Tag Archives: Net-Zero Energy

Affordable Energy Efficiency

Affordable Energy Efficiency

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Affordable Energy Efficiency

Images courtesy of Butterwick Construction & Carpentry Ltd.

Newly built Canadian homes have been steadily increasing in energy efficiency over the years – a code-built home today is 47% more efficient than one from 1985. Still, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and its members are hard at work pursuing still greater energy efficiency innovations for voluntary adoption, while at the same time advocating that regulation wait until next levels don’t reduce affordability. But to truly address climate change in the housing sector, it is the existing housing stock that needs to be upgraded. Enter CHBA and its leading members again, as the pursuit of innovation for affordable deep energy retrofits working all the way towards net zero renovations kicks into gear.

Increasing Energy Efficiency in New and Older Homes

In new housing, industry leaders are paving the way to greater energy efficiency through voluntary programs such as the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program. Founded by CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Housing Council, which is now five years old, CHBA’s leading members are providing discerning homeowners with net zero and net zero ready homes today, while working to innovate for greater affordability and increasing market penetration with each year.

But improving new homes alone won’t achieve the national goal, and it won’t help the millions of Canadians who live in older homes and want improved energy efficiency. Canada has 14 million residential residences, and approximately half of the current housing stock was built before 1985. Many of these older buildings are far behind new homes when it comes to energy efficiency. Even if all the new homes built from now until 2030 (say 200,000 per year, or 2 million total) were built to zero emissions, we still wouldn’t hit our environmental target – not even close.

Why Retrofits Are the Future

Renovating the existing housing stock is the only way for Canada to reach its greenhouse gases target in the housing industry. And with the half of our housing consuming twice as much energy as everything built since, that’s a lot of opportunity for renovators.

Canadians want their homes to be energy efficient. Maybe it’s a sense of social responsibility, uncertainty around utilities, simply a desire to reduce increasing energy bills, or a bit of each, but today’s homeowners are looking for improved energy performance. In fact, according to CHBA’s Home Buyer Preference Survey, powered by Avid Ratings Canada, nearly 90% of recent homebuyers indicated that having an energy efficient home was important to them. The survey gathers opinions of thousands of recent new homebuyers each year, and their preferences can easily be applied to renovations as well.

As Canadians seek higher levels of performance and comfort, the industry continues to innovate to strive to meet those desires in the most cost-effective fashion. And that innovation is needed to begin retrofitting older homes, which come with their own unique challenges.

Older renovated homes like this extremely efficient retrofit by Butterwick Construction & Carpentry Ltd. in Edmonton, Alta., are voluntarily paving the way to Net Zero renovations.

Setting the Stage

Drastically improving the energy efficiency of an older home requires an in-depth technical understanding of building science. And the best examples we have of that are by looking at Net Zero Homes.

A Net Zero Energy (NZE) home is one that produces the same amount of energy it uses, on an annualized basis. These homes are extremely well-built: they have very airtight, well insulated building envelopes with high-performance windows and doors. They also use efficient, right-sized mechanical systems in order to reach higher levels of energy performance. In addition to being incredibly efficient, NZE homes have built-in renewable energy generation (mostly solar panels). In some cases, they incorporate energy storage systems which allow homeowners to bank energy for future use. A Net Zero Energy Ready home (NZEr) is built to the same level of performance, but installation of the renewable energy component is left to the occupant at a future date – a popular option among NZE builders and homebuyers.

In both cases, the result is a home that delivers unrivaled levels of occupant comfort, minimum environmental impacts, and utility bills with much lower energy consumption.

CHBA is leading efforts to bring NZE and NZEr homes to market as affordably as possible. As the industry voluntarily learns new efficiencies with the technology and building practices involved, building costs are decreasing. CHBA’s aim is to share efficiencies and innovation among industry-leading CHBA members so that eventually the cost of owning a NZEr home is comparable to one built to conventional standards.

The first step was a demonstration program in 2015, backed by Owens Corning Canada and the federal government, that saw the construction of 26 such homes across Canada by five leading residential builders. Based on this success, CHBA launched its Net Zero Home Labelling Program to ensure that each participating home is qualified by a third party to meet the specified technical requirements. The program also includes training requirements for participating builder members and energy advisors.

And now, that scope involves renovations.

Bringing Net Zero Solutions to Renovations

The move to bring NZE homes and renovations to the marketplace is being spearheaded by the residential construction industry itself, through the work of CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Housing Council.

A broad collaboration involving homebuilders, manufacturers, utilities, design experts, government agencies, and service providers, the Council’s primary focus is on how to support innovation in the industry with the goal of creating a market advantage for CHBA builder and renovator members voluntarily pursuing Net Zero Energy.

