinating
project with lots of support from
a number of valuable partners,”
says Amedeo Barbini. “When it’s
complete, the home will be a real
showpiece, demonstrating the best
in energy efficiency and design.”
The laneway project is not
Barbini’s first foray into sustainable
building. “Always doing our best to
achieve low carbon in the homes we
build, we got into a LEED approach
to better indoor air quality (IAQ)
20 years ago with the help of John
Godden at Clearsphere,” he explains.
“Building green and better IAQ is
really a parallel path. It’s always
been a modelling process with
checkpoints throughout the project.
With LEED Platinum certification,
there are a lot more boxes to check
– with more things, like radon
mitigation, in the basket.”
High on the LEED list for indoor
environmental quality (IEQ), the
mitigation of radon gas (prevalent
in most of southern Ontario) was
achieved in the home with an
integrated radiant floor radon
mitigation system from building
partner Amvic Building System,
including Amrad R-12 in-slab vapour
mitigation and insulation and
SilveRboard reflective insulation on
the inside of the foundation wall.
“We’ve integrated radon mitigation
and the latest in IAQ technology into
the house so that it works better,” says
Barbini. “When you walk into a home
like this, you really feel the difference.
It’s not just glam and fancy finishes or
boasting that the house has A, B and C
features. It’s an experiential attribute.
The LEED program lets you do this.”
Another key partner in the project’s
quest for better IAQ and energy
efficiency was Panasonic Canada,
who helped with the design of the
mechanical system to make the home
fossil fuel-free. “They were a top-shelf
11
Toronto Laneway LEED Home
Zero Energy-Ready Award
buildernews / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ
11
35
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Sonny Pirrotta, Jesse
Davidson, Chris Barbini
and Amedeo Barbini.
“The Leslieville LEED
home has been an
exciting project with
amazing partners and
trades enthusiastically
on board, resulting in
a sustainable, well-
designed, healthy
and resilient home.”
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
12
company to work with,” says
Barbini. “All of their divisions
were tremendously helpful,
designing and contributing
Panasonic Breathe Well
products such as zoned
heat pumps, ERV, NanoeX
air purification, Whisper
Air Repair air purifiers and Swidget
air quality monitoring smart controls
for monitoring, management and
automation throughout the home to
bring the whole system to life. On top
of this, Panasonic gave workshops on
their products to our trades at their
location and on-site.”
In order for the Leslieville home
to meet LEED standards – and win
the Zero Energy-Ready award –
Panasonic also contributed as many
solar panels that could fit on the
home’s limited 600-square-foot roof
space (due to its small footprint). In
addition, the company connected
two batteries to the 4 KWh system for
energy storage, to be used both as a
backup in case of power outages and
for “peak shaving” – economizing
electricity rates by charging during
off-peak times and using the
batteries during on-peak periods.
Water conservation was another
key component of LEED building.
Coming to the aid of the project was a
name that is synonymous with quality
home water fixtures and management:
Moen Canada. The company gener­
ously contributed all of the plumbing
fixtures (low flow, of course); a smart
shower water temperature system
with the ability to remotely preheat
the water from a smartphone; and
its FLO water conservation system,
installed where municipal water enters
the home, which detects leaks in the
home’s plumbing. The home includes
a Greyter greywater recycling system,
which recycles shower water and
uses it for the toilets.
Accounting for a significant
percentage of global CO2 emis-
sions, embodied carbon refers to
the greenhouse gas emissions
from the manufacturing,
transportation, installation,
maintenance and disposal of building
materials. In order to address this con-
cern, the home’s construction involved
the use of low- carbon building mate-
rials as much as possible. Project part-
ner ROCKWOOL contributed its stone
wool insulation and Building Products
of Canada supplied R-5 XP wood fiber
structural insulation panels.
“The Leslieville LEED home has
been an exciting project with amazing
partners and trades enthusiastically on
board, resulting in a sustainable, well-
designed, healthy and resilient home,”
says Barbini. “Showcasing the latest
in high-performance green building
technology, such as the Swidget
system – I’m really excited to see how
it works – the home will demonstrate
what a low-carbon home can look
like and how simple it is to operate.
And the owners of the property,
Skye Mainstreet Properties Ltd., are
really on board. They have a website
devoted to the home [leedhomes.ca],
and they’re planning to host public
events to show off its award-winning
attributes.” BB
Marc Huminilowycz
is a senior writer. He
lives and works in
a low-energy home
built in 2000. As
such, he brings first-hand experience
to his writing on technology and
residential housing and has published
numerous articles on the subject.
This rating is available for
homes built by leading edge
builders who have chosen to
advance beyond current
energy efficiency programs
and have taken the next step
on the path to full sustainability.
BetterThanCode
LowCostCodeCompliancewith
theBetterThanCodePlatform
BetterThanCodeUsestheHERSIndex
to Measure Energy Efficiency
TheLowertheScoretheBetter
Measureable and Marketable
80 60 40 20
This Platform helps Builders with
Municipal Approvals, Subdivision
Agreements and Building Permits.
Navigating the performance path
can be complicated. A code change
happened in 2017 which is causing
some confusion. A new code will be
coming in 2024. How will you
comply with the new requirements?
Let the BTC Platform – including
the HERS Index – help you secure
Municipal Subdivision Approvals
and Building Permits and enhance
your marketing by selling your
homes’ energy efficiency.
betterthancode.ca
Email info@clearsphere.ca
or call 416-481-7517
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
14
buildernews / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ
S
ince its establishment in 1984
by Vaughan, Ontario builder
Frank Carogioiello, Royal
Pine Homes has earned a stellar
reputation for building high-quality
luxury single-family homes and
communities. In more recent years,
the company has been actively
working to reduce the carbon
footprint of its homes using several
energy-saving building approaches.
Back in 2007, Royal Pine Homes
became one of the first builders
to construct Energy Star homes in
Ontario as part of a Town of Vaughan
project named Block 39. “The town
incentivized several builders,
including our company, to label all of
their homes in the project as Energy
Star,” says Royal Pine vice president
Steve Carogioiello. “In return,
our subdivision approvals were
expedited.”
A few years later, Richmond Hill,
Ontario was experiencing issues with
its existing infrastructure, specifically
its sanitary sewer capacity. To help
meet the challenge, Royal Pine Homes
entered into a subdivision agreement
with the municipality to construct
its 112 homes to exceed Energy Star
using the Home Energy Rating System
(HERS), as well as equipping each
home with solar hot water heating.
“Working with John Godden from
Clearsphere, we asked ourselves
how we could make Royal Pine
homes better, and came up with this
solution,” Carogioiello explains. “To
my knowledge, it was the first time
this approach was used in Canada.
We also had a meeting with our
purchasers before construction
began and gave them the opportunity
to purchase other energy upgrades,
saying to them, ‘You now have control
over your own hot water. What else
can we do?’”
Royal Pine Homes has continued
its commitment to sustainability.
Since 2022, the company has
completed over 100 homes that have
exceeded 20% better than code.
This year, it won the 2023 RESNET/
CRESNET Cross Border Builder
Challenge for Lowest HERS Score,
Canadian Mid-Production Builder
with an impressive rating of 43 for
its discovery home in the Centerfield
subdivision of Richmond Hill.
“With the help of Enbridge’s Savings
by Design program, we engaged the
building department in an integrated
design process (IDP) workshop,
where experts made presentations on
improving the building envelope and
mechanical system performance,”
says Carogioiello. “Through computer
modelling, we achieved 20%
better than code. Even though the
municipality specified Energy Star
A Tradition of Building Better
Royal Pine Homes Wins Award
43
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Brian Cooke (left)
of AeroBarrier and
Tony Simonelli of
Royal Pine Homes.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
labelling, we worked out our own customized
package to achieve a better result.”
According to Carogioiello, Royal Pine
received monetary incentives for its first 50
homes in the subdivision that reached 15%
better than code and currently has 75 homes
completed with an average HERS of 46, or
23% better than code. “We prefer Better
Than Code to Energy Star because there’s
no pass or fail on airtightness testing. This has been a
problem for builders who don’t pass because they can’t
close houses without the Energy Star label,” he says.
Moving forward, Royal Pine Homes will be offering
homeowners a hybrid gas/electric heating/cooling
system as an upgrade, incorporating a three-season
heat pump. “A hybrid house is like a hybrid car,”
Carogioiello explains. “In the dead of winter when it’s
very cold outside, you heat with natural gas. During
the other seasons, an air source heat pump supplies
heat and cooling with inexpensive off-peak electricity.”
“We are very pleased to have won this Cross Border
Builder Challenge,” says Carogioiello. “It shows Cana­
dian consumers that Royal Pine is exceeding code per­
formance levels while reducing the impact of climate
change. As smart builders, we have decided to use
HERS as a rating metric. All of our homes meet HERS
46, which is considered zero energy-ready. And we’re
educating our buyers on the sustainable features of the
homes with online videos to help them understand. In
reality, we’re still selling our homes in a tough market.
I guess the proof will be in the pudding.” BB
Marc Huminilowycz is a senior writer.
He lives and works in a low-energy
home built in 2000. As such, he brings
first-hand experience to his writing on
technology and residential housing
and has published numerous articles on the subject.
15
519-489-2541
airsealingpros.ca
As energy continues to
become a bigger concern,
North American building
codes and energy programs
are moving towards giving
credit for and/or requiring
Airtightness testing.
AeroBarrier, a new and
innovative envelope
sealing technology, is
transforming the way
residential, multifamily,
and commercial buildings
seal the building envelope.
AeroBarrier can help
builders meet any level
of airtightness required,
in a more consistent
and cost-effective way.
Take the guesswork out
of sealing the envelope
with AeroBarrier’s
proprietary technology.
Royal Pine Homes has
continued its commitment to
sustainability. Since 2022, the
company has completed over
100 homes that have exceeded
20% better than code.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
16
buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN
T
his story is about how Dietrich
Homes won an award for lowest
HERS score in the 2023 Cross
Border Builder Challenge. But what
it’s really about is how 10 years of
developing low-energy sustainable
housing led to the award.
The Peterborough-area company
has branded itself as “a better
alternative and better option for
buyers looking for a better built
home,” says owner and vice president
Paul Dietrich. The award is validation
they’re achieving that goal. But the
proof came long before, in the third-
party testing scores garnered from the
Enbridge Savings by Design program
and the Better Than Code HERS label.
However, this isn’t the first time
Dietrich Homes has won a CRESNET
award; in 2022, they received the
RESNET H2O Cross Border award
for water conservation. “It measures
a builder’s demonstration of water
efficiency within a home,” Dietrich
says. “The lower the score, the lower
the water consumption. We achieved
a 31% reduction in water use with
measures like greywater recycling.”
Last year’s award-winning entry
was from the Trails of Lily Lake: the
discovery home and two models beside
it, which had numerous energy-saving
features built in from the outset. The
company’s goal with the three homes
was to educate homeowners on water
conservation techniques.
But what snagged this year’s
award is the company’s consistent
20% above the Ontario Building Code
on all its homes. That’s particularly
commendable, considering the
competition throughout the region
builds only to code and not above.
Dietrich says the extra effort has
been worthwhile. Their homes are
now zero energy-ready – something
that requires a HERS score of 46 or
less (Dietrich’s homes come in at 44
on average.)
Being zero energy-ready has caught
the attention of Enbridge Gas, which
has just approved Dietrich Homes to
build Net Zero Ready (NZR) and offered
them program incentives. The company
was also recently permitted the first
NZR home to be built in Peterborough.
Although NZR is in its infancy
(less than 2% of new homes are NZR),
consumers are increasingly aware and
are starting to expect green measures
in their new homes because of the
lower utility bills – and lower fossil
fuel emissions. Consequently, builders
will have to keep up with the demand.
And that demand is not just from
savvy homebuyers – municipalities
and provinces expect it too, and
they’re legislating increasingly strict
green building standards. (To help
manage those government green
building expectations, Dietrich Homes
is participating in the Low Carbon
Homebuilder Coalition with other
leading builders to report their annual
emission reductions.)
Cost is another factor. Housing
affordability is such an issue, Dietrich
says, that providing a better built home
that results in lower utility bills is
especially important. “The homebuyer
today and tomorrow will be requesting
– if not demanding – energy efficiencies
and savings in their next home selection
to definitely offset the escalating costs
of housing from land, permits, fees,
material and labour cost increases.”
Dietrich Homes
Lowest HERS Score for a Canadian Low-Volume Builder
42
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Richard Lyall (left)
of RESCON and
Paul Dietrich of
Dietrich Homes.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
Homeowners, contractors, and builders rely on
ROCKWOOL®
for dependable insulation solutions.
More than a rock, ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation is
made from natural stone and recycled material. In addition
to being inherently non-combustible, the products resist
fire, repel water and absorb sound - releasing the natural
power of stone.
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®
An exterior non-structural insulation
sheathing that provides a continuous layer of
insulation around the building envelope.
The company’s desire to create
an energy-efficient home was backed
by solid research of homebuyer
preferences. “We saw that a safe,
healthy and comfortable indoor
living environment was top of mind,”
Dietrich says.
The research prompted
discussions with Clearsphere’s
John Godden and Enbridge about
how to achieve greater efficiencies.
A concept/design workshop
about Enbridge’s Savings by
Design program resulted in
the company establishing a
superior built home with
energy-efficient building
products and superior
installation techniques.
Better still, Dietrich Homes has
discovered that building better than
code can be accomplished with
marginally increased costs.
Achieving this kind of better
built home depends a lot on building
materials and construction methods.
For example, it takes less energy to
heat and cool when the building
envelope is tight, with better insulation
and a tighter air barrier. Add in energy
recovery ventilators and tankless hot
water heaters and you’ve got the
ingredients for significantly less
energy consumption.
As a further benefit to home­
buyers, Dietrich is offering
secondary suites in all homes
currently under construction.
They’re the first in Peterborough to
do so. “This feature is being widely
accepted as assistance with both
housing affordability and attainability
with the additional income that can
be recognized by a ‘mortgage helper’
occupying the secondary suite,” he says.
Winning the CRESNET award is
“true satisfaction,” Dietrich says,
because of the recognition by peers
and colleagues for building sustainable
housing. It’s an accomplishment he
shares with the build team. BB
Alex Newman is a writer,
editor and researcher at
alexnewmanwriter.com.
17
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
18
buildernews / ROB BLACKSTIEN
“It seems that even though every­
body knows the story, the allegory
of their decisions has been lost on
humanity and the building trades,”
says the president of Esopus, New
York-based Zero Net Now, which took
home three awards at this year’s Cross
Border Builder Challenge.
Aebi says the industry proudly
refers to “stick building,” which is
what the second little pig tried. And
we all know how that worked out
against the big, bad wolf (which, in this
instance, is Mother Nature).
So while working on his own home
in 2007, he opted to heed the fable’s
lesson; therefore, “the idea of just build­
ing a better structure was my goal.”
To say he accomplished his ambi-
tion is an immense understatement.
During the design process, Aebi
says they realized the house was
modelling towards having a better
envelope, and that meant that a lower
load was required. This made using
geothermal possible, “which is much
more efficient than a typical fossil fuel-
based system or even an air source
heat pump system,” he says. Of course,
air source heat pumps didn’t really
exist in their climate back then.
Aebi says that other benefits of
geothermal include: all equipment is
located inside a conditioned space,
so it’s safe from being infiltrated by
insects and rodents while remaining
immune from the affects of weather
(and wear and tear).
Ground Zero for Zero Net Now
Award-winning New York builder has been making
net zero homes before anyone knew what that even meant.
W
hen Anthony Aebi first started building low-energy homes, he certainly
wasn’t thinking about winning any awards or making history. His
inspiration, rather, was rooted in a much more modest place: the
children’s fable of the three little pigs.
Mechanical room, geothermal
heat pump, and hot water heater
complete with duct sealing.
PHOTO
COURTESY
OF
INTEG
R
AL
BUILDING
+
DESIG
N
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
Finally, solar was added to the mix,
as the State of New York had a great
incentive program for both solar and
geothermal at the time.
Once the home was completed,
Aebi had a rater come in to see if it
had achieved Energy Star; for good
measure, he asked him to also rate it
for LEED. Upon completion, the rater
called him up to tell him this was the
first rated zero energy home – ever.
Aebi was skeptical, to put it mildly.
“I said, ‘I don’t have time for this
nonsense,’ and I hung up on him. I
thought he was full of poop.”
By 2007, the U.S. Green Building
Council had launched, LEED was
gathering steam and green building
was on everyone’s minds, so it’s only
natural that Aebi couldn’t believe he
was the first. But the rater called back
and assured Aebi he was serious. “I
didn’t know that this wasn’t done at
the time. That was a surprise. And so I
never looked back from there.”
How far ahead of its time was this
home? Well, when the Department of
Energy (DOE) presented an award for
this house five years later, its records
still showed it as the only home to
score this low. In fact, Aebi says, the
house literally rated ahead of a HERS
score of zero (at the time, the scale
didn’t go below zero).
Aebi may as well have built a
flying car, but in his mind, he didn’t
understand what the fuss was about.
“I didn’t feel like I did anything
great or special. I thought I was just
building a better structure. That’s it.”
Flash forward to today, and
making such homes is old hat for Zero
Net Now. Small wonder it bagged
the following honours in the Cross
Border Builder Challenge: U.S. Net
Zero Builder with a HERS –13 (with
renewables); U.S. Enbridge Innovation
Award; and Lowest HERS score U.S.
Low Volume Builder with a HERS 26
(the same houses without renewables).
Of course, taking home Cross
Border Builder Challenge hardware is
nothing new for Aebi, who has been
winning awards since the company
was called Greenhill Contracting (see
“The Home of the Future Now” in the
summer 2015 issue, page 16) before
rebranding about six years ago.
The key ingredients that allow
Zero Net Now to garner such impres­
sive scores include:
• Solar panels;
• Geothermal heating and cooling;
• Super insulation and high-
efficiency windows; and
• Heat recovery ventilation.
The builder also employs several
water conservation practices, including
WaterSense-certified fixtures, and a
“home run” system in which every
fixture has a dedicated home run to
a common manifold (as opposed to
traditional design, where it’s like a tree
branching out to all the fixtures).
Under that setup, if you’re drawing
