British Columbia home takes aim at new efficiency standards

Fri, 10/12/2012 - 08:39

The construction of the first "passive house" in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, recently began, as the homeowner who purchased the plot is hoping to limit operating costs and emissions at his new residence.
The Saanich News reported that Mark Bernhardt is hoping to build a home that is 60 to 90 percent more efficient than standard homes that are constructed in the area.
By doing this, he is hoping to show fellow residents that it is possible to build a home that is both efficient and up to design standards. Although making energy efficient upgrades was important to Bernhardt, others in the community noted that projects need to occur with an eye to effectiveness.
"Everyone is in favour of increased energy efficiency in homes and being environmentally responsible, but it’s important not to continually ratchet up the energy efficiency without doing the due diligence," Casey Edge, executive officer with the Canadian Home Builders' Association, told the news outlet of a need for balance in the market. "British Columbia did that once already and it would be folly to do that again."
Products like a radiant heating system can help to limit the energy use for a home without requiring a significant construction project or upfront expenditure from a homeowner. The efficiency of the system is unparalleled, and companies like Warmboard help with the installation process throughout.
"People say over the long term, savings will be recouped, well that will be quite a long time," Bernhardt told the Saanich News. "We have to balance energy efficiency with affordability - especially in this region where we have some of the highest costs of living in North America."