Georgie Award Finalist - Best Certified Home
RDC has recently been nominated for 6 Georgie Awards. Over the next few weeks we will showcase each of the entries with a description on why we believe these are such great homes. I hope you enjoy reviewing these wonderful homes as much as we enjoyed building them! This post featured our Timber Ridge Whistler home construction project.
This home is in the category of Best Certified Custom home, comparing the level of certification, (this home was a Built Green Platinum home with an EnerGuide rating of 87) the aesthetics of the architecture, how the home fits to the surrounding landscape and interior design. One unique feature of this home is that it incorporates a 10KW solar photo voltaic roof to provide electricity to the home.
Sensitivity to site conditions and surrounding environments
This was a difficult infill site, steeply sloping in two directions. The design process was further complicated by very restrictive size and roof height zoning bylaws. As you can see the final design fits wonderfully into the lot and optimized the south-west orientation for passive solar winter heat gain and power generation from the photo voltaic solar panels on the roofs.
The south facing low slope roof design enabled a modern contemporary look and optimizes summer energy production. Since winter energy production is limited as a result of the fewer number of sunny days, winter snow accumulation on the roof as a result of the low slope does not significantly decrease overall energy production; the low slope actually increases energy during the summer when the sun is higher in the sky.
The additional benefit of the low slope design is that the solar panels are hard to see and do not define the look of the home.
Construction practices and details of certification program chosen
The home qualifies as a Built Green Platinum home with an EnerGuide rating of 87, and has a tested air tightness of under 1.5 air changes per hour. The south west orientation of the home allowed for a passive solar design optimizing winter heat gains from the low sun angle. The home has a combined ventilation strategy consisting of a ducted Eneready Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) for the main home and an in wall Lunos HRV for the lower floor and garage.
Energy Efficient Construction
The home is constructed to achieve high effective insulation values for the walls, windows, foundation and roof. An effective insulation value is the measure of thermal performance of the whole assembly as built rather than the R value that is advertised on the insulation package. For example, a bag of fiberglass insulation might advertise itself as having an R20 rating; when the insulation is placed in a wall and the reduced insulation value of the wood framing is considered the overall effective insulation value will drop to R16.
Effective insulation values for the construction assemblies as follows:
- Wall – 6.5 inch Insulspan Structurally Insulated Panels with an additional R14 fiberglass insulation layer on the inside. giving an effective value of R30
- Roof – 12 inch Insulspan Structurally Insulated Panels with an additional 1.5 inches of rigid XPS foam board, giving an effective value of R50
- Windows – Westeck triple glazed windows for an effective value of R 6 (very high for windows)
- Foundation – Logix ICF concrete forms, for an effective R value of R22
- Under-slab – 3 inches of rigid insulation for an effective R value of R12
To reduce energy costs the home has 10 kw of photovoltaic solar panels facing south. While the size of the solar panels is unlikely to completely offset the power used it will significantly reduce the monthly energy bill. The home is also equipped with a KSI Smart Panel replacing the traditional electrical panel. The panel connects to an online dashboard to enable the homeowner to see real time energy use for lighting, appliances, heat etc. The home is pre-wired for an optional electric vehicle charging station.
Innovation and design
The contemporary design is built on 4 levels with the main living, kitchen and dining floor in the middle to optimize natural day lighting, views and connect to the upper-level landscape off the large front deck. The master bedroom suite is on the top floor with a large private balcony facing west.
The Sleek modern kitchen has grey grained 360-degree wrap doors, touch latches,Caesarstone counter tops, under-mount sink, large island with eating bar and a waterfall edge design on the island top. The engineered timber open riser stairs with a glass panel railing connects all four floors allowing daylight to brighten the bottom floor.
Stay tuned for more posts on our other 5 finalist entries, if you would like to learn more about high performance housing and how we do it, please call or email me, I love to talk about what we do!
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2015