from a faraway bathroom, you’re
basically having to fill up all the
pipes between with hot water until it
gets to that fixture. With his system,
Aebi says, hot water only goes in that
one dedicated pipe, resulting in it
arriving much quicker and much more
efficiently to each individual fixture.
He estimates his design requires up
to two gallons less each time you draw
from that fixture. Obviously, that adds
up over time. “We also size the pipe to
the minimum necessary,” so that way
you don’t have a larger amount of water
that needs to be conditioned.
Aebi is a huge proponent of zero
energy-ready building, but believes it
should go beyond the DOE’s definition,
which is simply a home that is built
in such a way that, if renewables
are desired, no major renovation is
required to accommodate them.
“But to me, I think it should also
mean that you have a structure that
has as low a HERS score at completion
as possible,” he explains. Otherwise,
Aebi suggests, you can make any
building zero energy ready if you put a
couple of panels of solar out.
He has a point. If that home is not
built with superior energy efficiency
qualities, wouldn’t adding renewables
to it be akin to putting a Lamborghini
engine into a Fiat?
Zero Net Now’s rater of choice is
Integral Building + Design, a company
intimately familiar with HERS-rated
homes, having scored 265 of them
last year alone. President and founder
Pasquale Strocchia is clearly a fan
of Aebi’s work. “Anthony Aebi is a
visionary builder that is uniquely
driven to walk his talk,” he says.
Considering Aebi is ground zero
for net zero, it’s clear Strocchia is not
overselling things in the least. BB
Rob Blackstien is a
Toronto-based freelance
writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca   
19
-13
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
To take a deeper dive into the
practical options and applications for
HVAC improvements in new homes,
I sat down to have a Q and A-style
discussion with fellow Better Builder
contributor and industry expert Mike
Martino of Martino HVAC. We take
a deeper dive into HVAC trends and
emerging opportunities to feasibly
advance GHG reductions in a home.
Most new homes include typical HVAC
and mechanical equipment such as a
natural gas-fired forced air furnace for
space heating, an air conditioner for
space cooling and a natural gas-fired
hot water tank. However, using these
common pieces of HVAC equipment
or variations of them opens up huge
potential to save on energy as well as
reduce GHG emissions.
Q: Mike, you’ve been at this for a long
time and that gives you a unique per-
spective on the evolution of energy-
efficiency improvements for new
homes in Ontario. Can you share with
us your ideas on the most cost-effective
solutions for reducing carbon?
A: Starting with the design, right-
sizing equipment is critical as the
building envelope of homes has come
a long way with heat loss calculations
demonstrating heating loads that are
lower than they used to be. Equipment
needs to be sized appropriately for
these new lower heating loads, and
this has led to the consideration of
alternative equipment such as air
source heat pumps.
To clarify, for this discussion, we
are referring to three-season heat
pumps, not cold-climate heat pumps.
Heat pumps can be sized to meet
much of the heat loss design load,
with a natural gas-forced air furnace
providing the heat when outdoor
air temperatures drop below zero.
However, a heat pump can’t simply
be swapped out for a conventional air
conditioner. Considerations for proper
sizing of ductwork and designing for
air flow are critical to optimize the
efficient use of a heat pump down
into lower temperatures while still
maintaining occupant comfort.
The other low-hanging fruit is to
ensure that, whatever equipment is
specified and installed, it must be op-
erating properly to achieve its designed
efficiency. This is why commissioning
of all HVAC systems is critical, with
testing and analysis required to ensure
airflow, pressures and system balanc-
ing is within the design parameters and
equipment specifications. RESCON has
been engaged with the Technical
Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA)
and Enbridge, alongside the Residential
Heating Ventilation Contractors Asso-
ciation (RHVCA), to more consistently
apply and ensure commissioning
protocols are in place so that HVAC
equipment is operating at peak efficiency
for new homeowners. Ensuring natural
gas equipment is operating optimally
helps to minimize GHG emissions.
Q: With the uptake of new technology,
there’s usually a learning curve
to contend with. Is Martino HVAC
equipped to deal with implementing
emerging HVAC trends?
A: While there is a learning curve
to implementing new practices and
equipment applications, Martino
HVAC is equipped to deal with the
changes and has been working with
21
Time to Pump it Up Q and A
Paul De Berardis and Mike Martino
industrynews / PAUL DE BERARDIS
W
ith the next edition of the Ontario Building Code (OBC) being released
in March 2024, changes are forthcoming to improve energy efficiency
in new homes. Compared to where we are today, revised design and
construction practices will be required to meet upcoming regulations, with
likely options being adding exterior continuous insulation, window upgrades or
airtightness improvements to meet code. However, because the objective of these
advancing building regulations is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,
it may be worth considering a more direct way of working towards this goal –
after all, the building envelope of a home can be improved only so much when
factoring in cost-benefit analyses. In this article, I want to focus on the heating,
ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system of a home.
Balometer for balancing forced air
systems to match HVAC design.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
22
these technologies for years now with
increasing frequency. Martino has
dealt with applications of both cold-
climate heat pumps and three-season
heat pumps, but the deciding factor is
usually cost, with a cold-climate heat
pump being more than double the
cost of a three-season heat pump. So,
without subsidies from government to
incentivize the uptake of heat pumps
into the mass market, the uptake has
been limited as homebuilders are cost
conscious, knowing that additional
charges will inevitably be passed onto
new home buyers.
With support for continuous
training and collaboration with
equipment manufacturers like Daikin
and Goodman, Martino HVAC is
prepared to handle the greater uptake
of three-season heat pumps in place
of traditional air conditioners. We
have also been working on other
emerging product offerings, including
combo systems, whereby forced
air systems, either low-velocity and
up to high-velocity, are paired with
hydronic technologies.
More specifically, we are using
combo systems where an air handler
is connected to a water-to-air heat
exchanger that is supplied with hot
water. Depending on the size of home,
ranging from something as small as a
two-bedroom stacked townhouse to
homes over 5,000 square feet, combo
systems can be designed to cater
to all these needs using a range of
equipment options such as hot water
tanks, tankless on-demand systems
and even dedicated boilers. These
combo systems can also be used to
facilitate additional features such as
zoned heating systems or even in-floor
hydronic heating applications.
Q: Do you feel consumers are ready to
embrace heat pumps? Is this something
consumers are demanding currently?
More importantly, do you think
builders are ready for this?
A: From the consumer perspective,
heat pumps are still in the introductory
phase. Consumers are still learning
what heat pump technology can do for
energy savings, cost savings and GHG
emission reductions. We are still not at
the point where new home buyers are
asking for heat pumps and a long way
away from the growth period where
this becomes an industry norm.
From the new home builder per­
spective, those builders that already
include air conditioning as standard,
which is roughly estimated to be
about 40%, are best suited to integrate
three-season heat pumps instead of
air conditioners. Those builders will
face only the additional cost of the
equipment upgrade, and this modest
cost premium can be justified from the
lens of the homeowner as it will pay for
itself through energy savings enabled
by fuel switching and taking advantage
of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates.
Electricity is discounted at night where
a three-season heat pump can provide
supplemental heat to offset natural gas
usage, thus reducing carbon emissions.
Q: Have furnaces and separate hot
water tanks outlived their usefulness?
What are the advantages of a
combination heating system?
A: While combo systems have their
advantages, traditional furnaces and
hot water tanks are still the most
cost effective and reliable option. A
22
Average minimum and maximum temperatures in Toronto Canada Copyright © 2020 www.weather-and-climate.com
30C
20C
10C
0C
-10C
FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
JAN
◆ ◆
Diamonds indicate months
that 3-season heat pumps can
provide supplemental space
heating with lower off-peak
electricity rates, reducing CO2
emissions by up to 40%.
◆ ◆ ◆
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
traditional furnace and tank setup is
still the most common application in
new homes, with numerous high-
volume manufacturers supplying
this equipment. Therefore, we
have economies of scale in these
product offerings. More specialized
equipment like cold-climate heat
pumps and hydronic combo
systems are only supported by a few
manufacturers in small production
numbers compared to traditional
systems. However, that is only the
current state of the market, and these
trends are obviously changing with
advancing regulatory requirements
on GHG reduction.
The advantage of a hydronic
combination heating system is
obviously that there is only one
appliance burning natural gas as
opposed to two, so automatically
there is an efficiency there with less
GHG emissions. We found that, on
average, combo systems save about
20% on natural gas consumption
when compared to a separate
furnace and hot water tank.
Another advantage with respect to
a combo system relates to the reduced
venting and gas piping requirements,
which has proven to be increasingly
beneficial in many forms of attached
housing such as stacked and back-
to-back townhouses, which has
driven the uptake of combo systems
in these compact housing forms.
Q: If combo systems become main­
stream, can three-season heat pumps
work in conjunction with these space
heating systems?
A: Yes, absolutely – both three-season
heat pumps and cold-climate heat
pumps can be used in conjunction
with a hydronic combo system. The
main factor holding back combo
23
Up to
3.45 UEF
Eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant
ProLine®
XE
Heat Pump
Water Heater
Help customers save
up to 73% on water
heating costs.*
*Compared to a standard natural gas water heater.
Operating modes maximize
efficiency and hot water delivery.
Commercial-grade quality
with 10-year limited warranty.
Qualifies for provincial
utility rebates.
systems is that they are only supported
by a small number of manufacturers
and make up a limited share of the
current new home construction
market, estimated to be about 25%.
For combo systems to become more
mainstream, the large-volume HVAC
equipment manufacturers need to
enter this space, as the widespread
after-installation support and
customer care need to be there to
support mass production and larger
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
market share. With the integration of a heat pump
alongside a combo system, proper airflow and static
pressure of ductwork become critical, as well as the
installation, setup of equipment, balancing and
commissioning, as these systems are more complex.
With these more complex and intricate systems,
including the smart thermostat controls and possible
zoning, maintenance of the system becomes
more important to ensure everything is operating
optimally. Warranty considerations can also be an
issue with such systems as there could be multiple
equipment providers with different coverage terms
and conditions. This is why Martino HVAC just
introduced a new five-year warranty, up from the
industry standard two-year, inclusive of parts and
labour, to give the builder and consumer peace of
mind, especially with these newer systems.
One key consideration to extracting the most
benefit out of the fuel-switching approach is the need
for smart thermostats to be able to access real-time
electricity and natural gas rates as well as outdoor
temperatures, to decide whether to run the heat
pump or the furnace/combo system. While there
is at least one manufacturer currently piloting this
type of smart thermostat, namely BKR Energy, it is
only a matter of time until others become available.
—
While the next edition of the OBC is proposed to
further harmonize with the National Building Code,
the prescriptive path offers very few compliance
options for these types of HVAC systems and
equipment applications. If builders are looking
to explore opportunities with three-season heat
pumps replacing air conditioners or combo systems
replacing furnaces, they will have to engage an
energy advisor to go down the performance path
for demonstrating compliance and obtaining
building permits. However, as we have explored
here, there are still a lot of opportunities for reducing
GHG emissions with creative HVAC design and
installation. BB
Paul De Berardis is RESCON’s director
of building science and innovation.
Email him at deberardis@rescon.com.
24
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
O
ttawa-based homebuilder
Minto Communities has
established a reputation in
the residential building marketplace
over the years as an industry leader
in forward thinking, innovation and
sustainability. The fully integrated
land development and residential
rental company, founded in 1955,
currently has projects in Ottawa,
Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, as
well as in Florida and North Carolina
south of the border.
In 2017, Minto was one of five
builders across Canada chosen
to participate in the Net Zero
Communities Project, a partnership
between Natural Resources Canada
and the building industry in which
26 net zero demonstration homes
were built in four provinces. More
recently, Minto constructed four
net zero townhomes and one single-
family home in the Kanata, Ontario
community of Acadia – coincidentally
the same place where the company
built the grand prize dream home
in the Children’s Hospital of Eastern
Ontario (CHEO) annual lottery.
The house, appropriately named
Le Rêve (the dream), is a Parisian-
inspired 4,600-square-foot home
that combines aesthetics with the
latest energy conservation, water
conservation and indoor air quality
(IAQ) technology. Sustainable
features of the home include a hybrid
gas/electric mechanical system for
heating and cooling, superior levels of
insulation in below- and above-grade
walls and ceilings, high-performance
windows, greywater recycling,
drain water heat recovery, hot water
recirculation and low-flow water
fixtures. It was recently recognized for
its energy- and water-saving features
with two awards: Enbridge Innovation
and HERSH2O.
“This is the 23rd consecutive
year that we have supplied the grand
prize home in the CHEO lottery,” says
Minto’s director of estimating and
purchasing, Justin Bouchard. “It’s
a great charity initiative – a custom
home we build each year that gives us
a ‘sandbox’ opportunity to try out new
things, make sure that we’re aware
of what’s coming down the pipe and
stay in the forefront of the low-carbon
path.” The CHEO home includes
a marketing component designed
to build awareness and provide
education to consumers, builders
and distributors on the importance
of energy efficiency and IAQ. It serves
as an example for builders of what
a low-carbon, healthy zero energy-
ready home should look like in the
marketplace.
For the dream home, Minto
leveraged its experience with Savings
27
Dreaming Big
Minto Builds Green Dream Home
innovationaward / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ
HERSH2O® Water Efficiency
Rating Certificate
Property
Address: CHEO house
City: Ottawa, ON
Builder: Minto Communities
Rating Information
HERSH2O Index: 69
Rating Date: 11/22/2022
Rater: Better Than Code
HERSH2O Index: 69
This home, compared to the reference home:
31 %
more water efficient
83,498 litres
annual water savings
John Godden (left) and Mark Sales
(Greyter) present two awards to
Agnieszka Wloch (Minto Communties)
for Minto’s Ottawa CHEO house.
41
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
28
by Design from Enbridge Gas, a
residential program that gives
builders and developers free access
to industry experts and energy
modelling to build a zero energy-
ready discovery home, with a Better
Than Code approach. “Savings by
Design was a kick in the pants for
us that translated to a Home Energy
Rating System (HERS) house that
includes a combo heating/cooling
system that utilizes natural resources
in the best way,” Bouchard explains.
“And because there’s always a balance
between what consumers want
from an architectural and design
perspective and the functionality
of generating enough power, it was
important to bring airtightness down
to where we needed it.”
This approach represented a
significant shift in mindset from
Minto’s previous forays into net zero.
“The major challenges of building net
zero homes are getting the correct
geographical orientation and having
enough solar panels,” he says. “The
streetscape doesn’t always translate
to generating enough power. Another
issue is having access to trades that
are experienced in building higher-
performance homes.”
Bouchard describes building to
Better Than Code and HERS as a
more holistic approach to achieving
zero energy-ready, with less focus
on energy and more emphasis on
IAQ, operational carbon, smarter
electricity and water use, and climate
resiliency. Panasonic solar panels
connected to storage batteries
were installed in the home for two
purposes: (1) as a backup in case of
power outages
and (2) “peak
shaving” to
economize user
electricity rates.
From a water conservation
perspective, Minto decided to include
the CHEO dream home, one of its first
such homes in Ottawa, in the HERS
Water Sense 2.0 pilot program. For its
efforts, the discovery home received
the H20 water rating award from the
HERS Water Rating System. This is a
classification that rates whole-house
water efficiency, including both indoor
and outdoor uses, providing a simple,
easy-to-compare rating on a scale of
0 to 100+, where lower numbers mean
less water use.
“Municipalities across Canada are
experiencing treated water shortage
issues, so it’s important for us as
builders to do anything we can do
on our side to conserve this precious
resource,” Bouchard says. “The
greywater recycling feature we’ve
included in our CHEO discovery home
collects drain water from three or four
showers and re-uses it to flush toilets,
resulting in water that is used twice
before going into the municipal sewage
system. This, combined with low-water
fixtures and a hot water recirculation
line, helps the home conserve a
substantial amount of water.”
Bouchard believes that, with
climate change a major global
issue, builders like Minto have a
responsibility to make an impact by
building homes that are ready for the
future. “The biggest opportunity is
really on the retrofit side, converting
older homes from the ’70s. But equally
important is building new
homes that we won’t have to
go back to and retrofit later,”
he says.
With the construction
of the CHEO dream home,
Minto Communities is blazing a
trail for other Ottawa-area builders
to follow.” Like Ottawa, a lot of
municipalities have initiated green
building standards,” says Bouchard. “I
think governments have an obligation
to push the envelope in this area.
There are multiple ways to achieve
this. We need to make sure that we’re
ready as an industry.”
According to Bouchard, Minto
Communities is typically building
about 900 homes per year in the
Ottawa area. “This gives us the
opportunity to try things out. The
discussions around low carbon, which
includes operational carbon and
embodied carbon, have been heating
up over the past few years,” he says. “As
an industry leader, we want to make
sure we’re at the forefront. The CHEO
project has given us the opportunity
to share our experience with members
of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’
Association. We couldn’t have done
it without the contributions of our
fantastic suppliers and partners.” BB
Marc Huminilowycz
is a senior writer. He
lives and works in
a low-energy home
built in 2000. As
such, he brings first-hand experience
to his writing on technology and
residential housing and has published
numerous articles on the subject.
INSUL-SHEATHING Panel
11⁄16” DuPontStyrofoam™BrandPanel
½” All-Natural Wood Fibre Panel
All-Natural Wood Fibre Panel
The Leslieville Laneway house is a project in the Toronto area. This discovery
home is built for climate change.
It Features superior woodfibre insulation combined with energy-efficient
HVAC and grey water recycling. The innovative design creates efficient
spaces for more occupants, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint
building. The project is targeting LEED Platinum.
A Barbini Design Build (barbini.ca) construction, developed with the
