Part #1 - Introduction to The Next Generation of New Homes
Part 1 of 3
How we build homes in Canada has changed very little in the last 35 years: until very recently we were still using the same wall systems with the same insulation as we were in the 1980's.
In 2015 a new energy efficiency requirement was introduced into the building code. The recent introduction of defined energy efficiency requirements in the building code is likely the 1st step in a series of code changes over the next 15 years. These changes will see new homes become so energy efficient that they will use 75-80% less energy than a code built home of today. This will enable many homes, with the addition of solar panels, to produce as much energy as they consume. Homes that meet this standard today are referred to as Net Zero homes.
Recently, the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) launched a labeling program to help identify homes that could produce as much energy as they consume. RDC has qualified themselves to be able to label our new homes under the CHBA Net Zero Energy Label: I am very excited to announce that we have just begun construction on the 1st home that will qualify for this new designation.
Net Zero Energy Label projects are required to achieve a high insulation number to reduce the homes overall energy use. To help achieve this RDC has partnered with a number of our Holmes Approved Homes product partners on this demonstration project. We are also showcasing some innovative products that we believe are key to building a better home, Our key partner when it comes to reducing energy will be BASF and their new HP+ Wall System.
This new wall system will allow us to achieve a very air tight home with great insulation values for a reasonable price using standard materials. One of the great advantages of this wall system is that BASF has extensively tested it and offers a 10 year limited warranty; no other manufacturer of insulation offers a warranty on the durability of their system. The 10 year warranty is double what builders in BC are required to offer as part of the provincial mandated warranty program.
Over the next 9 months I will write regular posts with photos chronicling the progress of this exciting new project describing the products and features that make this home affordable, comfortable, healthy, durable and energy efficient.
This week we started work on our footings, note the plastic under the forms. This is to keep moisture from wicking up into the concrete foundation: while we do this on all our builds this site is of particular concern as there is significant water that come out of the hillside during heavy rains. Moisture wick in concrete is the key cause of that musty basement smell we all most likely grew up with. What you are smelling is the mold and mildew collecting on the framing and insulation behind your drywall, not a very healthy condition to be living with. You will notice the Insulated concrete Forms (ICF) in the photo as well.
For more information on the benefit of ICF please see my blog Insulated Concrete Forms - 5 Steps to a Better Built Home
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a home like this, or just like to talk high performance housing, please connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Deeks & The RDC Team
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017