Energy-efficiency certification comes to multi-family homes
By Josh Skapin, Calgary Herald
July 31, 2013
Built Green Canada has branched out with a new plan for energy efficiency in multi-family development. Since 2003, the third-party national certification program has offered builders a rating based on the construction methods and materials used in single-family homes.
In June, Built Green Canada launched its High-Density Program, which certifies energy efficiency in wood-frame construction of residential structures three-and-a-half storeys and taller in Alberta.
“The same principles we built our single-family program on were applied to HD [high density],” says Built Green Canada executive director Jenifer Christenson.
Ratings are based on a checklist that includes use of materials such as energy efficient furnaces, air conditioners, appliances, windows, and lighting options, plus water-saving toilets, low-flow showers and faucets.
A home’s energy efficiency is rated bronze, silver, gold or platinum, which is the highest.
Built Green had a multi-storey and residential tower program in place for three years before creating its High-Density Program, which has been in a pilot phase since 2011.
“We have worked with several builders during this pilot phase to ensure the program addresses their needs and because of our industry-driven approach to program development — by builders for builders — they’re easier to administer than many other programs,” says Christenson.
There have been no enrolments in the High-Density Program since it launched in June, however, Christenson says projects are pending.
Since Built Green opened its multi-storey and residential tower program in 2008, 124 projects encompassing 2,710 units have enrolled. This includes 38 projects with 1,762 units in Alberta.
Christenson says there are many reasons a Built-Green-certified development can be a wise choice for home buyers, including cutting costs on energy bills.
“Consumers will save money as improved efficiency means cost savings from the perspective of lower monthly operating costs,” she says.
GREEN IS THE COLOUR
Built Green Canada is a third-party certification program that promotes and rates the energy-efficiency of building materials and construction practices in new homes. The program focuses on five areas: resource efficiency, comfort, health, durability and enhanced value of homes. Built Green is guided by a board of directors led by president Dave Turnbull, who works for Landmark Homes in Edmonton. The Calgary and area board members include Lance Floer of Excel Homes, Jason Agar of Morrison Homes and Murray Pound of Gold Seal Homes in Carstairs. For more information, visit builtgreencanada.com