assistance of Clearsphere Consulting for Skye Mainstreet Properties Ltd.
bpcan.com
S I N C E 1 9 0 5
BP’S R-5 XP INSUL-SHEATHING PANELS
ARE NOW GREY, BUT GREENER THAN EVER
R-5 XP Insul-Sheathing panels are now available with DuPont’s new
reduced global warming potential Styrofoam™ Brand XPS formulation.
This means that our already eco-friendly panels are now greener than ever
— and still provide the same benefits that have made them so popular:
• No additional bracing required
• Integrated air barrier
• Lightweight and easy to install
To make them easy to identify, they are now grey instead of blue.
That way, when you see our new GREY panels, you will know instantly
that you are looking at a GREENER product.
OUR GREY
IS YOUR NEW
GREEN
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
30
buildernews / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ
O
ntario builder Heathwood
Homes has just added a
new award to its growing
list of industry accolades for its
commitment to energy-efficient
homebuilding. The company won
the 2023 RESNET/CRESNET Cross
Border Builder Challenge for Lowest
HERS (Home Energy Rating System)
score, Canadian Production Builder,
with an impressive rating of 41.
Heathwood Homes has been
building quality homes for over 40
years, but the company’s journey
to sustainable homebuilding really
began in earnest about 10 years ago,
when the company worked with both
the City of Richmond Hill and Toronto
Metropolitan University (then known
as Ryerson University) to build a
green home that would demonstrate
to homeowners the many benefits of
energy-efficient building.
Since that time, Heathwood has
successfully completed 650 homes
that have consistently exceeded 20%
better-than-code energy efficiency.
This has resulted in carbon emission
reductions equivalent to removing
165 cars off the road, and saved
homeowners thousands of dollars in
energy costs.
“This award validates what
we’re doing. We’re being recognized
for our efforts,” says Heathwood
president Bob Finnigan. “It fits with
our longstanding company goal of
social responsibility.” Following
its participation in the Savings by
Design program from Enbridge
Gas, Heathwood developed its
proprietary TotalHome+ program,
which educates homebuyers on the
advanced features it offers, including
water and energy conservation, the
environment, the smart home and
energy savings, listing the specific
details and benefits of each.
The Town of Whitby, Ontario,
has required compliance with green
building standards (specifically
Energy Star) since 2017. In its Whitby
developments, Heathwood was one
of only two builders to meet this
standard by building its homes to at
least 20% better than code. This begs
the question: Why not simply build
to Energy Star? “Energy Star is very
prescriptive and specific. With our
experience, we have a comprehensive
understanding of how we can build
a better house. Building to Better
Than Code gives us more flexibility in
meeting green building standards our
own way,” says Finnigan.
Currently, Heathwood Homes
is planning a discovery home in its
Williamsburg Green subdivision in
Kitchener, Ontario. Among other
energy-saving features, the home will
include a hybrid HVAC system (air
source heat pump with gas furnace
backup) plus solar panels with battery
storage and greywater recycling.
As with all homes that Heathwood
is currently building, the discovery
home will undergo a pre-delivery
inspection, which includes airflow and
HVAC balancing and commissioning.
“This is key to keeping our customers
happy,” says Finnigan. “Any potential
Heathwood Home at Last
Lowest HERS Score for Production Builder
41
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Joe D’Amico
(Building Products
of Canada) and
Matthew Solomon
(Heathwood).
continued on page 33
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
L
ined up like a row of Emmys, the
awards in Campanale Homes’
head office are a testament
to four decades of the company’s
commitment to better building.
Most have been won through
the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’
Association, but three are from the
Cross Border Builder Challenge
hosted by RESNET (Residential
Energy Services Network) and
its sister organization CRESNET.
Having won in previous years in the
categories of net zero home of the
year and low-carbon mid-size builder
of the year, as well as Enbridge’s
Innovation award, this year
Campanale Homes won the Vince
Naccarato Award.
Named for Naccarato and his
company, Rodeo Fine Homes, the
award recognizes a builder who
exemplifies the same high standards
as its namesake. Rodeo Fine
Homes was at the leading edge of
sustainability in residential housing
and first used the HERS rating system
in its 2007 Newmarket subdivision of
3A LEED Platinum Homes.
The Campanales were also early
adopters of the HERS rating scale.
They’d adopted Energy Star and
R-2000 early as well, but stopped
for a while since the programs were
changing too much, Tim Campanale
says. As energy efficiency measures
became more sophisticated and
complicated, the company saw less
value in Energy Star and started
looking more closely into HERS.
“The flexibility of the system
was appealing,” says Campanale,
who was fresh out of university
at the time and taking additional
courses on sustainable development.
“We realized we needed to be doing
something more and someone
recommended HERS. It really allowed
us to create our own brand.”
So far, the company has built 160
HERS homes (as of the end of 2022)
and will complete another 40 soon
for a rental project.
Thanks to the energy efficient
components, utilities are lower,
making the project even more
affordable for tenants – like the large
solar panel array on the five buildings
at its Barrhaven Urban Terrace rental
project, which produce half of the
overall consumption. Solar is worth
including on apartments, Campanale
says, because energy consumption is
significantly higher in these structures.
There have been other benefits
to the HERS rating system – like
securing financing and insurance
with the Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation (CMHC) for
their affordable rental project at
Barrhaven. The stacked townhouse
development of 64 back-to-back
homes in 12- or 16-unit blocks was
built 15% better than code. “CMHC
looked favourably on the project when
it came to financing and insurance
underwriting,” Campanale explains.
At first, though, CMHC wasn’t sure
what HERS was, Campanale says.
“It wasn’t recognized as approved
software, so we went through quite an
31
A Family Affair
Campanale Homes Earns Another Award
buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN
42
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
Anthony Zanini (left) of CRESNET
presents an award to Tim
Campanale and Tony Campanale.
continued on page 33
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
32
buildernews
Agnieszka Wloch, Jesse Davidson, Mike LePlante, John Godden.
Carol Dietrich, Paul Dietrich, Paul De Berardis, Richard Lyall.
Joe D’Amico, Antony Zanini, Nick Samavarchian, Matthew Solomon.
Michael Goyette, Lou Bada, Shawn Barran, Ryan Foster.
Sonny Pirrotta, John Sneyd, Dan LaCroix, Jason Morin.
Tony Simonelli, Vince Cancelliere, Brian Cooke, Ian Walker.
Tony Campanale, Iain Stuart, Tim Campanale, Paraic Lally.
The 2023 Cross Border
Builder Challenge
2023 GOLF TOURNAMENT
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
issues are mitigated before our home­
owners move in, and the number of
customer calls is much less than it
was before we started doing this.”
According to Finnigan, building to
Better Than Code allows Heathwood
and other builders to achieve impres­
sive energy savings comparable
to labelling programs like Energy
Star, Net Zero and Net Zero-Ready.
“We follow a parallel path that’s not
prescriptive, as well as looking at
embodied carbon to determine the
payback,” he explains. “In this respect,
the HERS structure itself is as good as
or better [than the other programs].”
In 2022, 145 Heathwood
homes were included in the
annual Low Carbon Home­
builder Coalition (LCHC), a
building industry strategy
designed to benchmark
and collect the perform­
ance achievements of homebuilders
in Ontario and compare them with
federal, provincial and municipal
energy efficiency standards. The
Heathwood-built homes scored 35%
better than code in terms of esti­
mated CO2 reductions (219 tonnes
combined), saving homeowners
$915 per year in energy costs.
“Energy efficiency labels are
complex. A lot of code changes are
intrusive and maybe too far ahead
of their time. The available
technology should be dictating
how to move forward,” says
Finnigan. “The program that
builders choose to maximize
energy efficiency should be
up to them. It’s really a matter
of calling an apple something else.” BB
Marc Huminilowycz
is a senior writer. He
lives and works in
a low-energy home
built in 2000. As
such, he brings first-hand experience
to his writing on technology and
residential housing and has published
numerous articles on the subject.
33
approval process. But at the end of it
all, the buildings met their standards,
so they said okay.” Like Naccarato 15
years earlier, Campanale introduced
HERS in a big way to a local market.
“CMHC also underwrote the
insurance for a previous project in
Arnprior of 130 single-family towns
and detached bungalows. Securing
financing and insurance at favour­
able rates allows the company to
offer back more affordable rents to
end users,” Campanale adds.
Net zero and low carbon are on
the horizon for all builders. But
Campanale is ready – they’re
versed on the discussion
and most of their homes are
being built now to be zero
energy-ready, with things
like reinforced trusses to
accommodate solar panels.
The company also constructed
one low-carbon Zero Energy home
which garnered them an award. But
Campanale says he’s not sure how
worthwhile that was because of the
net metering program, which did
not credit them for the entirety of PV
power generated.
Hydro only gave back credit instead
of money and, for the three years the
home operated as a model, the solar
panels racked up about $4,000 worth of
hydro credits. “It was great not paying
any hydro bills,” Campanale says.
“But we produced more energy than
we needed which was put back
into the grid. And with the credit
taken off in January, there was
not that much benefit for us.”
Campanale is a family
business that began in the
1970s with three brothers.
One has since retired, and
six of the next generation
have joined. Amazingly,
they all get along, and the secret to
that is separate roles that each family
member is passionate about.
And good communication,
Campanale adds: “As houses get more
complex, especially when you have
branded yourself energy efficient,
they’re harder to control and there’s
greater need to communicate.”
Part of that is asking the right
questions. And with this many
personalities – and concerns – lots of
questions do get raised, Campanale
says. “How complicated will this
be? What can we do to make land
development more profitable with
energy efficiency? How will the energy
efficiency measures affect the design?
These are all good things.” BB
Alex Newman is a writer,
editor and researcher at
alexnewmanwriter.com.
Heathwood continued from page 30
Campanale continued from page 31
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
34
buildernews / BETTER BUILDER STAFF
W
oodstock, Ontario-based
custom production builder
Hunt Homes has been
building low-energy houses for 20
years (15 years using HERS ratings).
This year, it won the CRESNET/RESNET
Cross Border Builder Challenge award
for the lowest HERS score in the
custom category, with a HERS 42.
“Our team works hard making
sure things that most people will
never see are done properly. I’m
very proud of everyone’s efforts that
allowed us to receive this award,” says
Steve Hunt, president and CEO.
Hunt and his team, who have
built communities in Woodstock and
Innerkip, are relentless in pursuing
the lowest HERS score possible. The
average rating of 18 houses in 2022 was
a HERS 43 (well below Zero Energy
Ready) with an average airtightness
test result of 1.1 ACH (well below
R-2000 requirements). In the past
three years, Hunt Homes has built 38
houses that are HERS 46 or lower.
This is not the first Cross Border
Builder Challenge award for Hunt
Homes, either. “In 2014, we won for
a LEED Silver house we built with a
HERS score of 40. This project was
also a testament to our team, who
spent a lot of time learning about
new products and ways to do things
better and executing a plan using
those new products.”
Hunt and his team aren’t ones
to rest on their laurels, even though
they’ve already left the upcoming
Code requirements in the dust. “We
are constantly improving and are
ready to surpass minimum Code
changes as they come along. After all,
the new Code will be a HERS 51 and
we averaged a HERS 43 last year. All
of our homes are Zero Energy Ready
(HERS 46 or less), and we are already
exceeding the incoming Tier 3 by 16%.”
“I have always been keen to want to
do things better, so high-performance
homes were a natural fit,” Hunt
explains. His passion for continuous
improvement has been matched
by his team, and their offerings
have struck a chord with Code-
conscious homebuyers: “We
have found that the consumer
wants a better-than-Code
home, and at least some are
willing to pay a reasonable
amount for that. We take
the time to educate them
about their choices.”
The cost of features can add up,
and in the current economy, with
labour constraints and supply chain
issues, every builder needs to think
about their costs – but Hunt isn’t
worried. He believes energy efficiency
allows for affordable home prices
because of lower operating costs. “My
grandfather told me a penny saved is
a penny earned. So, if we can save our
clients money, it will most certainly
help them with affordability.”
Hunt explains another way his
company helps their buyers save those
pennies: “We also offer our clients
secondary suites, as they are gaining
in popularity and our homes are
now being designed with them in
mind.” That rental unit option in
a thoughtfully designed energy-
efficient home is money in the
bank, and Hunt Homes makes
sure their buyers know they
can have it all. BB
Aiming High, Building Low
Hunt Homes’ Relentless Pursuit of Lowest HERS
Michael Goyette
(left) of ROCKWOOL
and Shawn Barran
of Hunt Homes.
42
2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52
HERSSCORE
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
ENG
INEERING
DETAILS
COURTESY
OF
CENTRIC
ENG
INEERING
AND
SIMPSON
STRONG
-TIE
CONNECTORS
H
istorically, the focus of
construction has been about
the structure needing to hold
the roof up.
The 2021 Barrie tornado brought
wind damage and occupant safety
back into the spotlight, and rightfully
so. To withstand these loads, we must
add structural support to hold the roof
down. But where should we focus?
Let’s start with a look at tornado
intensity. Most events causing
damage are at an EF2 level or less.
Preparing for an EF4 or EF5 tornado
would require constructing a
concrete bunker. However, these
super tornadoes are rare. Even the
majority of damage from an EF3
occurs outside of the tornado’s path.
That’s why the work we’ve done
on climate-resilient construction has
focused on what’s needed to resist the
impact of an EF2 tornado event.
So, what might that look like and
how does it change the way we build
our homes? Well, you could put down
your $100 and buy the CSA standard
– or read on for an overview of the
Doug Tarry Homes wind resiliency
pilot project we worked on with Dr.
Gregory Kopp’s engineering team at
Western University and the Institute for
Catastrophic Loss Reduction. Here’s the
best part: I’m going to share it for free.
Let’s look at the basics. You need a
continual load path to connect all the
walls and floors together from the roof
to the foundation.
• Continuous wood sheathing on
the exterior of the home will work,
provided the wood is continuous
across the floors and walls.
However, it’s expensive to install
because you can’t make that work
with strips of sheathing on the floor
joist with the walls sheathed before
you stand them up. Inspectors
won’t be able to inspect it because
it’s outside their work spec for the
framing inspection (you don’t often
see an inspector on a zoom boom).
• Alternatively, we’ve worked out a
set of details in our pilot project
using screws/hangers to create that
same continual load path from roof
to foundation. It’s about 10% of the
cost of doing it with continuous
rigid sheathing, and the building
inspector can look at the install as
part of their framing inspection.
Best of all, here are free details:
35
Working with Wind
An Uplifting Experience
fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY
Roof Framing
(as per plans)
Double
Top Plate
Simpson
Strong-Tie
SDWC Screw
Exterior
Stud Wall
(as per plans)
Optimal 22½º
30º
10º 0º
EF-SCALE WIND SPEEDS
EF RATING WIND SPEED*
0 90 – 130
1 135 – 175
2 180 – 220
3 225 – 265
4 270 – 310
5 315 +
*NEAREST 5KPH
Stud to top and bottom plates.
20 ˚
30˚
Optimal 22˚
10˚
Optimal 22˚
30˚
0˚
Double
Top Plate
Sill Plate
Bottom Plate
Simpson
Strong-Tie
SDWC Screw
Wood Stud
(as per plans)
Foundation Wall
Simpson
Strong-Tie
SDWC Screw
ENVIRONMENT
C
ANADA
Wall-to-roof framing connection.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
36
(Note: Our company has been
experimenting with the bottom right
detailing and how it works with a
floor system in place. It’s the next
step in our journey for more resilient
construction.)
What’s next on the list?
• You could look at shatter-proof
windows and high-wind load
garage doors, two additional areas
of weakness.
• Consider having a continuous
weather-resistant barrier (WRB)
over the roof sheathing. Excellent
details are available from shingle
manufacturers that deal with this.
• Porches and how we attach the
columns to the foundation/
concrete columns are another
area to be dealt with. Fastener
manufacturers have post and
column base products and details
available to provide guidance.
However, we’re missing a big issue:
the gable detail. Typical framing of
gable overhangs has 2 x 4 extensions
toe nailed to the face of the gable wall
then fastened to the roof sheathing.
This common practice offers little
structural support; a high wind event
can cause the roof to “zipper” off the
gable wall. This is the worst detail
in the worst location (no resistance
to uplift in an area with some of the
highest uplift potential). Yet I see it
on jobsite after jobsite. It was only
after our first build mission in Puerto
Rico after Hurricane Maria that my
company moved to a new set of details
that ties the support member back to
the previous truss.
There are a few different ways to
achieve the added structural resistance
to uplift at the gable wall, but a
common theme is to connect back
to a previous truss with an outrigger
blocking detail under the gable
extensions. This connection back to
the previous truss provides additional
support to the gable overhang framing.
If you really want to beef up the detail,
swap out the 3 nail that fastens into
the underside of the top chord of the
gable truss. Either way, it’s a significant
improvement over the conventional
framing of gables.
I see improvement of our
climate resiliency roof details as an
opportunity for builders to reduce the
risk to the building and the occupant.
However, it’s important to remember
there is still risk, especially from
projectile impact on the walls and at
the openings.
Hopefully you’ll find these details
helpful as you start thinking about
upcoming code changes to manage
more extreme wind conditions. BB
Doug Tarry Jr is director
of marketing at Doug
Tarry Homes in St.
Thomas, Ontario.   
ADAPTED
FROM
ENG
INEERING
DETAIL
SUPPLIED
BY
CENTRIC
ENG
INEERING
Fasten outriggers to
blocking with 3 long
common wire nails
@ 12 o.c. (typ.)
2x4 outriggers @
16 o.c. (on flat)
with blocking above
Fasten top chord to
outrigger with (2)
3 long common
wire nails (typ.)
Typical roof truss (by others)
2x6 continuous fascia
Fasten rim to
blocking and
outrigger with (2)
3 long common
wire nails (typ.)
2x4 blocking @ 16 o.c. (between
rim board and cable-end truss and
cable-end truss and typical truss)
Fasten top chord to blocking with
(2) 3 long common wire nails (typ.)
Connect back to a previous truss with an outrigger blocking detail under the gable extensions.
BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023
How you’ll benefit
Custom turnkey solutions to meet
sustainability and business goals.
No upfront cost.
End-to-end service.
Technical expertise provided.
Achieve net zero emissions with
clean, renewable technologies.
* Additional terms and conditions may apply. As an unregulated business unit distinct from the gas utility,
Enbridge Sustain is able to provide a range of sustainable energy solutions.
© 2023 Enbridge Sustain. All rights reserved. ENB 1433 04/2023
Cleanerenergysolutions.
No money down.*
We help builders and developers take advantage of cleaner,
renewable energy technologies. Our turnkey, end-to-
end services make it easier and more affordable to adopt
geothermal, hybrid heating, solar and other sustainable
solutions—there’s no upfront cost and our team takes care of
allthekeydetails,fromdesignthroughinstallationandbeyond.
Great things happen
when technology
and expertise come
together
Visit enbridgesustain.com
to explore your options and get a quote.
“Enbridge Sustain took on the
upfront capital costs, which made
the project affordable.”
Sean Mason
Founder, Sean Mason Homes
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023

