If you’re considering building a green home
Here’s the why and how
Published by New Homes and Condos Edmonton
Purchasing a BUILT GREEN® home offers many benefits—a healthier, more durable home with a lower environmental impact, affordability, and choices on “green” features.
BUILT GREEN® homes offer a healthier place to live, which means improved health and comfort for your family, with less stress on your respiratory and immune systems. Indoor air quality can be improved through various options, including low or zero volatile organic compounds, low or formaldehyde-free building materials, as well as the installation of a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV), which circulates air and removes airborne allergens, while replacing old, stale air with filtered, fresh air. Being as the HRV also recovers heat from outgoing air, this saves on energy while removing lingering odors and particles.
Since energy efficient homes are more airtight, there is less temperature variance from room to room, and drafts and cold spots are noticeably reduced. Many BUILT GREEN® homes use triple-paned windows for superior energy efficiency, which also substantially reduces sound from exterior sources.
Working with a builder, a homeowner can choose features from series of options focused on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource use, and overall environmental impact.
A note on cost savings:
- Homeowners enjoy costs savings in monthly operating costs with water, electricity, and gas bills. 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.
- 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.
- Consumers who purchase a BUILT GREEN® 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.
BUILT GREEN® builders are members of Built Green Canada and are required to meet a set of membership criteria, which includes training requirements. Visit the “Find a Builder” section of the website.
What makes a home BUILT GREEN®?
A BUILT GREEN® home is built with a holistic approach to sustainable building. While energy efficiency is a fundamental component, it goes beyond this and includes the preservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution, ventilation and air quality, and the improvement of home durability—everything from site orientation, building materials, HVAC equipment, windows, water and electrical consumption, and builder practices. A BUILT GREEN® home is third-party certified. And, with a BUILT GREEN® home, you get two-in-one—an EnerGuide label and a BUILT GREEN® seal. Depending on what features you choose with your builder and the level of certification you would like, your seal will be Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. These are often affixed to the furnace; however, some also invest in a BUILT GREEN® plaque that appears on the outside of the home or on the sidewalk.