Building a green life
Owning a BUILT GREEN® home is a smart, responsible move for the environment—but also for you! Through the program, Built Green Canada builders offer healthier, more durable, comfortable homes with a lower environmental impact than code-built homes. Further, the program allows homeowners choices as to which green features they want.
Features are focused on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource use and overall environmental impact. Homeowners can work with their builder to choose from a series of options. These include options in 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.); water efficiency (water saving toilets to low-flow showers and faucets to xeriscaping) and more.
- A home built in the Built Green Canada program should save a minimum of approximately 10% in annual utility bills compared to a code-built home. Cumulatively, the savings can be substantial. Better efficiency means long-term savings with water, electricity, and gas bills.
- Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial mortgage insurance rebates are available for BUILT GREEN® homes.
- BUILT GREEN® certified homes offer the benefit of longer-term durability through the efficient use of building materials and processes. This means a longer life for the home with lower maintenance costs.
- Durability options can range from engineered lumber that resists warping to extremely durable exterior features such as 30-year shingles; this means fewer home renovations are necessary.
- Consumers who purchase a BUILT GREEN® certified home will benefit from an increase in market and resale value. Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s recent research has shown homes with green certification sell for close to 10% more on average than homes without green certification. Further, there are many jurisdictions in Canada where an energy assessment is necessary before a home is sold—saving the homeowner approximately $300 - $500 depending on location.
- There is a significant reduction of drafts and cold spots, due to the program's attention to the home's air tightness (all certified homes must have blower door tests performed by Certified Energy Advisors).
- Noise transmission is greatly reduced, due to triple-paned windows, increased insulation, and air tightness.
- Ventilation and indoor air quality are two important sections in the BUILT GREEN® checklist, and homeowners breathe easier because of it. For all the home's inhabitants, this means less stress on the respiratory and immune systems, and for those who suffer from ailments like asthma, the focus on improved air quality can become quite important and result in a much more comfortable home life.
- Proper ventilation also results in a reduced cleaning necessity: ventilation systems pull stale air and particles in the air (dust, etc.) out of the home, replacing these with fresh, clean air.
Owning a BUILT GREEN® home requires you to look at how you utilize energy and water. Builders and Renovators will supply you with the information on the systems in your home. Please review this information, as it is critical to ensuring that your home maintains its energy and water efficiency.
Changing your Furnace Filter
How often you need to change your furnace filter? Once a year is a good guideline, but if you are living close to new construction area, check it every six months as the dirt and dust will accumulate more rapidly.
Do you have a Heat Recovery Ventilator?
If the answer is yes, these are very good at maintaining the comfort of the home through all seasons. Ensure you know how to operate it in order to maximize the energy efficiency of your home.
Plumbing and Water Conservation
- Do not flush a lot of toilet paper, feminine hygiene, or cleaning products down your toilets. Paper and cotton will clog your pipes and can be costly in making repairs. Cleaning products will impact, not only the ground water systems, but the overall integrity of your pipes.
- Do not keep the water running when brushing your teeth.
- Pay attention to the length of your showers. If you have teenagers in your home, consider setting guidelines with them on shower length. Engage them in their responsibility to take care of our valuable water resources. Remember to set the example and keep your showers at a reasonable length.
- Pay attention to your water use in the kitchen. Are you running the sink unnecessarily? If so, what can you do differently to ensure better usage?