More Related Content

What's hot

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019
Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019
Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021
Better Builder Magazine
 
17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam
17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam
17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam
Chamarra McCrorey
 
Leed green associate pool g - question
Leed green associate   pool g - questionLeed green associate   pool g - question
Leed green associate pool g - question
Bilal Mohamed
 
HomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking Innovation
HomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking InnovationHomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking Innovation
HomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking Innovation
HomeBiogas
 
Zero Carbon Homes in the UK
Zero Carbon Homes in the UKZero Carbon Homes in the UK
Zero Carbon Homes in the UK
Worldview Impact Foundation
 
Carbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitals
Carbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitalsCarbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitals
Carbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitals
Graham Takata
 
8 Carbon Trading
8   Carbon Trading8   Carbon Trading
8 Carbon Trading
Dr. Parveen Kaur Nagpal
 
Leed The Basics
Leed   The BasicsLeed   The Basics
Leed The Basics
Susann Geithner
 
24 Concepts LEED AP
24 Concepts LEED AP24 Concepts LEED AP
24 Concepts LEED AP
Rob Freeman
 
Carbon Credit
Carbon CreditCarbon Credit
Carbon Credit
pratikcool123
 
Carbon Credit - Main Aspects
Carbon Credit - Main AspectsCarbon Credit - Main Aspects
Carbon Credit - Main Aspects
Roberto de Paula Lico Junior
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023
Better Builder Magazine
 
An Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon Markets
An Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon MarketsAn Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon Markets
An Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon Markets
EOI Escuela de Organización Industrial
 
LEED-EB O&M Basics
LEED-EB O&M BasicsLEED-EB O&M Basics
LEED-EB O&M Basics
Lida_Lewis
 
Leed green associate pool b - answer
Leed green associate   pool b - answer Leed green associate   pool b - answer
Leed green associate pool b - answer
Bilal Mohamed
 
Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)
Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)
Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)
Seminar Links
 

What's hot (20)

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 41 / Spring 2022
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 40 / Winter 2021
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 38 / Summer 2021
 
Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019
Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019
Better Builder, Issue 31 / Fall 2019
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 37 / Spring 2021
 
17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam
17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam
17 Concepts for the LEED v4 GA Exam
 
Leed green associate pool g - question
Leed green associate   pool g - questionLeed green associate   pool g - question
Leed green associate pool g - question
 
HomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking Innovation
HomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking InnovationHomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking Innovation
HomeBiogas- Spotlight on Groundbreaking Innovation
 
Zero Carbon Homes in the UK
Zero Carbon Homes in the UKZero Carbon Homes in the UK
Zero Carbon Homes in the UK
 
Carbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitals
Carbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitalsCarbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitals
Carbon 101: Carbon accounting for hospitals
 
8 Carbon Trading
8   Carbon Trading8   Carbon Trading
8 Carbon Trading
 
Leed The Basics
Leed   The BasicsLeed   The Basics
Leed The Basics
 
24 Concepts LEED AP
24 Concepts LEED AP24 Concepts LEED AP
24 Concepts LEED AP
 
Carbon Credit
Carbon CreditCarbon Credit
Carbon Credit
 
Carbon Credit - Main Aspects
Carbon Credit - Main AspectsCarbon Credit - Main Aspects
Carbon Credit - Main Aspects
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 48 / Winter 2023
 
An Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon Markets
An Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon MarketsAn Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon Markets
An Introduction to the Voluntary Carbon Markets
 
LEED-EB O&M Basics
LEED-EB O&M BasicsLEED-EB O&M Basics
LEED-EB O&M Basics
 
Leed green associate pool b - answer
Leed green associate   pool b - answer Leed green associate   pool b - answer
Leed green associate pool b - answer
 
Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)
Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)
Sustainable Materials Management (SMM)
 

Similar to Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023

Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019
Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019
Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015
Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015
Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015
Better Builder
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016
Better Builder
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020
 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020  Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013
Better Builder
 
Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015
Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015
Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015
Better Builder
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012
Better Builder
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Issue 3
Better Builder Issue 3Better Builder Issue 3
Better Builder Issue 3
Anna-Marie McDonald
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014
Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014
Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014
Better Builder
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016
Better Builder Magazine
 

Similar to Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023 (20)

Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019
Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019
Better Builder, Issue 32 / Winter 2019
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 16 / Winter 2015
 
Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015
Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015
Better Builder, Issue 16, Winter-2015
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 27 / Fall 2018
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 22 / Summer 2017
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 34 / Summer 2020
 
Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine Issue 19 Fall 2016
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 19 / Fall 2016
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 26 / Summer 2018
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020
 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020  Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 36 / Winter 2020
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 06 / Summer 2013
 
Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013
Better Builder Magazine, Summer 2013
 
Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015
Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015
Better Builder, Issue 13, Spring 2015
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 13 / Spring 2015
 
Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Fall 2012
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 03 / Fall 2012
 
Better Builder Issue 3
Better Builder Issue 3Better Builder Issue 3
Better Builder Issue 3
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 10 / Summer 2014
 
Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014
Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014
Better Builder Magazine Summer Issue 2014
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 20 / Winter 2016
 

More from Better Builder Magazine

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020
Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020
Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017
Better Builder Magazine
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017
Better Builder Magazine
 

More from Better Builder Magazine (8)

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 49 / Spring 2024
 
Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020
Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020
Better Builder, Issue 33 / Spring 2020
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019 Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 29 / Spring 2019
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 25 / Spring 2018
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 24 / Winter 2017
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 23 / Fall 2017
 
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017
Better Builder Magazine, Issue 21 / Spring 2017
 

Recently uploaded

the potential for the development of autonomous aircraft
the potential for the development of autonomous aircraftthe potential for the development of autonomous aircraft
the potential for the development of autonomous aircraft
huseindihon
 
Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2
Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2
Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2
821priyankaj
 
The Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The Air
The Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The AirThe Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The Air
The Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The Air
Ashraf Ismail
 
杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
amzhoxvzidbke
 
Cisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptx
Cisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptxCisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptx
Cisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptx
Duy Nguyen
 
李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
amzhoxvzidbke
 
AI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligence
AI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligenceAI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligence
AI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligence
GeethaAL
 
AFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdf
AFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdfAFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdf
AFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdf
vibhapatil140
 
Safety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting Tackles
Safety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting TacklesSafety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting Tackles
Safety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting Tackles
ssuserfcf701
 
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...
Fady M. A Hassouna
 
How to Formulate A Good Research Question
How to Formulate A  Good Research QuestionHow to Formulate A  Good Research Question
How to Formulate A Good Research Question
rkpv2002
 
Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)
Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)
Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)
rkpv2002
 
JORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdf
JORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdfJORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdf
JORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdf
WilliamsNuezEspetia
 
Concepts of Automatic Block Signalling.ppt
Concepts of Automatic Block Signalling.pptConcepts of Automatic Block Signalling.ppt
Concepts of Automatic Block Signalling.ppt
princeshah76
 
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdf
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdfRed Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdf
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdf
mdfkobir
 
Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...
Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...
Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...
AIRCC Publishing Corporation
 
NOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System Presentation
NOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System PresentationNOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System Presentation
NOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System Presentation
miniruwan1
 
LOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdf
LOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdfLOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdf
LOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdf
jellyjm
 
Ebara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectation
Ebara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectationEbara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectation
Ebara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectation
nanjay2
 
Adv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdf
Adv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdfAdv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdf
Adv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdf
T.D. Shashikala
 

Recently uploaded (20)

the potential for the development of autonomous aircraft
the potential for the development of autonomous aircraftthe potential for the development of autonomous aircraft
the potential for the development of autonomous aircraft
 
Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2
Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2
Digital Image Processing - Module 4 Chapter 2
 
The Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The Air
The Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The AirThe Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The Air
The Control of Relative Humidity & Moisture Content in The Air
 
杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
杨洋李一桐做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】国产国产午夜精华>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
 
Cisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptx
Cisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptxCisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptx
Cisco Intersight Technical OverView.pptx
 
李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
李易峰祝绪丹做爱视频流出【网芷:ht28.co】可爱学生妹>>>[网趾:ht28.co】]<<<
 
AI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligence
AI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligenceAI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligence
AI chapter1 introduction to artificial intelligence
 
AFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdf
AFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdfAFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdf
AFCAT STATIC Genral knowledge important CAPSULE.pdf
 
Safety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting Tackles
Safety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting TacklesSafety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting Tackles
Safety Operating Procedure for Testing Lifting Tackles
 
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF PERMEABLE PAVEMENT IN ...
 
How to Formulate A Good Research Question
How to Formulate A  Good Research QuestionHow to Formulate A  Good Research Question
How to Formulate A Good Research Question
 
Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)
Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)
Generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs)
 
JORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdf
JORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdfJORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdf
JORC_Review_presentation. 2024 código jorcpdf
 
Concepts of Automatic Block Signalling.ppt
Concepts of Automatic Block Signalling.pptConcepts of Automatic Block Signalling.ppt
Concepts of Automatic Block Signalling.ppt
 
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdf
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdfRed Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdf
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Administration 9.0 RH124 pdf
 
Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...
Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...
Developing a Genetic Algorithm Based Daily Calorie Recommendation System for ...
 
NOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System Presentation
NOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System PresentationNOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System Presentation
NOVEC 1230 Fire Suppression System Presentation
 
LOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdf
LOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdfLOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdf
LOCAL-BUDGET-CIRCULAR-NO-158-DATED-JULY-11-2024.pdf
 
Ebara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectation
Ebara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectationEbara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectation
Ebara corporation introduction. looking ahead, going beyond expectation
 
Adv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdf
Adv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdfAdv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdf
Adv. Digital Signal Processing LAB MANUAL.pdf
 

