First published by our print magazine affiliate SAB Magazine.

In May of 2017, the Canadian Home Builders Association [CHBA] officially launched its Net Zero Home Labelling Program, following the successful completion of a 15-month pilot project to validate technical and administrative procedures. The Program provides the industry and consumers with a clearly defined and rigorous two-tiered technical requirement that recognizes Net Zero and Net Zero Ready homes, and identifies the builders and renovators who can provide them.

The Net Zero and Net Zero Ready certification provides homeowners with a voluntary and affordable option to invest in energy conservation measures that go beyond those mandated by building codes.

In this way, the program supplements the existing Energy Star and R-2000 certifications, encouraging developers and builders of single-family houses and small multi-unit residential buildings [MURBs] to raise their own standards, and those of the industry as a whole.

A network of qualified service organizations, energy advisors and trainers is being established to work directly with the builders and renovators to design, model, test and inspect the homes, as well as deliver the required training.

Building science training is mandatory for participation in the Canadian Home Builders' Association Net Zero Labelling Program. This training introduces the concept of treating the building as an integrated system, the basic principles of building science and how they can be used to design reliable, high performance building assemblies.

First Net Zero labelled Home

The first home in Canada to receive the CHBA’s Net Zero label is located in Saanich, BC. Designed by Ryan Hoyt and built by Falcon Heights Contracting, the three-storey, 4,500 square-foot house steps down its sloping oceanfront lot, maximizing views from each level. The main floor has grade access from the road, and includes the living room, kitchen and home office. Family and guest bedrooms are located on the upper floor, while the full-height basement contains leisure and social space that leads out to a terrace.

Net Zero House
Net Zero Home © Falcon Ridge Contracting

The main floor living space is open-concept to maximize daylight and the ocean view, while patios and decks are strategically placed to optimize views, provide shelter and maximize privacy.

The house is rectangular in plan, with the longer north and south elevations facing the property lines, the east elevation facing the ocean, and the west elevation screened from the road by a detached garage.

The Net Zero Energy strategy began with a compact plan and a high-performance, airtight building envelope - including triple-pane windows and doors, with a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient [SHGC] of 0.18 and a North American Fenestration Standards [NAFS] performance grade rating of PG50 Plus.

Net Zero Home
Net Zero Home © Falcon Ridge Contracting

© SABMagazine

Compiled by SABMag from material supplied by Falcon Heights Contracting or published by the Canadian Home Builders' Association. Information on the Net Zero Program can be found at Information on the Net Zero Council can be found at