Currently, they’re working to extend the Net Zero Program to renovations, so that older homes that meet the program requirements can receive the Net Zero/Ready label. To date, more than 100 new homes in Canada have received the label, which includes third-party verification. The program is growing exponentially each year as demand grows for not only energy efficiency at an affordable price point, but the comfort and health benefits that come with NZE homes.

Learn more about the CHBA’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program at CHBA.ca/nze and NetZeroHome.com.

Sonja Winkelmann, CHBA’s Director, Net Zero Energy Housing


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Riverside at Hunters Pointe

Pre-construction pricing now being offered at Riverside at Hunters Pointe

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Pre-construction pricing now being offered at Riverside at Hunters Pointe

As part of the premium collection at the Residences at Hunters Pointe, all new home buyers of the Riverside release will receive $25,000 off the purchase of a luxury, single-detached, custom home, for a limited time only. This community is located in the heart of the Niagara region, overlooking the Welland Canal.

Limited-time promotion

Standard lots, as well as premium waterfront lots, are priced from $586,900. Executive bungalow-towns start at only $499,900. Riverside is currently under construction with expected occupancy in November 2019. Two stunning model homes, designed by Wendi Pelfrey from That’s Fab Design, are now open for viewing – one of which is the net-zero-ready Lancaster model that was nominated for Best Production Home, by the OHBA in 2018. To take advantage of pre-construction pricing, visit soon, as limited lots remain.

Net-zero-ready homes

Lucchetta is leading the way at Riverside. Net-zero-ready homes produce clean energy, and may use renewable sources, like solar or wind power, for any additional energy that is required. The net-zero-ready homes are quality built, custom homes that use 80 per cent less energy than homes built to the Ontario Building Code. In a net-zero-ready home, all systems are synchronized to work together – providing you with a home that is draft-free and maintains a consistent temperature, with up to 0.5 per cent air leakage, resulting in lower utility bills and a healthier indoor environment. “It equates to a better living experience, while doing your part against climate change,” says Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing. “Plus, it preserves our natural resources for future generations, while reducing your costs.”

Well recognized

Ugo Lucchetta started the company more than 60 years ago, and his sons, Robert and Ed, carry on the ethical traditions started by their father. Their hard work has paid off with ongoing appreciation, in addition to the loyalty and word-of-mouth praise expressed by their customers. Lucchetta Homes has won, or was nominated for, more than 26 awards by all levels of builders’ associations – local, provincial and national – a testament to their superior craftsmanship and customer service.

Niagara at its finest

There are many perks and benefits to living in this area, which include lower living costs, award-winning restaurants, world-class wineries, designer outlet shopping, casinos, the Shaw Festival, and its proximity to a plethora of other attractions and amenities. The GO train is well on its way to Niagara. And, for those who love to travel, the Buffalo and Niagara airports are easily accessible, as is the Toronto Pearson International Airport. Outdoor activities are plentiful, and include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, cycling, horseback riding and golfing. “Simply put,” says Kopyl. “This is a lovely place to live a very fulfilling life.”

Contact Information

lucchettahomes.com


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Markham City Hall

Markham commits to becoming Canada’s largest net-zero emissions city

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Markham commits to becoming Canada’s largest net-zero emissions city

 Markham City Hall

The City of Markham has set out to become a net-zero emissions city by 2050, as a result of a collaboration with Mattamy Homes Canada and Enwave Energy Corp.

The partners have announced an arrangement to research and design a pilot of about 300 homes in the Berczy-Glen neighbourhood, serviced by a community-scale distributed geothermal energy system for heating, cooling and domestic hot water.

“This is first major step to achieving our goal of becoming net-zero water, waste and emissions community by 2050, and this one of many innovative initiatives you will see with development partners,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Markham is a municipal leader in energy conservation and management. This project will set the standard for a new way of thinking about how we generate and distribute energy in North America.”

Model community

“This forward-thinking business model, where the burden of optimizing advanced heating and cooling equipment is transferred from the home owner to a private entity, will contribute to job creation and drive innovation adoption in the housing industry,” adds Brad Carr, CEO of Mattamy Homes Canada. “Mattamy has a long history of leadership in home building innovation, and we see this partnership as clearly aligned with our sustainability and innovation strategy.”

Read more: Markham, the city has grown up

Read more: 6 Ontario municipal elections to watch regarding housing

To achieve Markham’s target, the Municipal Energy Plan – Getting to Zero includes strategies for increasing and improving energy efficiency through implementing green technology, energy conservation and efficiency in all sectors of Markham.

Grant funding has been provided by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) for design activities.

Located in north Markham, the community in Berczy-Glen will utilize deep wells up to 250 metres, allowing the community to tap into geothermal energy. Heating and cooling will be delivered at the neighborhood level, through a single common ambient pipe buried underneath the community and connected to each home, similar to that of an electrical grid. The system will be maintained and operated by Enwave’s team of engineers, who will ensure the system is efficient and reliable.