Better Builder Magazine, Issue 46 / Summer 2023

  • 2. www.airmaxtechnologies.com T 905-264-1414 Prioritizing your comfort while providing energy savings Canadian Made Manufactured by Glow Brand Manufacturing 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 arefully modulating at 10 to 1 and 2 inch PVC venting up to 100 feet. Brand TM ENDLESS ON-DEMAND HOT WATER Models C95 & C140 Glow Brand C95 and C140 instantaneous combination ASME boilers for heating and on-demand
  • 3. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2 Lessons on Calibration by John Godden THE BADA TEST 3 Is Code No Longer King? by Lou Bada INDUSTRY EXPERT 5 Spring Training Camp 2023 by Gord Cooke INDUSTRY NEWS 8 Building Buy-In Lindvest Homes took home the big prize in this year’s Cross Border Builder Challenge. by Rob Blackstien BUILDER NEWS 11 Toronto Laneway LEED Home by Marc Huminilowycz BUILDER NEWS 14 A Tradition of Building Better by Marc Huminilowycz BUILDER NEWS 16 Award to Canadian Low- Volume Builder Dietrich Homes by Alex Newman BUILDER NEWS 18 Ground Zero for Zero Net Now by Rob Blackstien INDUSTRY NEWS 21 Time to Pump it Up Q and A Paul De Berardis and Mike Martino INNOVATION AWARD 27 Minto Dreaming Big by Marc Huminilowycz BUILDER NEWS 30 Heathwood Home at Last by Marc Huminilowycz BUILDER NEWS 31 A Family Affair by Alex Newman BUILDER NEWS 32 The 2023 Cross Border Builder Challenge Golf Tournament BUILDER NEWS 34 Aiming High, Building Low by Better Builder Staff FROM THE GROUND UP 35 Working with Wind by Doug Tarry 5 1 32 ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited. 18 Cover and award photos by Mike Day, theartofweddings.com The 2023 Cross Border Builder Challenge
  • 4. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 Lessons on Calibration From the Cross Border Builder Challenge “A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a beef eater in a Prius.” — Michael Pollan, science journalist and author P ollan’s comparison is germane to our challenge of counting carbon emissions for houses. The image of the two vehicles is misleading as the footprint mostly depends on the dietary choices of the driver. Similarly, occupants who consume large amounts of electricity may worsen their home’s energy efficiency from an operational standpoint. If any total comparison of energy use or carbon emissions is to be made, there must be a standard approach to measurement. Initial analysis of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s (CHBA) net zero indicates that 13 homes consume, on average, 39% more energy than predicted. Three reasons for this are (1) differences of occupant lifestyle, (2) the solar panels produced less energy than modelled and, most importantly, (3) the measurement tool may not measure occupancy loads (plug loads and hot water) accurately. It makes more sense to use a standards-approved software that accounts for occu­ pancy rather than software that defaults all houses to the same operating conditions. As 52% of energy use in current Code homes is attached to occupancy loads, any attempt to reach a “net” must recognize the behaviour of occupants. In the U.S., there are many competing software providers, so HERS-based software is very accurate, user friendly and under continuous improvement when it pertains to measuring zero. HERS-based software is the first in North America to include standardized carbon ratings (ANSI 301 2019). On the road to low carbon (no carbon does not exist), HERS ratings provide the continuum for operational reductions. This year’s RESNET/CRESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge reminds us that interna- tional co-operation is key for any success. The challenge is a friendly annual competition between American and Canadian homebuilders to determine just how energy efficient builders can build. The rule is simple: the lowest Home Energy Rating System (HERS)/ Energy Rating Index (ERI) score wins. Lindvest Homes (page 8) and Zero Net Now (page 18) were the big winners of the President’s Award on either side of the border. All the win- ning Canadian builders are graduates of Enbridge’s Savings by Design (SBD) program. This year’s winners also surpassed the HERS 46 score recommended for Ontario under ASHRAE 90.2, Energy-efficient Design of Low-rise Residential Buildings. Well done! The international theme continues with Gord Cooke sharing lessons from the tenth annual Building Knowledge Spring Training Camp, featuring expert presenters like Robert Bean from the U.S. (page 5). Back home, Lou Bada describes the collaboration from the Low Carbon Homebuilder Coalition, whose members have constructed 3,724 zero energy- ready homes over the past three years (page 3). Lastly, Doug Tarry outlines potential upcoming changes to structural requirements for the Ontario Building Code (page 35). Returning to our comparison of cars and drivers, the right answer is not always evident. For example, General Motors offers a Hummer with an electric vehicle option – but the battery in it weighs more than a Honda Civic. In terms of energy efficiency, the Civic may be the better choice. The way that we measure carbon emissions in residential homebuilding must use a standardized accounting process, like the HERS/ERI used in the Cross Border Builder Challenge. So where’s the beef? BB publisher’snote / JOHN GODDEN 2 PUBLISHER 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 EDITORS Crystal Clement 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, Marc Huminilowycz PROOFREADING Carmen Siu CREATIVE Wallflower Design This magazine brings together premium product manufacturers and leading builders to create better, differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine cannot be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. UNDELIVERABLE MAIL Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 Better Builder Magazine is published four times a year.
  • 5. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 levied on natural gas at $0.10 per cubic metre. To put this in perspective, someone driving a four-cylinder car and living in an Energy Star home will pay $421.77 in carbon tax annually. In the summer 2022 issue, I intro­ duced the hybrid house approach. The hybrid house approach advocates reaching a HERS 46 for the point of diminishing marginal returns and using a combination natural gas heating system and a three-season heat pump or supplemental heating using off-peak electricity in the shoulder months. Adding solar panels should be undertaken only after battery is considered (see Figure 1 above). The hybrid home can reduce carbon emissions by 50%. If HERS is no longer a compliance path in the OBC, then the likelihood of using it as a method to comply with local standards is diminished. The Low Carbon Home­ builder Coalition (LCHC) The idea behind the Low Carbon Homebuilder Coalition (LCHC) is to annually benchmark as many homes T he usefulness of a singular Ontario Building Code (OBC) by which we are governed cannot be understated. It gives predictability, transparency and accountability. It allows us to build with the confidence we need to address our current housing supply crisis and develop labour and supply chains to move Ontario forward. One Code, administered with common sense by people of goodwill, would be best. Unfortunately, this is not our case. As homebuilders, we’ve (unfor- tunately) become accustomed to being a slave to many masters. As many builders are aware, there is an ongoing effort underway to harmo- nize the latest proposed iteration of the OBC with the National Building Code (NBC). There maybe some good reasons for this, but why strive for harmonization if individual munic- ipalities can impose their own local green building standards on us? As it stands, a builder cannot take an approved plan by one municipality and use it across the street (literally) to build a home in another municipal- ity. Maybe I don’t understand harmo- nization as a concept. More importantly, if harmoni­ zation means less flexibility to enable a builder to meet municipal green building standards, I am really perplexed. Currently, SB-12, Chapter 3 recog­ nizes the use of both the EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) and Home Energy Rating Scale (HERS) rating systems. It already accommodates the application of NBC 9.36.5. The current harmonization drive may codify the ERS only – not to mention the ERS is also a proprietary system. Having a single rating system stifles innovation. EnerGuide is fuel agnostic; however, the OBC discriminates between different fuel types. Ontario has its own peak electrical challenges, so balancing the wise use of natural gas with the need for electricity for electric vehicles is key for future success. Starlane Homes participated in the original ERS pilot in 2002. Starlane decided we could not use that EnerGuide rating to market its houses. My company was an early adopter of Energy Star in 2005. Starlane prefers to use HERS as an alternative rating system for equivalency under local green building standards. 226 houses have been third-party verified using this system over the past five years, largely due to local green building standards. HERS allows for rating operational carbon with a scale similar to the HERS energy scale. Measuring operational carbon is very important with the advent of the carbon tax. Currently, the tax is 3 thebadatest / LOU BADA BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 Is Code No Longer King? 4 1 4 R60 R27 R20 2 2 3 NATURAL GAS CONNECTION SUPPLEMENTAL 5 FIGURE 1: HYBRID HOUSE FORMULA = Thermal design 1 to HERS 46 (ASHRAE 90.2) + Combination heat 2 2 (20% reduction) (could be two-stage furnace) + Three-season heat pump 3 + Battery storage 4 with inverter 4 and critical circuits + Modest solar array 5 (5-7kW)
  • 6. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 4 America over eight climate zones. Last year, 337,962 American houses were rated. In Canada, 1,834 homes were rated, largely in Ontario (GTA) with some in Quebec. In the past three years, GTA LCHC builders using HERS have rated 3,724 homes at a HERS 46 or lower (see chart above). In comparison, approximately 990 net zero-ready homes have been rated over the last 10 years. The key question is: Why do most local green building standards reference net zero-ready homes with no mention of zero energy-ready homes (HERS 46)? Why would Ontario use only the ERS as a method of Code compliance? The coalition promotes choice to allow builders the tools to innovate. Ontario has a proven system which has worked over the last 10 years, and Code harmonization should not mean the elimination of choice. It must identify other systems for energy performance in the body of the Code, as is currently the case. The current SB-12 is well understood by building officials across Ontario. It allows choice and flexibility so that Ontario can lead Canada and North America in constructing low-carbon, sustainable, affordable and resilient housing. The coalition is working hard to ensure that code harmonization allows for innovation to meet the challenges of the future. Any builders interested in joining the coalition should contact Paul De Berardis at RESCON (deberardis@ rescon.com) to have these projects benchmarked for carbon. The OBC should be “king,” specific to Ontario’s needs. We should be able to build the same home no matter where you live in an Ontario climate zone. If the government wants us to meet ambitious carbon reduction goals, they need to please take the ERS straitjacket off. 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). as possible to see how progress in new home construction is stacking up against federal commitments – a type of report card for residential builders. This information can then be shared with governments to inform their decision making and timing of building code updates. (Refer to last year’s results: 2,506 tons of CO2 reductions with 527 cars off the road.) As a member of RESCON and a participating builder in the LCHC, I recently met with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) to make them aware of the coalition and our need to retain HERS as a method of Code compliance. Comparing ERS and HERS ERS defaults (assumes) occupancy loads for hot water and electricity use. These loads account for 52% of a home’s energy consumption. Only envelope losses including airtightness, increased insulation levels and triple-glazed windows count in ERS for reducing CO2 emissions. This means that ERS does not accurately reflect true carbon emissions reductions. Many net zero houses end up consuming more energy than predicted because energy modelling does not capture the true load created by the occupants. On the other hand, zero energy-ready homes, which I have elaborated on in my previous article, target a HERS 46 under the ASHRAE 90.2 standard, which describes the point of diminishing marginal returns for our weather zone 6. This rating approach is used by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and has been used to rate over 3.6 million houses in North NUMBER OF HOMES ACHIEVING A HERS 46 OR LESS PER BUILDER 2020–2022 YEAR 2020 2021 2022 TOTAL HOMES 24 HERS BUILDERS 138 205 80 423 57 35 61 153 4 17 1 22 0 13 9 22 0 6 24 30 841 559 428 1828 3 1 0 4 0 12 76 88 18 63 76 157 14 7 17 38 1 42 123 166 0 7 0 7 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 2 31 46 28 105 31 130 40 201 45 0 0 45 2 2 66 70 1 20 0 21 94 16 1 111 10 89 60 159 0 25 7 32 17 1 21 39 5 9 0 14 TOTAL 1309 1297 1118 3724
  • 7. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 I n April, we were proud to host our tenth annual Spring Training Camp. This year, we held it in Stratford, Ontario for two specific reasons. We partnered with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) Net Zero Leadership Summit and they organized tours to three sites, including the Sifton West 5 Net Zero Energy community in London. The Stratford location provided a convenient distance between the Toronto travelling hub and the site tour locations. Moreover, the mash-up with CHBA expanded attendance to over 200 people, and Stratford hotels were able to accommodate this larger group of enthusiastic builders, manufacturers and industry influencers. We were pleased that, even with the larger crowd, participants engaged proactively in panel discussions, debates and demonstrations with the over 20 presenters and facilitators. The Camp agenda was extended over a three-day experience to allow for the site tours and workshops offered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) on new software tools available in the energy modelling realm. This year’s experiment with the CHBA collaboration is consistent with our vision of Camp to encourage conversations with as wide a range of industry participants as possible: builders, manufacturers, utilities, all levels of government, energy advisors and consultants. We need that depth of co-operation to tackle 5 Spring Training Camp 2023 industryexpert / GORD COOKE Even with the larger crowd, participants engaged proactively in panel discussions, debates and demon­ strations with the over 20 presenters and facilitators. Gord Cooke (left) and Alexis Minniti of Building Knowledge and John Straube (right) of RDN Building Science after sharing a presentation on the carbon implications of high performance walls.
  • 8. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 6 the compelling challenges for the industry. Specifically, this year’s focus was on the intertwined imperatives of housing affordability and supply, resiliency, greenhouse gas (carbon) emission reductions and healthier indoor environments. Not surprisingly, these themes were explored by Brad Carr, CEO of Mattamy Homes Canada. Brad noted that Mattamy is now one of the largest independently owned new homebuilders in North America, with divisions across Canada and the southern U.S. He outlined their corporate journey as the largest Energy Star-qualified homebuilder in Canada (with over 20,000 certified homes), their involvement in the Net Zero Energy pilot in 2015 and the recent Net Zero Ready community in Markham that includes a geothermal district heating system. They are now committing to a comprehensive carbon reduction plan across all divisions in North America. When questioned about the impact on affordability of homes, Carr noted the industry’s responsibility to simultaneously address the housing availability crisis in Canada without compromising the impact on climate change. He challenged participants to collaborate with all industry sectors, including finance partners, to solve these two challenges. The technical portion of the agenda started with the ever-thought- provoking Robert Bean. Bean, an ASHRAE Fellow, expanded the audience’s understanding of energy efficiency to the deeper discussion of “exergy.” He noted that while society has an intuitive understanding of energy efficiency, exergy describes the quality of the energy and its potential capacity to do work. In this context, he noted that burning natural gas to create a flame at over 1500°C should not be used solely for heating houses – that flame has the capacity for much greater work. The analogy of using a chainsaw to cut a slice of cheese was used. Bean reminded Campers that, as we look to solve the climate change crisis and even the affordability challenge, understanding the quality and value of energy sources will be very helpful. The discussion of appropriate decisions for energy sources provided a perfect segue to two sessions on heat pumps. Specifically, John Siegenthaler of Appropriate Designs, a leading North American authority on hydronic heating solutions, introduced the audience to the “new frontier of heating, cooling and domestic hot water”: air-to-water heat pumps. Siegenthaler noted the trend towards net zero energy homes supports the emerging market for these pumps, stating that “they don’t have the liability associated with fossil fuels; they’re less expensive and disruptive than geothermal.” Then, Gary Proskiw of Proskiw Engineering Ltd. headlined a panel discussion on testing and in-field performance of air source heat pumps. Proskiw noted that the early experiences with air source heat pumps in net zero energy homes show issues of inadequate airflow, excessive cycling and incorrect cut-off temperatures. There is work to be done to improve design, installation and control of heat pumps moving forward. Dr. John Straube of RDH Building Science Labs is always a featured speaker at Camp, and his presentation this year highlighted both carbon reduction and resiliency as it relates to the building science of high- performance walls. With the help of demonstration walls built with support from NRCan’s LEEP team, using their training videos and guides, Straube was able to show and comment on new wall details that can meet high- performance objectives in a buildable and cost-effective manner. We feel Camp should always high­ light the experiences of builders. To this end, three leading builders – represented by Carl Pawlowski from Minto Group, Stefanie Coleman of Doug Tarry Homes, and Oding and Phillip Santana from Mattamy Homes – were asked to share their carbon reduction strategies and experiences in a panel discussion. They each outlined the work they have undertaken so far, as well as their one-year, five-year and 10-year plans. They also offered their advice of first steps for other builders. Each company has undertaken a benchmarking or baselining of their current building practices and engaged with employees, trades and customers to learn their expectations as they set their future goals. Our goal at Camp is to highlight problems and challenges the new homebuilding industry is facing, provide insights from the leading experts in the field that are researching these challenges and encourage discussion from builders who have found solutions to these problems.
  • 9. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 We were very pleased to have Mike Memme of Mountainview Building Group and Andy Oding of Building Knowledge Canada revive the most popular session from 2022: the Home Builder Night in Canada segment. Memme went over the top 10 things that keep him up at night. No surprise that it starts with the basics to avoid costly warranty defects, such as flashing, airtightness and framing missteps. In addition, Memme captured the approval of the audience as he expressed his concern for practices to ensure the safety of his employees, trades and homeowners. Finally, he noted the angst of swimming upstream in trying to change and do things differently to improve productivity. Our goal at Camp is to highlight problems and challenges the new homebuilding industry is facing, pro- vide insights from the leading experts in the field that are researching these challenges and encourage discussion from builders who have found solu- tions to these problems. We are so appreciative of the presenters and pan- ellists who shared their insights and experiences. We are thankful as well to both the regular and first-time Camp- ers from across Canada and parts of the U.S. who actively engaged in the discussion and then generously helped us raise over $10,000 for the Stratford United Way Affordable Housing Initia- tive through a charity auction. Thanks to all of those who donated and bid on auction items. BB For the full agenda and copies of presentations from this year’s Camp, go to www.buildingknowledge.ca/ spring-camp. Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. 7 110 to 160 CFM Quickest Set-up With Consistent Results AI Series vänEE introduces its NEW Series with higher CFM NEW HIGHER CFM UP to 230 CFM QUICKER SET-UP CONSISTENT RESULTS PREMIUM ECM MOTORS WITH BUILT-IN SMART TECHNOLOGY
