Net Zero: The Future of Building

Net Zero: The Future of Building

Depending on the decade or geographic location, the styles of commercial buildings and homes have changed and seem to reflect the differing tastes of people and places over time. However, the common home aesthetic is often less about taste, but popular because it presents a practical advantage.

Ranch homes on the West Coast have low roof lines that actually serve to keep the interior cool. The classic New England style of Cape Cod re-emerged after the Great Depression because it had a simple design and required inexpensive materials. As we begin to enter this new decade, a new trend is surfacing that reflects our desire as society to reduce our environmental impact. Homeowners and builders have begun to explore how they can translate environmental conscientiousness and are defining a new era of building.

What is Net Zero Home Building?

Net Zero, or passive, homes and commercial properties are the latest standard in energy efficient building. For a home or building to be considered Net Zero it must produce as much energy as it consumes. Through a number of factors including construction materials, design, energy-efficient appliances, and more, Net Zero builds are able to reduce the amount of energy they consume by up to 80% over their counterparts. To counteract the energy Net Zero homes consume, solar panels are often used for energy regeneration.

The popularity of Net Zero as a concept is so prevalent, in 2013 the Canadian government launched the R-2000 Net Zero Energy Pilot aimed to recognize builders and homes reaching net zero energy performance in Canada. However, this is not just an endeavour for new builds. Though it may take some effort, well planned renovations like re-orienting windows to capture more passive warmth can help you retrofit your home to become net zero.

 

Are Your Net Zero Homes Actually Zero?

Yes. Since Net Zero buildings generate as much energy as they buy from local hydro companies, the energy impact is truly zero.

However, going Net Zero can become quite costly and if builders lack funding or homeowners lack the budget, a solution that satisfies both cost restrictions and conscience is available. Net Zero Ready builds are projects that have lowered their energy consumption to a minimum and are ready for solar PV installation and to connect to the grid with a PV array, but haven’t installed panels quite yet.

 

The Benefit of Building Net Zero Custom Homes

From Calgary to Edmonton to Red Deer, there are benefits to a Net Zero home wherever you’re located. They include:

  1. Cost-savings: Say goodbye to expensive energy bills and become more immune to fluctuations in energy prices with a Net Zero home. Since energy consumption is greatly reduced, so are utility bills and even more, if you have a Net Zero home you can earn credits from selling back the energy you generate to the grid. 

  2. Increased comfort: Net Zero buildings are tightly built with high quality materials and are well insulated. For example, FLR Developments uses Legalett’s insulated slab foundations and ThermalWall PH panel wall insulation, Frametech’s cold formed steel framing, and Soprema’s air and vapour barrier to ensure your builds are like a tightly sealed envelope.  No more experiencing drafts and now get even temperatures throughout the space, and a quieter environment because air and noise from the outside are kept exactly there, outside.

  3. Better air quality: High-quality air filtration systems are typically built into Net Zero builds as well as energy recovery ventilation systems, like these ones from Zehnder, which exchange stale, moist air from the inside with warm fresh air. This also improves air quality by reducing radon levels in the home.

 

No matter what you are looking to build- a gorgeous custom home, sleek inner city infill, chic backyard suite, or the perfect commercial space our Calgary custom building team has the expertise and knowledge to create an environmentally friendly passive, or net zero ready build. Contacts us today to find out if a net zero home is right for you.

WE CUSTOM DESIGN YOUR DREAM HOME OR BUSINESS

Whether you want a custom luxury home, or to bring your commercial venture to life, our builders make the process as straightforward, cost-effective, and simple as possible. From the design stage to taking care of all the permits, and expertly managing every stage of the process, we take the challenge out of new builds, so you can focus on what’s truly important: achieving your dream. 

We are proud to serve Western Canada. Want to know how we can get your building project completed on time and on a budget? Contact us at  (403) 980-2205  or fill in our online form.

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