At first glance, it is difficult for an average person to identify a ‘green’ home or ‘green features’. A green home typically uses less energy and water, fewer natural resources, creates less waste, and is healthier and more comfortable for the occupant. In a nutshell, green features of a home will dramatically reduce or eliminate the negative impact on our environment. Implementing green features in a home will also typically result in lower energy bills and better indoor air quality.
The following are examples of green technologies we use:
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs)
ICFs are hollow blocks, panels, or planks made of rigid foam that are erected and filled with concrete to form the structure and insulation of exterior walls. ICFs increase insulation values, reduce air tightness and increase thermal mass.
Radiant Floor Heating
A high density insulation board with integrated grooves houses hydronic heating tubes and also insulates the concrete slab. Heated water travels through the tubes and heats the concrete floor.
Extracts ground source heat for heating, cooling and hot water pre-heat. As seen in the diagram 1 – shows the coils in the ground where the heat is extracted, 2 – shows the heat pump and 3 – show the energy being used inside a home.
Water Storage Tank
These tanks store rain water captured from the roof which is used for irrigation and other non-potable purposes. This reduces the demand for city water.
Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) or Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)
These systems offer a controlled method for ventilating a home while minimizing energy loss. During the winter, warm inside air is exhausted to the fresh, cold supply air in order to warm it, and during the summer, cold inside air is exposed to the warm supply air to cool it. An ERV’s heat exchanger transfers water vapour along with the heat, thereby controlling humidity, while an HRV only transfers heat.
Decorative item that allows solar gain in the winter and provides shading in the summer which saves energy as it reduces the need for air conditioning.
Drain Water Heat Recovery
Drain water heat recovery (DWHR) is the process of recovering part of this valuable energy from the warm water, and using it to preheat your incoming cold fresh water.
Photovoltaic Systems (Solar Panels)
Photovoltaic systems convert sunlight directly into electricity. The initial investment for a solar panel system can be paid for by selling your surplus energy to the government. Ontario offers an incentive microFIT program which allows you to sell your energy back at a higher price, therefore turning a profit while reducing green house gases.
Blower Door Test
Air leakage accounts for 25-40% of energy loss within a home. This test is used to measure the amount of air leakage within a home. A typical home has approximately 3-4 air changes per hour. Here are some examples of air tightness from green homes:
- ENERGY STAR Home – less than 2.5 air changes per hour @ 50 Pascals
- R-2000* Home – less than 1.5 air changes per hour @ 50 Pascals
- Passive House – less than 0.6 air changes per hour @ 50 Pascals
Chem-Bio Air Wash Machine
This machine, used during the final stages of all our construction projects, filters 1000 CFM of air per minute. A HEPA filter removes 99.97% of air particles at 0.3 micron and a VOC (volatile organic compound) filter absorbs most air pollution emitted by building finishes – for example paints, sealants, varnishes, etc.