  • 10. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 8 industrynews / ROB BLACKSTIEN O ver his nearly three-decade career in housing, Anthony Martelli has always been a big proponent of green building. “It’s what I believe in,” he says. This philosophy has taken him from Greenpark Homes to LIV Communities to CountryWide Homes and, since 2018, to Lindvest, where he took over as CEO at the beginning of last year and has now guided the Toronto-based builder to the most coveted award available in the Cross Border Builder Challenge – the CRESNET President’s Award. Lindvest earned this honour for its Klein subdivision in Vaughan, Ontario, scoring an average fleet HERS score of 45. But, the truth is, the homes in this development weren't necessarily any better than Lindvest’s usual offerings. That’s because, as Martelli says, the company pretty much uses the same specs across all its projects. Among the features the builder employed to help win this award were: • Airtightness is very important to them, he says, and “we’ve found the best way to achieve that is through care and attention during the build process.” • A finish-ready basement (FRB) with ROCKWOOL on the outside of the framed wall, plus as much insulation as possible between the studs (R-22 or R-24). They really try to push up that R-value on the outside as high as they can, Martelli says. Many Lindvest homes have FRBs including R-10 under slab insulation. • In terms of mechanicals, they use drain water heat recovery for pre- heating (PowerPipe) with energy- efficient hot water tanks, furnaces and air handlers. Lindvest prefers energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) over heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and heavily employs water- saving devices throughout the home. For the Klein subdivision, Lindvest participated in Enbridge’s Savings by Design (SBD) program and echoed the sentiments of countless builders who have graduated: the most valuable aspect of the initiative is the charrette, which offers a fantastic opportunity to strategize over building technique innovations and ensure the entire team is on the same page. “I think the best part of it was bringing everyone into the room and getting real-time feedback,” Martelli says. For instance, if the company proposes a new spec for a particular project when the stakeholders are all there, they can get opinions or comments on it right away, and that’s invaluable from an efficiency standpoint. “What appears to be a good idea in the boardroom doesn’t always make its way to becoming a good idea in the field. So having them there to help vet some of the proposals, I think, was very beneficial.” He adds that this process really helped drive buy-in, because the key stakeholders (building supervisors, key trades, etc.) understood what the company was trying to do. “And that’s part of the reason we’ve been so successful.” In fact, Martelli maintains that this buy-in is what differentiates Lindvest from other builders. The company takes a top-down approach to ensure their outside team gets very involved in understanding what the builder’s Building Buy-In Lindvest Homes Takes Home the Big Prize 45 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE Richard Lyall of RESCON presents the President’s Award to Dan LaCroix (left) and Jason Morin (right) of Lindvest.
  • 11. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 goals and objectives are. “If they don’t understand it, how can they oversee the trade partners that are coming onto the job site to make sure that every house is going to be built to the best level that we can possibly achieve?” Information sharing and training is key to this process, but they don’t just shout into a vacuum – great care is taken to ensure that every­ thing is clearly understood. Generally speaking, Martelli says, when it comes to creating energy- efficient homes, the specs are likely going to be quite similar from builder to builder. So how can you truly differentiate your housing offerings from the pack? “I think it comes down to the execution and the commitment of the people doing the execution,” he explains. Looking forward, Lindvest is considering building a demo home in Klein with the hopes of driving down its HERS score through the use of renewables. The builder is participating in SBD’s new Zero Energy Ready Program. “We can’t be satisfied to stay at 45, so we’re certainly looking to drive that number down.” Of course, how much lower will be based on the specs they consider, and those are still being written. But Martelli says, “I would love to get under 40 without solar PV.” Speaking of the future, Building Code changes that will affect all industry players are coming next spring, but Lindvest 9 is confident that it’s well-prepared for the new regime. “This is something we’ve been working on for a few years now, always trying to be ahead of the requirements,” he says. “We feel that we’re very well positioned.” Still, Martelli says the company would like further clarity on what’s being planned down the road, so it can continue to be ahead of any changes. “We’ve always been 20% or more better than code,” he states. “If the code is changing – well, we don’t want to sim- ply comply, we want to look at oppor- tunities to still be better than code.” Now that sounds like the mindset of an award-winning company. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca   
  • 12. Our easy-to-install Intelli-Balance Energy Recovery Ventilators feature a BOOST function that increases airflow on demand, helping to combat air quality challenges in both multi-family and single detached homes. With the flip of a switch, two ECM motors with Smart Flow™ technology BOOST air exchange to provide healthier indoor environments. FV-20VEC1 BALANCED Expel stale polluted air while supplying fresh, filtered air for healthy, comfortable homes Build healthier, more efficient homes with Panasonic ERVs EFFICIENT Provide consistent, predictable airflow & reduce heating & cooling loads with ‘set it and forget it’ operation, saving energy & money VERSATILE Meet the latest codes and standards and exceed homeowner expectations Panasonic ERVs and Swidget Smart Devices are Holmes Approved and part of Breathe Well, The Only Complete Air Quality Solution™. Learn more at PanasonicBreatheWell.com FV-10VE2 FV-10VEC2 20/40/60 Dry Contact Timer Switch S16008WA
  • 13. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 A state-of-the-art, LEED Platinum home on a tiny 25-feet by 25-feet laneway property in the downtown Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville has won a Zero Energy-Ready award in the Annual Cross Border Builder Challenge, achieving an impressive HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score of 35. The project, built by Toronto builder Barbini Design Build in partnership with leading high- performance home product manufacturers, features the very latest in energy efficiency, indoor air quality and water conservation. “We are very honoured to receive this award. It’s been a fascinating project with lots of support from a number of valuable partners,” says Amedeo Barbini. “When it’s complete, the home will be a real showpiece, demonstrating the best in energy efficiency and design.” The laneway project is not Barbini’s first foray into sustainable building. “Always doing our best to achieve low carbon in the homes we build, we got into a LEED approach to better indoor air quality (IAQ) 20 years ago with the help of John Godden at Clearsphere,” he explains. “Building green and better IAQ is really a parallel path. It’s always been a modelling process with checkpoints throughout the project. With LEED Platinum certification, there are a lot more boxes to check – with more things, like radon mitigation, in the basket.” High on the LEED list for indoor environmental quality (IEQ), the mitigation of radon gas (prevalent in most of southern Ontario) was achieved in the home with an integrated radiant floor radon mitigation system from building partner Amvic Building System, including Amrad R-12 in-slab vapour mitigation and insulation and SilveRboard reflective insulation on the inside of the foundation wall. “We’ve integrated radon mitigation and the latest in IAQ technology into the house so that it works better,” says Barbini. “When you walk into a home like this, you really feel the difference. It’s not just glam and fancy finishes or boasting that the house has A, B and C features. It’s an experiential attribute. The LEED program lets you do this.” Another key partner in the project’s quest for better IAQ and energy efficiency was Panasonic Canada, who helped with the design of the mechanical system to make the home fossil fuel-free. “They were a top-shelf 11 Toronto Laneway LEED Home Zero Energy-Ready Award buildernews / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ 11 35 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE Sonny Pirrotta, Jesse Davidson, Chris Barbini and Amedeo Barbini. “The Leslieville LEED home has been an exciting project with amazing partners and trades enthusiastically on board, resulting in a sustainable, well- designed, healthy and resilient home.”
  • 14. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 12 company to work with,” says Barbini. “All of their divisions were tremendously helpful, designing and contributing Panasonic Breathe Well products such as zoned heat pumps, ERV, NanoeX air purification, Whisper Air Repair air purifiers and Swidget air quality monitoring smart controls for monitoring, management and automation throughout the home to bring the whole system to life. On top of this, Panasonic gave workshops on their products to our trades at their location and on-site.” In order for the Leslieville home to meet LEED standards – and win the Zero Energy-Ready award – Panasonic also contributed as many solar panels that could fit on the home’s limited 600-square-foot roof space (due to its small footprint). In addition, the company connected two batteries to the 4 KWh system for energy storage, to be used both as a backup in case of power outages and for “peak shaving” – economizing electricity rates by charging during off-peak times and using the batteries during on-peak periods. Water conservation was another key component of LEED building. Coming to the aid of the project was a name that is synonymous with quality home water fixtures and management: Moen Canada. The company gener­ ously contributed all of the plumbing fixtures (low flow, of course); a smart shower water temperature system with the ability to remotely preheat the water from a smartphone; and its FLO water conservation system, installed where municipal water enters the home, which detects leaks in the home’s plumbing. The home includes a Greyter greywater recycling system, which recycles shower water and uses it for the toilets. Accounting for a significant percentage of global CO2 emis- sions, embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance and disposal of building materials. In order to address this con- cern, the home’s construction involved the use of low- carbon building mate- rials as much as possible. Project part- ner ROCKWOOL contributed its stone wool insulation and Building Products of Canada supplied R-5 XP wood fiber structural insulation panels. “The Leslieville LEED home has been an exciting project with amazing partners and trades enthusiastically on board, resulting in a sustainable, well- designed, healthy and resilient home,” says Barbini. “Showcasing the latest in high-performance green building technology, such as the Swidget system – I’m really excited to see how it works – the home will demonstrate what a low-carbon home can look like and how simple it is to operate. And the owners of the property, Skye Mainstreet Properties Ltd., are really on board. They have a website devoted to the home [leedhomes.ca], and they’re planning to host public events to show off its award-winning attributes.” BB Marc Huminilowycz is a senior writer. He lives and works in a low-energy home built in 2000. As such, he brings first-hand experience to his writing on technology and residential housing and has published numerous articles on the subject. This rating is available for homes built by leading edge builders who have chosen to advance beyond current energy efficiency programs and have taken the next step on the path to full sustainability. BetterThanCode LowCostCodeCompliancewith theBetterThanCodePlatform BetterThanCodeUsestheHERSIndex to Measure Energy Efficiency TheLowertheScoretheBetter Measureable and Marketable 80 60 40 20 This Platform helps Builders with Municipal Approvals, Subdivision Agreements and Building Permits. Navigating the performance path can be complicated. A code change happened in 2017 which is causing some confusion. A new code will be coming in 2024. How will you comply with the new requirements? Let the BTC Platform – including the HERS Index – help you secure Municipal Subdivision Approvals and Building Permits and enhance your marketing by selling your homes’ energy efficiency. betterthancode.ca Email info@clearsphere.ca or call 416-481-7517
  • 16. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 14 buildernews / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ S ince its establishment in 1984 by Vaughan, Ontario builder Frank Carogioiello, Royal Pine Homes has earned a stellar reputation for building high-quality luxury single-family homes and communities. In more recent years, the company has been actively working to reduce the carbon footprint of its homes using several energy-saving building approaches. Back in 2007, Royal Pine Homes became one of the first builders to construct Energy Star homes in Ontario as part of a Town of Vaughan project named Block 39. “The town incentivized several builders, including our company, to label all of their homes in the project as Energy Star,” says Royal Pine vice president Steve Carogioiello. “In return, our subdivision approvals were expedited.” A few years later, Richmond Hill, Ontario was experiencing issues with its existing infrastructure, specifically its sanitary sewer capacity. To help meet the challenge, Royal Pine Homes entered into a subdivision agreement with the municipality to construct its 112 homes to exceed Energy Star using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS), as well as equipping each home with solar hot water heating. “Working with John Godden from Clearsphere, we asked ourselves how we could make Royal Pine homes better, and came up with this solution,” Carogioiello explains. “To my knowledge, it was the first time this approach was used in Canada. We also had a meeting with our purchasers before construction began and gave them the opportunity to purchase other energy upgrades, saying to them, ‘You now have control over your own hot water. What else can we do?’” Royal Pine Homes has continued its commitment to sustainability. Since 2022, the company has completed over 100 homes that have exceeded 20% better than code. This year, it won the 2023 RESNET/ CRESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge for Lowest HERS Score, Canadian Mid-Production Builder with an impressive rating of 43 for its discovery home in the Centerfield subdivision of Richmond Hill. “With the help of Enbridge’s Savings by Design program, we engaged the building department in an integrated design process (IDP) workshop, where experts made presentations on improving the building envelope and mechanical system performance,” says Carogioiello. “Through computer modelling, we achieved 20% better than code. Even though the municipality specified Energy Star A Tradition of Building Better Royal Pine Homes Wins Award 43 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE Brian Cooke (left) of AeroBarrier and Tony Simonelli of Royal Pine Homes.
  • 17. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 labelling, we worked out our own customized package to achieve a better result.” According to Carogioiello, Royal Pine received monetary incentives for its first 50 homes in the subdivision that reached 15% better than code and currently has 75 homes completed with an average HERS of 46, or 23% better than code. “We prefer Better Than Code to Energy Star because there’s no pass or fail on airtightness testing. This has been a problem for builders who don’t pass because they can’t close houses without the Energy Star label,” he says. Moving forward, Royal Pine Homes will be offering homeowners a hybrid gas/electric heating/cooling system as an upgrade, incorporating a three-season heat pump. “A hybrid house is like a hybrid car,” Carogioiello explains. “In the dead of winter when it’s very cold outside, you heat with natural gas. During the other seasons, an air source heat pump supplies heat and cooling with inexpensive off-peak electricity.” “We are very pleased to have won this Cross Border Builder Challenge,” says Carogioiello. “It shows Cana­ dian consumers that Royal Pine is exceeding code per­ formance levels while reducing the impact of climate change. As smart builders, we have decided to use HERS as a rating metric. All of our homes meet HERS 46, which is considered zero energy-ready. And we’re educating our buyers on the sustainable features of the homes with online videos to help them understand. In reality, we’re still selling our homes in a tough market. I guess the proof will be in the pudding.” BB Marc Huminilowycz is a senior writer. He lives and works in a low-energy home built in 2000. As such, he brings first-hand experience to his writing on technology and residential housing and has published numerous articles on the subject. 15 519-489-2541 airsealingpros.ca As energy continues to become a bigger concern, North American building codes and energy programs are moving towards giving credit for and/or requiring Airtightness testing. AeroBarrier, a new and innovative envelope sealing technology, is transforming the way residential, multifamily, and commercial buildings seal the building envelope. AeroBarrier can help builders meet any level of airtightness required, in a more consistent and cost-effective way. Take the guesswork out of sealing the envelope with AeroBarrier’s proprietary technology. Royal Pine Homes has continued its commitment to sustainability. Since 2022, the company has completed over 100 homes that have exceeded 20% better than code.
  • 18. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 16 buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN T his story is about how Dietrich Homes won an award for lowest HERS score in the 2023 Cross Border Builder Challenge. But what it’s really about is how 10 years of developing low-energy sustainable housing led to the award. The Peterborough-area company has branded itself as “a better alternative and better option for buyers looking for a better built home,” says owner and vice president Paul Dietrich. The award is validation they’re achieving that goal. But the proof came long before, in the third- party testing scores garnered from the Enbridge Savings by Design program and the Better Than Code HERS label. However, this isn’t the first time Dietrich Homes has won a CRESNET award; in 2022, they received the RESNET H2O Cross Border award for water conservation. “It measures a builder’s demonstration of water efficiency within a home,” Dietrich says. “The lower the score, the lower the water consumption. We achieved a 31% reduction in water use with measures like greywater recycling.” Last year’s award-winning entry was from the Trails of Lily Lake: the discovery home and two models beside it, which had numerous energy-saving features built in from the outset. The company’s goal with the three homes was to educate homeowners on water conservation techniques. But what snagged this year’s award is the company’s consistent 20% above the Ontario Building Code on all its homes. That’s particularly commendable, considering the competition throughout the region builds only to code and not above. Dietrich says the extra effort has been worthwhile. Their homes are now zero energy-ready – something that requires a HERS score of 46 or less (Dietrich’s homes come in at 44 on average.) Being zero energy-ready has caught the attention of Enbridge Gas, which has just approved Dietrich Homes to build Net Zero Ready (NZR) and offered them program incentives. The company was also recently permitted the first NZR home to be built in Peterborough. Although NZR is in its infancy (less than 2% of new homes are NZR), consumers are increasingly aware and are starting to expect green measures in their new homes because of the lower utility bills – and lower fossil fuel emissions. Consequently, builders will have to keep up with the demand. And that demand is not just from savvy homebuyers – municipalities and provinces expect it too, and they’re legislating increasingly strict green building standards. (To help manage those government green building expectations, Dietrich Homes is participating in the Low Carbon Homebuilder Coalition with other leading builders to report their annual emission reductions.) Cost is another factor. Housing affordability is such an issue, Dietrich says, that providing a better built home that results in lower utility bills is especially important. “The homebuyer today and tomorrow will be requesting – if not demanding – energy efficiencies and savings in their next home selection to definitely offset the escalating costs of housing from land, permits, fees, material and labour cost increases.” Dietrich Homes Lowest HERS Score for a Canadian Low-Volume Builder 42 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE Richard Lyall (left) of RESCON and Paul Dietrich of Dietrich Homes.
  • 19. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 Homeowners, contractors, and builders rely on ROCKWOOL® for dependable insulation solutions. More than a rock, ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation is made from natural stone and recycled material. In addition to being inherently non-combustible, the products resist fire, repel water and absorb sound - releasing the natural power of stone. 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® An exterior non-structural insulation sheathing that provides a continuous layer of insulation around the building envelope. The company’s desire to create an energy-efficient home was backed by solid research of homebuyer preferences. “We saw that a safe, healthy and comfortable indoor living environment was top of mind,” Dietrich says. The research prompted discussions with Clearsphere’s John Godden and Enbridge about how to achieve greater efficiencies. A concept/design workshop about Enbridge’s Savings by Design program resulted in the company establishing a superior built home with energy-efficient building products and superior installation techniques. Better still, Dietrich Homes has discovered that building better than code can be accomplished with marginally increased costs. Achieving this kind of better built home depends a lot on building materials and construction methods. For example, it takes less energy to heat and cool when the building envelope is tight, with better insulation and a tighter air barrier. Add in energy recovery ventilators and tankless hot water heaters and you’ve got the ingredients for significantly less energy consumption. As a further benefit to home­ buyers, Dietrich is offering secondary suites in all homes currently under construction. They’re the first in Peterborough to do so. “This feature is being widely accepted as assistance with both housing affordability and attainability with the additional income that can be recognized by a ‘mortgage helper’ occupying the secondary suite,” he says. Winning the CRESNET award is “true satisfaction,” Dietrich says, because of the recognition by peers and colleagues for building sustainable housing. It’s an accomplishment he shares with the build team. BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com. 17
  • 20. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 18 buildernews / ROB BLACKSTIEN “It seems that even though every­ body knows the story, the allegory of their decisions has been lost on humanity and the building trades,” says the president of Esopus, New York-based Zero Net Now, which took home three awards at this year’s Cross Border Builder Challenge. Aebi says the industry proudly refers to “stick building,” which is what the second little pig tried. And we all know how that worked out against the big, bad wolf (which, in this instance, is Mother Nature). So while working on his own home in 2007, he opted to heed the fable’s lesson; therefore, “the idea of just build­ ing a better structure was my goal.” To say he accomplished his ambi- tion is an immense understatement. During the design process, Aebi says they realized the house was modelling towards having a better envelope, and that meant that a lower load was required. This made using geothermal possible, “which is much more efficient than a typical fossil fuel- based system or even an air source heat pump system,” he says. Of course, air source heat pumps didn’t really exist in their climate back then. Aebi says that other benefits of geothermal include: all equipment is located inside a conditioned space, so it’s safe from being infiltrated by insects and rodents while remaining immune from the affects of weather (and wear and tear). Ground Zero for Zero Net Now Award-winning New York builder has been making net zero homes before anyone knew what that even meant. W hen Anthony Aebi first started building low-energy homes, he certainly wasn’t thinking about winning any awards or making history. His inspiration, rather, was rooted in a much more modest place: the children’s fable of the three little pigs. Mechanical room, geothermal heat pump, and hot water heater complete with duct sealing. PHOTO COURTESY OF INTEG R AL BUILDING + DESIG N