Consumer benefit

This community scale model boasts several benefits to consumers, including: Greater energy efficiency through optimization; increased energy savings; reduced maintenance burden and costs; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. All of these benefits will increase comfort and convenience for residents.

Upon completion of the pilot, the model may be applied to future phases of the Mattamy development. The best practices and lessons learned from this partnership will help advance geothermal community energy systems across the GTA and beyond.

Construction is expected to begin in 2020.

How the geothermal system will work

  • Geothermal energy supplies space heating and cooling, as well as hot water, to each home
  • A closed loop piping system is installed 600 to 800 ft. underground, creating a ground heat exchanger
  • In winter, heat is extracted from the ground by circulating fluid through the pipes
  • The heater water is then circulated throughout the community and into individual homes
  • After the heated fluid is delivered to each home, the cooled fluid circulates back to the ground

 

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Markham: The city has grown up

 

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COVER STORY: EDITOR'S CHOICE - Lucchetta Homes

COVER STORY: EDITOR’S CHOICE – Lucchetta Homes

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COVER STORY: EDITOR’S CHOICE – Lucchetta Homes

Life your best life in Niagara

The principals of Lucchetta Homes know a good thing when they see it. As a result, purchasers benefit from their keen eye and their appreciation for only the finest locations in Niagara.

Bottom line – buying a home in Niagara is a fraction of the cost of those in the GTA, and the quality of life is far superior, according to Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing for Lucchetta Homes.

Last year alone, Lucchetta Homes won, or were nominated for, more than 20 awards by all levels of builders’ associations – local, provincial and national. It’s this recognition, that inspires them to keep upping the bar, and it’s what new homebuyers desire when seeking out the best in quality.

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITIES

Due to be released this July, Lucchetta is touting Davis Heights as Niagara’s finest new address. This luxury development will feature a limited release of bungalows and bungaloft towns, overlooking a ravine and the Niagara escarpment. In respect for a rare chestnut tree, Lucchetta will be building around those trees, in order to preserve them. This type of care is also evident in the attention to detail that they invest in each, and every, home.

At Davis Heights, the LUXE Collection will be custom curated by the renowned interior design firm Raphael Gomes Interiors. Two gorgeous model homes (opening in July), will feature a glass-encased wine cellar in the staircase filled with local wines. Homes will be priced from the $800,000s for floorplans that range from 1,600 to 3,000 square feet. The VIP Grand Opening for Davis Heights will be July 28 and 29, 2018 from noon to 5 p.m.

Riverside at Hunters Pointe has just launched in June 2018. There are two new stunning Model Homes to view. The Net Zero-ready Model Home features chic accents, contemporary architecture and sumptuous great rooms with 12-foot ceilings where Lucchetta’s signature luxurious quality is eminent. For a limited time, there is $25,000 off for any new purchase.

Riverside, features luxury bungalow towns and single detached luxury, custom homes. Homes are priced from $499,900. This limited release includes private waterfront, water-view canal lots.

To accommodate current needs and trends, Lucchetta Homes offers an array of newly designed exterior elevations. “We wanted to give our homeowners more choice. We listened to their needs and provided three different exterior elevations for every floorplan. There are contemporary, transitional and traditional plans to choose from,” says Kopyl.

When they’re not busy building homes, Lucchetta is involved in strengthening the neighbourhood.

“As we develop the area, giving back to the community is very important to us,” says Rob Lucchetta. “We are actively involved with many charities in the Niagara region.”

NIAGARA AT ITS BEST

While all homes are built to superior standards, it’s the Niagara area that fuels their passion. Kopyl, an industry expert, can attest to that. She is quick to mention all of the advantages of living in the area, which includes lower living costs, award-winning restaurants, worldclass wineries, beaches, designer outlet shopping, casinos and the Shaw Festival, as well as its proximity to a plethora of other attractions and amenities.

The GO Transit train is well on its way to Niagara. There are also fifteen-minute flights from Toronto to Niagara. And for those who like to travel, the Buffalo and Niagara airports are a convenient and inexpensive way to do so.

With an abundance of green space, outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, cycling, horseback riding and golfing.

“Simply put, this is a lovely place to live a very balanced, and fulfilled, life,” says Kopyl.

FAMILY VALUES

Ugo Lucchetta started the company more than 60 years ago and it quickly became known for its quality construction, craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service. Sons, Robert and Ed Lucchetta, are now at the helm and they carry on the traditions started by their father. Their hard work has paid off with ongoing recognition, in addition to the loyalty and word of mouth praise expressed by their customers.

“Our attention to detail, along with our goal to exceed our clients’ expectations, has culminated in luxury homes and resort style communities that exude both class and functionality,” says Ed Lucchetta.

LUCCHETTA HOMES

Go online for more information on any of Lucchetta Homes’ communities.

LucchettaHomes.com


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