Is Your New Home Prepared for the New Energy Code?
Did you know that the Alberta Building Code will be changing in November 2016? They will be adopting section 9.36 Energy Efficiency. This results in changes to the construction practices of new homes to ensure a higher energy efficiency level. This section of the code is divided into two main scopes; Prescriptive and Performance.
The Prescriptive Scope requires a builder to follow the specific requirements that are outlined in the energy code in order for each home built to obtain compliance with this section of the code. Details for these requirements are listed in the Alberta Building Code and would include items such as insulation values, windows, and the mechanical equipment installed in the furnace room of your home.
The Performance Scope requires a builder to create a reference model of the home that they are building as a baseline to determine the total energy usage of the home. The builder applies the changes to the reference model to match what will be done in the actual home. Once construction is complete, the reference model is compared to the actual home. As long as the home is equal or better than the reference model it will achieve compliance with the building code.
In order to achieve the highest EnerGuide rating for each home, Cedarglen Homes has determined that it is best to have each home modelled based on the individual requirements of the home sold, and therefore will follow the performance scope. We have taken this one step further than building code by also completing the final blower door test on each home as it is not a requirement under the code.
[caption id="attachment_2520" align="alignleft" width="240"] Example of a blower door test.[/caption]
In 2016 Cedarglen Homes launched an EnerGuide 80 initiative to prepare ourselves to fully understand what these changes are and to ensure that we as a builder are prepared for this new section of the Alberta Building Code to come into enforcement. We are offering a minimum EnerGuide rating of 80* for every home purchased in 2016. To date the results have been amazing as we have seen ratings as high as 83 which offers you, the Purchaser, incredibly energy efficiency on your new home.
What is EnerGuide 80?
EnerGuide is the official label from the Government of Canada for rating the energy consumption and efficiency of varied products, and in this case for labeling the energy consumption of a new home. The scale for EnerGuide goes from 0-100 with 0 meaning least efficient and a rating of 100 indicating products are the most energy efficient. When rating a home, the EnerGuide program focuses on the home as a system and looks at the energy efficiency and the air tightness of the house. Some of the benefits to having an EnerGuide 80 home is that they are less expensive to operate, more environmentally friendly and overall more comfortable to live in. Here is a list of the standards that we include to ensure that we meet our EnerGuide 80 initiative*;
- R60 attic insulation provides a higher R-value and minimizes the transfer of heat. Industry standard: R40.
- Triple pane insulating glass provides added performance benefits, especially in extreme climates, as it features additional glass and airspace for improved insulation. Industry standard: double pane.
- R20 Basement exterior wall insulation provides a higher R-value and minimizes the transfer of heat. Industry standard: R12.
- Industry standard: not included.
- Tankless water heater heats water directly without the use of a storage tank. As a result, tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. This system uses energy only when there is a demand for hot water. Industry standard: mid-efficiency hot water tank.
- 95% high efficiency furnace. Industry standard: 92% high efficiency furnace.
- 2lb spray foam to rim joists, 1/2lb spray foam around windows and doors, as well as spray foam to all exterior penetrations. Industry standard: batt insulation and poly vapour barrier.
- Wood backing and acoustic seal to potlights and bath fans. Industry standard: not included.
- Airtight electrical boxes with gaskets to exterior walls. Industry standard: metal electrical boxes.
Who says you have to choose between quality and cost? With these measures in place, Cedarglen Homes is confident that we will provide energy proficient homes that meet the EnerGuide rating of 80* with prices starting in the $420,000’s! When making such a big investment, make sure that you are getting the quality and value that you expect.
Have a great weekend,
*This is a Cedarglen Homes marketing document and subject to change. EnerGuide 80 applies to the standard plan only on a standard lot for homes purchased in 2016. Any revisions made to the standard plan may affect this rating. In the event of a dispute between this document and a contract, the contract will prevail. E&OE. Revised and effective 07/2016.