  • 21. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 Finally, solar was added to the mix, as the State of New York had a great incentive program for both solar and geothermal at the time. Once the home was completed, Aebi had a rater come in to see if it had achieved Energy Star; for good measure, he asked him to also rate it for LEED. Upon completion, the rater called him up to tell him this was the first rated zero energy home – ever. Aebi was skeptical, to put it mildly. “I said, ‘I don’t have time for this nonsense,’ and I hung up on him. I thought he was full of poop.” By 2007, the U.S. Green Building Council had launched, LEED was gathering steam and green building was on everyone’s minds, so it’s only natural that Aebi couldn’t believe he was the first. But the rater called back and assured Aebi he was serious. “I didn’t know that this wasn’t done at the time. That was a surprise. And so I never looked back from there.” How far ahead of its time was this home? Well, when the Department of Energy (DOE) presented an award for this house five years later, its records still showed it as the only home to score this low. In fact, Aebi says, the house literally rated ahead of a HERS score of zero (at the time, the scale didn’t go below zero). Aebi may as well have built a flying car, but in his mind, he didn’t understand what the fuss was about. “I didn’t feel like I did anything great or special. I thought I was just building a better structure. That’s it.” Flash forward to today, and making such homes is old hat for Zero Net Now. Small wonder it bagged the following honours in the Cross Border Builder Challenge: U.S. Net Zero Builder with a HERS –13 (with renewables); U.S. Enbridge Innovation Award; and Lowest HERS score U.S. Low Volume Builder with a HERS 26 (the same houses without renewables). Of course, taking home Cross Border Builder Challenge hardware is nothing new for Aebi, who has been winning awards since the company was called Greenhill Contracting (see “The Home of the Future Now” in the summer 2015 issue, page 16) before rebranding about six years ago. The key ingredients that allow Zero Net Now to garner such impres­ sive scores include: • Solar panels; • Geothermal heating and cooling; • Super insulation and high- efficiency windows; and • Heat recovery ventilation. The builder also employs several water conservation practices, including WaterSense-certified fixtures, and a “home run” system in which every fixture has a dedicated home run to a common manifold (as opposed to traditional design, where it’s like a tree branching out to all the fixtures). Under that setup, if you’re drawing from a faraway bathroom, you’re basically having to fill up all the pipes between with hot water until it gets to that fixture. With his system, Aebi says, hot water only goes in that one dedicated pipe, resulting in it arriving much quicker and much more efficiently to each individual fixture. He estimates his design requires up to two gallons less each time you draw from that fixture. Obviously, that adds up over time. “We also size the pipe to the minimum necessary,” so that way you don’t have a larger amount of water that needs to be conditioned. Aebi is a huge proponent of zero energy-ready building, but believes it should go beyond the DOE’s definition, which is simply a home that is built in such a way that, if renewables are desired, no major renovation is required to accommodate them. “But to me, I think it should also mean that you have a structure that has as low a HERS score at completion as possible,” he explains. Otherwise, Aebi suggests, you can make any building zero energy ready if you put a couple of panels of solar out. He has a point. If that home is not built with superior energy efficiency qualities, wouldn’t adding renewables to it be akin to putting a Lamborghini engine into a Fiat? Zero Net Now’s rater of choice is Integral Building + Design, a company intimately familiar with HERS-rated homes, having scored 265 of them last year alone. President and founder Pasquale Strocchia is clearly a fan of Aebi’s work. “Anthony Aebi is a visionary builder that is uniquely driven to walk his talk,” he says. Considering Aebi is ground zero for net zero, it’s clear Strocchia is not overselling things in the least. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Pen-Ultimate.ca    19 -13 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE
  • 23. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 To take a deeper dive into the practical options and applications for HVAC improvements in new homes, I sat down to have a Q and A-style discussion with fellow Better Builder contributor and industry expert Mike Martino of Martino HVAC. We take a deeper dive into HVAC trends and emerging opportunities to feasibly advance GHG reductions in a home. Most new homes include typical HVAC and mechanical equipment such as a natural gas-fired forced air furnace for space heating, an air conditioner for space cooling and a natural gas-fired hot water tank. However, using these common pieces of HVAC equipment or variations of them opens up huge potential to save on energy as well as reduce GHG emissions. Q: Mike, you’ve been at this for a long time and that gives you a unique per- spective on the evolution of energy- efficiency improvements for new homes in Ontario. Can you share with us your ideas on the most cost-effective solutions for reducing carbon? A: Starting with the design, right- sizing equipment is critical as the building envelope of homes has come a long way with heat loss calculations demonstrating heating loads that are lower than they used to be. Equipment needs to be sized appropriately for these new lower heating loads, and this has led to the consideration of alternative equipment such as air source heat pumps. To clarify, for this discussion, we are referring to three-season heat pumps, not cold-climate heat pumps. Heat pumps can be sized to meet much of the heat loss design load, with a natural gas-forced air furnace providing the heat when outdoor air temperatures drop below zero. However, a heat pump can’t simply be swapped out for a conventional air conditioner. Considerations for proper sizing of ductwork and designing for air flow are critical to optimize the efficient use of a heat pump down into lower temperatures while still maintaining occupant comfort. The other low-hanging fruit is to ensure that, whatever equipment is specified and installed, it must be op- erating properly to achieve its designed efficiency. This is why commissioning of all HVAC systems is critical, with testing and analysis required to ensure airflow, pressures and system balanc- ing is within the design parameters and equipment specifications. RESCON has been engaged with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and Enbridge, alongside the Residential Heating Ventilation Contractors Asso- ciation (RHVCA), to more consistently apply and ensure commissioning protocols are in place so that HVAC equipment is operating at peak efficiency for new homeowners. Ensuring natural gas equipment is operating optimally helps to minimize GHG emissions. Q: With the uptake of new technology, there’s usually a learning curve to contend with. Is Martino HVAC equipped to deal with implementing emerging HVAC trends? A: While there is a learning curve to implementing new practices and equipment applications, Martino HVAC is equipped to deal with the changes and has been working with 21 Time to Pump it Up Q and A Paul De Berardis and Mike Martino industrynews / PAUL DE BERARDIS W ith the next edition of the Ontario Building Code (OBC) being released in March 2024, changes are forthcoming to improve energy efficiency in new homes. Compared to where we are today, revised design and construction practices will be required to meet upcoming regulations, with likely options being adding exterior continuous insulation, window upgrades or airtightness improvements to meet code. However, because the objective of these advancing building regulations is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, it may be worth considering a more direct way of working towards this goal – after all, the building envelope of a home can be improved only so much when factoring in cost-benefit analyses. In this article, I want to focus on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system of a home. Balometer for balancing forced air systems to match HVAC design.
  • 24. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 22 these technologies for years now with increasing frequency. Martino has dealt with applications of both cold- climate heat pumps and three-season heat pumps, but the deciding factor is usually cost, with a cold-climate heat pump being more than double the cost of a three-season heat pump. So, without subsidies from government to incentivize the uptake of heat pumps into the mass market, the uptake has been limited as homebuilders are cost conscious, knowing that additional charges will inevitably be passed onto new home buyers. With support for continuous training and collaboration with equipment manufacturers like Daikin and Goodman, Martino HVAC is prepared to handle the greater uptake of three-season heat pumps in place of traditional air conditioners. We have also been working on other emerging product offerings, including combo systems, whereby forced air systems, either low-velocity and up to high-velocity, are paired with hydronic technologies. More specifically, we are using combo systems where an air handler is connected to a water-to-air heat exchanger that is supplied with hot water. Depending on the size of home, ranging from something as small as a two-bedroom stacked townhouse to homes over 5,000 square feet, combo systems can be designed to cater to all these needs using a range of equipment options such as hot water tanks, tankless on-demand systems and even dedicated boilers. These combo systems can also be used to facilitate additional features such as zoned heating systems or even in-floor hydronic heating applications. Q: Do you feel consumers are ready to embrace heat pumps? Is this something consumers are demanding currently? More importantly, do you think builders are ready for this? A: From the consumer perspective, heat pumps are still in the introductory phase. Consumers are still learning what heat pump technology can do for energy savings, cost savings and GHG emission reductions. We are still not at the point where new home buyers are asking for heat pumps and a long way away from the growth period where this becomes an industry norm. From the new home builder per­ spective, those builders that already include air conditioning as standard, which is roughly estimated to be about 40%, are best suited to integrate three-season heat pumps instead of air conditioners. Those builders will face only the additional cost of the equipment upgrade, and this modest cost premium can be justified from the lens of the homeowner as it will pay for itself through energy savings enabled by fuel switching and taking advantage of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates. Electricity is discounted at night where a three-season heat pump can provide supplemental heat to offset natural gas usage, thus reducing carbon emissions. Q: Have furnaces and separate hot water tanks outlived their usefulness? What are the advantages of a combination heating system? A: While combo systems have their advantages, traditional furnaces and hot water tanks are still the most cost effective and reliable option. A 22 Average minimum and maximum temperatures in Toronto Canada Copyright © 2020 www.weather-and-climate.com 30C 20C 10C 0C -10C FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN ◆ ◆ Diamonds indicate months that 3-season heat pumps can provide supplemental space heating with lower off-peak electricity rates, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 40%. ◆ ◆ ◆
  • 25. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 traditional furnace and tank setup is still the most common application in new homes, with numerous high- volume manufacturers supplying this equipment. Therefore, we have economies of scale in these product offerings. More specialized equipment like cold-climate heat pumps and hydronic combo systems are only supported by a few manufacturers in small production numbers compared to traditional systems. However, that is only the current state of the market, and these trends are obviously changing with advancing regulatory requirements on GHG reduction. The advantage of a hydronic combination heating system is obviously that there is only one appliance burning natural gas as opposed to two, so automatically there is an efficiency there with less GHG emissions. We found that, on average, combo systems save about 20% on natural gas consumption when compared to a separate furnace and hot water tank. Another advantage with respect to a combo system relates to the reduced venting and gas piping requirements, which has proven to be increasingly beneficial in many forms of attached housing such as stacked and back- to-back townhouses, which has driven the uptake of combo systems in these compact housing forms. Q: If combo systems become main­ stream, can three-season heat pumps work in conjunction with these space heating systems? A: Yes, absolutely – both three-season heat pumps and cold-climate heat pumps can be used in conjunction with a hydronic combo system. The main factor holding back combo 23 Up to 3.45 UEF Eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant ProLine® XE Heat Pump Water Heater Help customers save up to 73% on water heating costs.* *Compared to a standard natural gas water heater. Operating modes maximize efficiency and hot water delivery. Commercial-grade quality with 10-year limited warranty. Qualifies for provincial utility rebates. systems is that they are only supported by a small number of manufacturers and make up a limited share of the current new home construction market, estimated to be about 25%. For combo systems to become more mainstream, the large-volume HVAC equipment manufacturers need to enter this space, as the widespread after-installation support and customer care need to be there to support mass production and larger
  • 26. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 market share. With the integration of a heat pump alongside a combo system, proper airflow and static pressure of ductwork become critical, as well as the installation, setup of equipment, balancing and commissioning, as these systems are more complex. With these more complex and intricate systems, including the smart thermostat controls and possible zoning, maintenance of the system becomes more important to ensure everything is operating optimally. Warranty considerations can also be an issue with such systems as there could be multiple equipment providers with different coverage terms and conditions. This is why Martino HVAC just introduced a new five-year warranty, up from the industry standard two-year, inclusive of parts and labour, to give the builder and consumer peace of mind, especially with these newer systems. One key consideration to extracting the most benefit out of the fuel-switching approach is the need for smart thermostats to be able to access real-time electricity and natural gas rates as well as outdoor temperatures, to decide whether to run the heat pump or the furnace/combo system. While there is at least one manufacturer currently piloting this type of smart thermostat, namely BKR Energy, it is only a matter of time until others become available. — While the next edition of the OBC is proposed to further harmonize with the National Building Code, the prescriptive path offers very few compliance options for these types of HVAC systems and equipment applications. If builders are looking to explore opportunities with three-season heat pumps replacing air conditioners or combo systems replacing furnaces, they will have to engage an energy advisor to go down the performance path for demonstrating compliance and obtaining building permits. However, as we have explored here, there are still a lot of opportunities for reducing GHG emissions with creative HVAC design and installation. BB Paul De Berardis is RESCON’s director of building science and innovation. Email him at deberardis@rescon.com. 24
  • 29. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 O ttawa-based homebuilder Minto Communities has established a reputation in the residential building marketplace over the years as an industry leader in forward thinking, innovation and sustainability. The fully integrated land development and residential rental company, founded in 1955, currently has projects in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, as well as in Florida and North Carolina south of the border. In 2017, Minto was one of five builders across Canada chosen to participate in the Net Zero Communities Project, a partnership between Natural Resources Canada and the building industry in which 26 net zero demonstration homes were built in four provinces. More recently, Minto constructed four net zero townhomes and one single- family home in the Kanata, Ontario community of Acadia – coincidentally the same place where the company built the grand prize dream home in the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) annual lottery. The house, appropriately named Le Rêve (the dream), is a Parisian- inspired 4,600-square-foot home that combines aesthetics with the latest energy conservation, water conservation and indoor air quality (IAQ) technology. Sustainable features of the home include a hybrid gas/electric mechanical system for heating and cooling, superior levels of insulation in below- and above-grade walls and ceilings, high-performance windows, greywater recycling, drain water heat recovery, hot water recirculation and low-flow water fixtures. It was recently recognized for its energy- and water-saving features with two awards: Enbridge Innovation and HERSH2O. “This is the 23rd consecutive year that we have supplied the grand prize home in the CHEO lottery,” says Minto’s director of estimating and purchasing, Justin Bouchard. “It’s a great charity initiative – a custom home we build each year that gives us a ‘sandbox’ opportunity to try out new things, make sure that we’re aware of what’s coming down the pipe and stay in the forefront of the low-carbon path.” The CHEO home includes a marketing component designed to build awareness and provide education to consumers, builders and distributors on the importance of energy efficiency and IAQ. It serves as an example for builders of what a low-carbon, healthy zero energy- ready home should look like in the marketplace. For the dream home, Minto leveraged its experience with Savings 27 Dreaming Big Minto Builds Green Dream Home innovationaward / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ HERSH2O® Water Efficiency Rating Certificate Property Address: CHEO house City: Ottawa, ON Builder: Minto Communities Rating Information HERSH2O Index: 69 Rating Date: 11/22/2022 Rater: Better Than Code HERSH2O Index: 69 This home, compared to the reference home: 31 % more water efficient 83,498 litres annual water savings John Godden (left) and Mark Sales (Greyter) present two awards to Agnieszka Wloch (Minto Communties) for Minto’s Ottawa CHEO house. 41 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE
  • 30. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 28 by Design from Enbridge Gas, a residential program that gives builders and developers free access to industry experts and energy modelling to build a zero energy- ready discovery home, with a Better Than Code approach. “Savings by Design was a kick in the pants for us that translated to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) house that includes a combo heating/cooling system that utilizes natural resources in the best way,” Bouchard explains. “And because there’s always a balance between what consumers want from an architectural and design perspective and the functionality of generating enough power, it was important to bring airtightness down to where we needed it.” This approach represented a significant shift in mindset from Minto’s previous forays into net zero. “The major challenges of building net zero homes are getting the correct geographical orientation and having enough solar panels,” he says. “The streetscape doesn’t always translate to generating enough power. Another issue is having access to trades that are experienced in building higher- performance homes.” Bouchard describes building to Better Than Code and HERS as a more holistic approach to achieving zero energy-ready, with less focus on energy and more emphasis on IAQ, operational carbon, smarter electricity and water use, and climate resiliency. Panasonic solar panels connected to storage batteries were installed in the home for two purposes: (1) as a backup in case of power outages and (2) “peak shaving” to economize user electricity rates. From a water conservation perspective, Minto decided to include the CHEO dream home, one of its first such homes in Ottawa, in the HERS Water Sense 2.0 pilot program. For its efforts, the discovery home received the H20 water rating award from the HERS Water Rating System. This is a classification that rates whole-house water efficiency, including both indoor and outdoor uses, providing a simple, easy-to-compare rating on a scale of 0 to 100+, where lower numbers mean less water use. “Municipalities across Canada are experiencing treated water shortage issues, so it’s important for us as builders to do anything we can do on our side to conserve this precious resource,” Bouchard says. “The greywater recycling feature we’ve included in our CHEO discovery home collects drain water from three or four showers and re-uses it to flush toilets, resulting in water that is used twice before going into the municipal sewage system. This, combined with low-water fixtures and a hot water recirculation line, helps the home conserve a substantial amount of water.” Bouchard believes that, with climate change a major global issue, builders like Minto have a responsibility to make an impact by building homes that are ready for the future. “The biggest opportunity is really on the retrofit side, converting older homes from the ’70s. But equally important is building new homes that we won’t have to go back to and retrofit later,” he says. With the construction of the CHEO dream home, Minto Communities is blazing a trail for other Ottawa-area builders to follow.” Like Ottawa, a lot of municipalities have initiated green building standards,” says Bouchard. “I think governments have an obligation to push the envelope in this area. There are multiple ways to achieve this. We need to make sure that we’re ready as an industry.” According to Bouchard, Minto Communities is typically building about 900 homes per year in the Ottawa area. “This gives us the opportunity to try things out. The discussions around low carbon, which includes operational carbon and embodied carbon, have been heating up over the past few years,” he says. “As an industry leader, we want to make sure we’re at the forefront. The CHEO project has given us the opportunity to share our experience with members of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. We couldn’t have done it without the contributions of our fantastic suppliers and partners.” BB Marc Huminilowycz is a senior writer. He lives and works in a low-energy home built in 2000. As such, he brings first-hand experience to his writing on technology and residential housing and has published numerous articles on the subject.
