Alberta’s New Building Code Changes will see increased energy efficiency
Benefits for Homebuyers and Builders
Autumn marks the transition from summer into winter and with this, shorter days and cooler air. Builders and homeowners alike turn their attention to this time of change and all that goes with this—a return to school, family move-ins, finishing projects in the months remaining, and preparing for the year ahead.
Builders will prepare their strategic plans and as part of this, review their building processes in anticipation of building code changes coming into effect May 1, 2016. Section 9.36 of the building code will, for the first time, see energy requirements directly addressed. As such, builders will move to a more even playing field as they all face these increased regulations.
BUILT GREEN® builders have a leading edge over others, as they’re already building more sustainably. They’re engaged in an energy-efficient program, so they’ve got the knowledge and experience to deliver on these new requirements and more. The BUILT GREEN® programs complement the new energy requirement and go far beyond energy efficiency to include the preservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution, ventilation and air quality, and the improvement of home durability—everything from site orientation, building materials, HVAC equipment, windows, water and electrical consumption, and builder practices.
For the homebuyer, these building code changes offer a tremendous benefit—code changes will require builders to build more sustainably. And for those purchasing a BUILT GREEN® house, they will enjoy a healthier, more durable home with a lower environmental impact, as well as the ability to choose which green features they want. Further, BUILT GREEN® homes are affordable with a reduction in monthly operating costs, rebates, and more.
A healthier home environment means improved health and comfort for your family, as there is less stress on the respiratory and immune systems. For those with allergies, benefits can be significant. These homes have a significant reduction of drafts, cold spots, and temperature variance from room to room, due to the program’s attention to the home’s air tightness and ventilation.
BUILT GREEN® homes are third-party certified, and should you choose to purchase a BUILT GREEN® home, you are actually getting two-in-one—an EnerGuide label and a BUILT GREEN® seal. Depending on what features you choose with your builder and the level of certification you would like, your seal will be Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The EnerGuide label and BUILT GREEN® seal are usually affixed to the furnace.
BUILT GREEN® homes are also resource efficient, reducing their environmental impact during the build and in the day-to-day operation of running the home. Some of the options to choose from include: energy efficiency—furnaces and air conditioners, windows, appliances (Energy Star), etc.; electrical efficiency—Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) to timers and motion sensors to whole home automation; and water efficiency—water-saving toilets to low-flow showers and faucets to xeriscaping and more.
One of the most overlooked aspects of a sustainably built home is durability. BUILT GREEN® homes can feature a wide variety of durable features—we want to ensure that we aren’t building homes that need substantial renovation every five years. And improved efficiency means long-term cost savings; save on your water, electricity, and gas bills.
Plus, BUILT GREEN® homes are third-party certified, which recognizes the authenticity of the home and offers credibility: homeowners are able to review a detailed report and a checklist showing the products used. Homeowners have a terms of reference for the maintenance of the home and can rely on home performance expectations associated with the certification.
BUILT GREEN® builders are members of Built Green Canada and are required to meet a set of membership criteria, which includes training requirements. These are a group of progressive builders who are ahead of the code changes and are actively building sustainably. For a list of BUILT GREEN® builders in your area visit www.builtgreencanada.ca
If you’re already working with a builder, ask them for a BUILT GREEN® home—if they aren’t already a member, we can help www.builtgreencanada.ca/become-a-member