Alair Homes

The Top 10 List of “The Must Have’s for my New Custom Home”, surveyed by the Canadian Home Builders Association.

  1. Walk in closets
  2. Energy efficient appliances
  3. Overall Energy efficient home
  4. High efficiency Windows
  5. Kitchen Islands
  6. Linen Closets
  7. Open Concept Kitchens
  8. Large windows
  9. 2 Car Garage
  10. Walk-in Pantry

Now lets have a close look at this list. Three of the top 5 “must haves” relate to energy efficient products and cost saving measures, as “highly important” to the surveyed group.

It goes without saying, the desire to design and deliver energy efficiency is being adopted by forward thinking architects, designers, product manufacturers and home builders alike, at an accelerating rate more recently than over the past few years. This is to a large degree, as a result of the increased awareness of the effects of our actions as a species over our environment.

What was once a fringe way of thinking is now, not only becoming more mainstream, it is also being legislated into the building codes as standard requirements for achieving basic code compliance.

There are now numerous levels of measurement for home builders, beyond the required code, for any new custom home. To be clear, complying with code standards is a requirement by law. However, it can also be considered the baseline of accepted levels of energy efficiency. This means anything below these levels would simply not pass a building inspection.

Photo by Alair Homes HamiltonSearch exterior home pictures

Energy Efficient Programs and Building Standards

The following programs and building standards introduce incrementally higher levels of achieving energy efficiency in new home construction:

1. Standard Building code is the baseline (Tarion in Ontario requires all homes built to the Ontario building code similar to the National building code).

2. Homes built to “Energy Star” standard are 20% more energy efficient than code

3. “R-2000” standard homes are 50 % more efficient than code

4. Homes built to “Passive House” (Passivhaus) are approx. 90% more efficient than code

5. Homes built to “Net Zero Energy” (NZE) and “Net Zero Energy Ready” (NZEr) are approximately 70% more efficient than code – Net Zero Energy Ready Homes, with the addition of Solar can be 100% Energy efficient or “off grid”, meaning they will produce as much energy as they consume provided a form of renewable energy harnessing technology, such as Solar panels, geothermal, wind is adopted.

The costs of building materials, previously cost prohibitive, are now at a cost level that simply makes these standards affordable. Once the energy savings are factored into operating a home built above code standard can be beneficial.

Please follow my future blogs if you would like to understand more about how easy it is to attain these standards, the minimal costs associated with achieving these standards, and the many healthy benefits of increased air quality and comfort.