  • 31. INSUL-SHEATHING Panel 11⁄16” DuPontStyrofoam™BrandPanel ½” All-Natural Wood Fibre Panel All-Natural Wood Fibre Panel The Leslieville Laneway house is a project in the Toronto area. This discovery home is built for climate change. It Features superior woodfibre insulation combined with energy-efficient HVAC and grey water recycling. The innovative design creates efficient spaces for more occupants, resulting in a reduced carbon footprint building. The project is targeting LEED Platinum. A Barbini Design Build (barbini.ca) construction, developed with the assistance of Clearsphere Consulting for Skye Mainstreet Properties Ltd. bpcan.com S I N C E 1 9 0 5 BP’S R-5 XP INSUL-SHEATHING PANELS ARE NOW GREY, BUT GREENER THAN EVER R-5 XP Insul-Sheathing panels are now available with DuPont’s new reduced global warming potential Styrofoam™ Brand XPS formulation. This means that our already eco-friendly panels are now greener than ever — and still provide the same benefits that have made them so popular: • No additional bracing required • Integrated air barrier • Lightweight and easy to install To make them easy to identify, they are now grey instead of blue. That way, when you see our new GREY panels, you will know instantly that you are looking at a GREENER product. OUR GREY IS YOUR NEW GREEN
  • 32. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 30 buildernews / MARC HUMINILOW YCZ O ntario builder Heathwood Homes has just added a new award to its growing list of industry accolades for its commitment to energy-efficient homebuilding. The company won the 2023 RESNET/CRESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge for Lowest HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score, Canadian Production Builder, with an impressive rating of 41. Heathwood Homes has been building quality homes for over 40 years, but the company’s journey to sustainable homebuilding really began in earnest about 10 years ago, when the company worked with both the City of Richmond Hill and Toronto Metropolitan University (then known as Ryerson University) to build a green home that would demonstrate to homeowners the many benefits of energy-efficient building. Since that time, Heathwood has successfully completed 650 homes that have consistently exceeded 20% better-than-code energy efficiency. This has resulted in carbon emission reductions equivalent to removing 165 cars off the road, and saved homeowners thousands of dollars in energy costs. “This award validates what we’re doing. We’re being recognized for our efforts,” says Heathwood president Bob Finnigan. “It fits with our longstanding company goal of social responsibility.” Following its participation in the Savings by Design program from Enbridge Gas, Heathwood developed its proprietary TotalHome+ program, which educates homebuyers on the advanced features it offers, including water and energy conservation, the environment, the smart home and energy savings, listing the specific details and benefits of each. The Town of Whitby, Ontario, has required compliance with green building standards (specifically Energy Star) since 2017. In its Whitby developments, Heathwood was one of only two builders to meet this standard by building its homes to at least 20% better than code. This begs the question: Why not simply build to Energy Star? “Energy Star is very prescriptive and specific. With our experience, we have a comprehensive understanding of how we can build a better house. Building to Better Than Code gives us more flexibility in meeting green building standards our own way,” says Finnigan. Currently, Heathwood Homes is planning a discovery home in its Williamsburg Green subdivision in Kitchener, Ontario. Among other energy-saving features, the home will include a hybrid HVAC system (air source heat pump with gas furnace backup) plus solar panels with battery storage and greywater recycling. As with all homes that Heathwood is currently building, the discovery home will undergo a pre-delivery inspection, which includes airflow and HVAC balancing and commissioning. “This is key to keeping our customers happy,” says Finnigan. “Any potential Heathwood Home at Last Lowest HERS Score for Production Builder 41 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE Joe D’Amico (Building Products of Canada) and Matthew Solomon (Heathwood). continued on page 33
  • 33. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 L ined up like a row of Emmys, the awards in Campanale Homes’ head office are a testament to four decades of the company’s commitment to better building. Most have been won through the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association, but three are from the Cross Border Builder Challenge hosted by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) and its sister organization CRESNET. Having won in previous years in the categories of net zero home of the year and low-carbon mid-size builder of the year, as well as Enbridge’s Innovation award, this year Campanale Homes won the Vince Naccarato Award. Named for Naccarato and his company, Rodeo Fine Homes, the award recognizes a builder who exemplifies the same high standards as its namesake. Rodeo Fine Homes was at the leading edge of sustainability in residential housing and first used the HERS rating system in its 2007 Newmarket subdivision of 3A LEED Platinum Homes. The Campanales were also early adopters of the HERS rating scale. They’d adopted Energy Star and R-2000 early as well, but stopped for a while since the programs were changing too much, Tim Campanale says. As energy efficiency measures became more sophisticated and complicated, the company saw less value in Energy Star and started looking more closely into HERS. “The flexibility of the system was appealing,” says Campanale, who was fresh out of university at the time and taking additional courses on sustainable development. “We realized we needed to be doing something more and someone recommended HERS. It really allowed us to create our own brand.” So far, the company has built 160 HERS homes (as of the end of 2022) and will complete another 40 soon for a rental project. Thanks to the energy efficient components, utilities are lower, making the project even more affordable for tenants – like the large solar panel array on the five buildings at its Barrhaven Urban Terrace rental project, which produce half of the overall consumption. Solar is worth including on apartments, Campanale says, because energy consumption is significantly higher in these structures. There have been other benefits to the HERS rating system – like securing financing and insurance with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for their affordable rental project at Barrhaven. The stacked townhouse development of 64 back-to-back homes in 12- or 16-unit blocks was built 15% better than code. “CMHC looked favourably on the project when it came to financing and insurance underwriting,” Campanale explains. At first, though, CMHC wasn’t sure what HERS was, Campanale says. “It wasn’t recognized as approved software, so we went through quite an 31 A Family Affair Campanale Homes Earns Another Award buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN 42 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE Anthony Zanini (left) of CRESNET presents an award to Tim Campanale and Tony Campanale. continued on page 33
  • 34. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 32 buildernews Agnieszka Wloch, Jesse Davidson, Mike LePlante, John Godden. Carol Dietrich, Paul Dietrich, Paul De Berardis, Richard Lyall. Joe D’Amico, Antony Zanini, Nick Samavarchian, Matthew Solomon. Michael Goyette, Lou Bada, Shawn Barran, Ryan Foster. Sonny Pirrotta, John Sneyd, Dan LaCroix, Jason Morin. Tony Simonelli, Vince Cancelliere, Brian Cooke, Ian Walker. Tony Campanale, Iain Stuart, Tim Campanale, Paraic Lally. The 2023 Cross Border Builder Challenge 2023 GOLF TOURNAMENT
  • 35. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 issues are mitigated before our home­ owners move in, and the number of customer calls is much less than it was before we started doing this.” According to Finnigan, building to Better Than Code allows Heathwood and other builders to achieve impres­ sive energy savings comparable to labelling programs like Energy Star, Net Zero and Net Zero-Ready. “We follow a parallel path that’s not prescriptive, as well as looking at embodied carbon to determine the payback,” he explains. “In this respect, the HERS structure itself is as good as or better [than the other programs].” In 2022, 145 Heathwood homes were included in the annual Low Carbon Home­ builder Coalition (LCHC), a building industry strategy designed to benchmark and collect the perform­ ance achievements of homebuilders in Ontario and compare them with federal, provincial and municipal energy efficiency standards. The Heathwood-built homes scored 35% better than code in terms of esti­ mated CO2 reductions (219 tonnes combined), saving homeowners $915 per year in energy costs. “Energy efficiency labels are complex. A lot of code changes are intrusive and maybe too far ahead of their time. The available technology should be dictating how to move forward,” says Finnigan. “The program that builders choose to maximize energy efficiency should be up to them. It’s really a matter of calling an apple something else.” BB Marc Huminilowycz is a senior writer. He lives and works in a low-energy home built in 2000. As such, he brings first-hand experience to his writing on technology and residential housing and has published numerous articles on the subject. 33 approval process. But at the end of it all, the buildings met their standards, so they said okay.” Like Naccarato 15 years earlier, Campanale introduced HERS in a big way to a local market. “CMHC also underwrote the insurance for a previous project in Arnprior of 130 single-family towns and detached bungalows. Securing financing and insurance at favour­ able rates allows the company to offer back more affordable rents to end users,” Campanale adds. Net zero and low carbon are on the horizon for all builders. But Campanale is ready – they’re versed on the discussion and most of their homes are being built now to be zero energy-ready, with things like reinforced trusses to accommodate solar panels. The company also constructed one low-carbon Zero Energy home which garnered them an award. But Campanale says he’s not sure how worthwhile that was because of the net metering program, which did not credit them for the entirety of PV power generated. Hydro only gave back credit instead of money and, for the three years the home operated as a model, the solar panels racked up about $4,000 worth of hydro credits. “It was great not paying any hydro bills,” Campanale says. “But we produced more energy than we needed which was put back into the grid. And with the credit taken off in January, there was not that much benefit for us.” Campanale is a family business that began in the 1970s with three brothers. One has since retired, and six of the next generation have joined. Amazingly, they all get along, and the secret to that is separate roles that each family member is passionate about. And good communication, Campanale adds: “As houses get more complex, especially when you have branded yourself energy efficient, they’re harder to control and there’s greater need to communicate.” Part of that is asking the right questions. And with this many personalities – and concerns – lots of questions do get raised, Campanale says. “How complicated will this be? What can we do to make land development more profitable with energy efficiency? How will the energy efficiency measures affect the design? These are all good things.” BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at alexnewmanwriter.com. Heathwood continued from page 30 Campanale continued from page 31
  • 36. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 34 buildernews / BETTER BUILDER STAFF W oodstock, Ontario-based custom production builder Hunt Homes has been building low-energy houses for 20 years (15 years using HERS ratings). This year, it won the CRESNET/RESNET Cross Border Builder Challenge award for the lowest HERS score in the custom category, with a HERS 42. “Our team works hard making sure things that most people will never see are done properly. I’m very proud of everyone’s efforts that allowed us to receive this award,” says Steve Hunt, president and CEO. Hunt and his team, who have built communities in Woodstock and Innerkip, are relentless in pursuing the lowest HERS score possible. The average rating of 18 houses in 2022 was a HERS 43 (well below Zero Energy Ready) with an average airtightness test result of 1.1 ACH (well below R-2000 requirements). In the past three years, Hunt Homes has built 38 houses that are HERS 46 or lower. This is not the first Cross Border Builder Challenge award for Hunt Homes, either. “In 2014, we won for a LEED Silver house we built with a HERS score of 40. This project was also a testament to our team, who spent a lot of time learning about new products and ways to do things better and executing a plan using those new products.” Hunt and his team aren’t ones to rest on their laurels, even though they’ve already left the upcoming Code requirements in the dust. “We are constantly improving and are ready to surpass minimum Code changes as they come along. After all, the new Code will be a HERS 51 and we averaged a HERS 43 last year. All of our homes are Zero Energy Ready (HERS 46 or less), and we are already exceeding the incoming Tier 3 by 16%.” “I have always been keen to want to do things better, so high-performance homes were a natural fit,” Hunt explains. His passion for continuous improvement has been matched by his team, and their offerings have struck a chord with Code- conscious homebuyers: “We have found that the consumer wants a better-than-Code home, and at least some are willing to pay a reasonable amount for that. We take the time to educate them about their choices.” The cost of features can add up, and in the current economy, with labour constraints and supply chain issues, every builder needs to think about their costs – but Hunt isn’t worried. He believes energy efficiency allows for affordable home prices because of lower operating costs. “My grandfather told me a penny saved is a penny earned. So, if we can save our clients money, it will most certainly help them with affordability.” Hunt explains another way his company helps their buyers save those pennies: “We also offer our clients secondary suites, as they are gaining in popularity and our homes are now being designed with them in mind.” That rental unit option in a thoughtfully designed energy- efficient home is money in the bank, and Hunt Homes makes sure their buyers know they can have it all. BB Aiming High, Building Low Hunt Homes’ Relentless Pursuit of Lowest HERS Michael Goyette (left) of ROCKWOOL and Shawn Barran of Hunt Homes. 42 2017 SB-12 REFERENCE HERS 52 HERSSCORE
  • 37. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 ENG INEERING DETAILS COURTESY OF CENTRIC ENG INEERING AND SIMPSON STRONG -TIE CONNECTORS H istorically, the focus of construction has been about the structure needing to hold the roof up. The 2021 Barrie tornado brought wind damage and occupant safety back into the spotlight, and rightfully so. To withstand these loads, we must add structural support to hold the roof down. But where should we focus? Let’s start with a look at tornado intensity. Most events causing damage are at an EF2 level or less. Preparing for an EF4 or EF5 tornado would require constructing a concrete bunker. However, these super tornadoes are rare. Even the majority of damage from an EF3 occurs outside of the tornado’s path. That’s why the work we’ve done on climate-resilient construction has focused on what’s needed to resist the impact of an EF2 tornado event. So, what might that look like and how does it change the way we build our homes? Well, you could put down your $100 and buy the CSA standard – or read on for an overview of the Doug Tarry Homes wind resiliency pilot project we worked on with Dr. Gregory Kopp’s engineering team at Western University and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. Here’s the best part: I’m going to share it for free. Let’s look at the basics. You need a continual load path to connect all the walls and floors together from the roof to the foundation. • Continuous wood sheathing on the exterior of the home will work, provided the wood is continuous across the floors and walls. However, it’s expensive to install because you can’t make that work with strips of sheathing on the floor joist with the walls sheathed before you stand them up. Inspectors won’t be able to inspect it because it’s outside their work spec for the framing inspection (you don’t often see an inspector on a zoom boom). • Alternatively, we’ve worked out a set of details in our pilot project using screws/hangers to create that same continual load path from roof to foundation. It’s about 10% of the cost of doing it with continuous rigid sheathing, and the building inspector can look at the install as part of their framing inspection. Best of all, here are free details: 35 Working with Wind An Uplifting Experience fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY Roof Framing (as per plans) Double Top Plate Simpson Strong-Tie SDWC Screw Exterior Stud Wall (as per plans) Optimal 22½º 30º 10º 0º EF-SCALE WIND SPEEDS EF RATING WIND SPEED* 0 90 – 130 1 135 – 175 2 180 – 220 3 225 – 265 4 270 – 310 5 315 + *NEAREST 5KPH Stud to top and bottom plates. 20 ˚ 30˚ Optimal 22˚ 10˚ Optimal 22˚ 30˚ 0˚ Double Top Plate Sill Plate Bottom Plate Simpson Strong-Tie SDWC Screw Wood Stud (as per plans) Foundation Wall Simpson Strong-Tie SDWC Screw ENVIRONMENT C ANADA Wall-to-roof framing connection.
  • 38. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 36 (Note: Our company has been experimenting with the bottom right detailing and how it works with a floor system in place. It’s the next step in our journey for more resilient construction.) What’s next on the list? • You could look at shatter-proof windows and high-wind load garage doors, two additional areas of weakness. • Consider having a continuous weather-resistant barrier (WRB) over the roof sheathing. Excellent details are available from shingle manufacturers that deal with this. • Porches and how we attach the columns to the foundation/ concrete columns are another area to be dealt with. Fastener manufacturers have post and column base products and details available to provide guidance. However, we’re missing a big issue: the gable detail. Typical framing of gable overhangs has 2 x 4 extensions toe nailed to the face of the gable wall then fastened to the roof sheathing. This common practice offers little structural support; a high wind event can cause the roof to “zipper” off the gable wall. This is the worst detail in the worst location (no resistance to uplift in an area with some of the highest uplift potential). Yet I see it on jobsite after jobsite. It was only after our first build mission in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria that my company moved to a new set of details that ties the support member back to the previous truss. There are a few different ways to achieve the added structural resistance to uplift at the gable wall, but a common theme is to connect back to a previous truss with an outrigger blocking detail under the gable extensions. This connection back to the previous truss provides additional support to the gable overhang framing. If you really want to beef up the detail, swap out the 3 nail that fastens into the underside of the top chord of the gable truss. Either way, it’s a significant improvement over the conventional framing of gables. I see improvement of our climate resiliency roof details as an opportunity for builders to reduce the risk to the building and the occupant. However, it’s important to remember there is still risk, especially from projectile impact on the walls and at the openings. Hopefully you’ll find these details helpful as you start thinking about upcoming code changes to manage more extreme wind conditions. BB Doug Tarry Jr is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ontario.    ADAPTED FROM ENG INEERING DETAIL SUPPLIED BY CENTRIC ENG INEERING Fasten outriggers to blocking with 3 long common wire nails @ 12 o.c. (typ.) 2x4 outriggers @ 16 o.c. (on flat) with blocking above Fasten top chord to outrigger with (2) 3 long common wire nails (typ.) Typical roof truss (by others) 2x6 continuous fascia Fasten rim to blocking and outrigger with (2) 3 long common wire nails (typ.) 2x4 blocking @ 16 o.c. (between rim board and cable-end truss and cable-end truss and typical truss) Fasten top chord to blocking with (2) 3 long common wire nails (typ.) Connect back to a previous truss with an outrigger blocking detail under the gable extensions.
  • 39. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 46 | SUMMER 2023 How you’ll benefit Custom turnkey solutions to meet sustainability and business goals. No upfront cost. End-to-end service. Technical expertise provided. Achieve net zero emissions with clean, renewable technologies. * Additional terms and conditions may apply. As an unregulated business unit distinct from the gas utility, Enbridge Sustain is able to provide a range of sustainable energy solutions. © 2023 Enbridge Sustain. All rights reserved. ENB 1433 04/2023 Cleanerenergysolutions. No money down.* We help builders and developers take advantage of cleaner, renewable energy technologies. Our turnkey, end-to- end services make it easier and more affordable to adopt geothermal, hybrid heating, solar and other sustainable solutions—there’s no upfront cost and our team takes care of allthekeydetails,fromdesignthroughinstallationandbeyond. Great things happen when technology and expertise come together Visit enbridgesustain.com to explore your options and get a quote. “Enbridge Sustain took on the upfront capital costs, which made the project affordable.” Sean Mason Founder, Sean Mason Homes