Article provided courtesy of 4 Elements Integrated Design
Recent developments in Alberta are showing this to be a very exciting time in the housing industry. With municipality building permit rebates, preferential mortgage terms and now cash rebates up to $10,000 for high performance homes, this is the best time to be building or buying environmental homes.
The price of success: thousands of “green” products now line stores and half a dozen green verification programs now exist in the Alberta market. Making clear sense of these options is becoming more of a challenge. Lindal Cedar Homes and the 4 Elements team are experienced building professionals and Certified Energy Advisors and Architectural Technologist. We can provide guidance, modeling, testing and detailed reporting to help your project meet high levels of energy and environmental performance.
All rebate programs in Alberta currently require 3rd party computer simulation [modeling) and verification [testing) by Certified Energy Advisors [CEA]. EnerGuide Rating is a minimum verification for provincial rebates. EnerGuide Rating provides a standard measurement of a home’s energy consumption, allowing comparisons of the energy intensity of homes across Canada.
R-2000, Built Green and LEED Canada for Homes are additional certification programs that rate the energy and environmental impact of new construction and may qualify homes for additional municipal rebates.
1) Energy Simulation
Every EnerGuide home is simulated in the computer; this model provides valuable information on the home’s performance, and will be the basis for the final EnerGuide Label issued after construction. We recommend every environmental project start with modeling as early in the design / construction process as possible. Â The earlier we become involved, the greater the advice and assistance we can offer. Also, earlier choices can have a greater impact on final performance.
2) Optimization and Consulting
Preliminary simulated performance below your targeted goal? Let our team of certified energy advisors and architectural technologists guide your project to higher energy efficiency, through cost effective choices.
o Multiple simulation runs to pinpoint best performance options,
o Creation of performance packages of options that offer best EnerGuide performance
o Full Report outlining results and performance packages.
o Cost effectiveness
o Customized upgrade options specific to each project
3) Pre-Drywall Testing (optional)
To ensure your project will meet performance targets and requirement of certification programs, an on-site air tightness test and inspection is conducted. This walk through inspection identifies potential trouble areas in the home’s insulation level and installation, air barrier installation and other building measures. Corrections can then be made before final testing.
Pre-Drywall Testing and inspection
o Full report outlining problem areas with photo documentation.
o Preliminary air tightness testing results (best indicator of overall performance)
o Expected EnerGuide performance level (if modeled at time of test)
4) Final Air Tightness Testing
A final air tightness test conducted by your Certified Energy Advisor [CEA) establishes final performance of your new home. Your CEA will upload all information to your account with EnerVision, and your EnerGuide Label is mailed and placed as a permanent record of the home’s performance as constructed. Final inspection and submission of paperwork to service organization
What is an EnerGuide 80+ Home?
The EnerGuide scale is a rating system that compares all new homes built in Canada, from code minimum construction level, to super high performance, off-grid homes. The scale goes from 0 to 100, with standard new construction rating at 68-72, and a Net Zero home, using no energy, annually being 100.Â Without completing the Energy Simulation using Hot2000, an estimate of the potential EnerGuide rating is impossible; every home shape and size loses and uses energy very differently. However, from our experience, we can provide some generalizations to help you understand the possible performance of your home. But remember, every home is different and modeling is the only way to know for sure.
Common Features of EnerGuide 80 homes:
- Better than R20 typical wall insulation
- Better than R40 typical ceiling insulation
- Excellent envelope air tightness
- Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system
- High efficiency heating and domestic hot water systems
- Excellent windows with Argon fill, low E coatings and insulated spacers
- Fully insulated basements with more than R12 and slab edge insulation
Possible Features of EnerGuide 86 Homes:
- Very high performance envelope
- Solar Thermal collector panels
- Solar Photovoltaic panels [PV Systems)
- Ground Source heat pump heating systems (Geothermal)
EnerVision – EnerGuide rating service organization
Climate Change Central - For more information on available rebates
CMHC – Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. – Green Mortgage Provider
EnerGuide Rating Service – Energy efficiency homes measurement system
Built Green – Green Building Resource
LEED Canada for Homes – Green Building Program for Owners and Builders