Net Zero Energy Homes pilot program goals
The goal of the R-2000 Net Zero Energy homes pilot program in Canada was to improve the performance standards of homes, and to raise awareness of energy-efficient green home building techniques among builders.
Through participating in this pilot project, every builder became licensed as, or was re-licensed as, an R-2000 certified builder. Several different archetypes were built, ranging from detached single-family homes, 4 different town homes and a six-plex multi-unit residential building as well.
To keep the attention of the green building community, This Net Zero home construction program focused on off-the-shelf technologies to ensure that it did not rush the home building industry into high-performance building techniques that were beyond their experience range or comfort levels.
A little push of the envelope is a great thing to keep people engaged, but if this program went too far into the off-grid home construction arena it could be viewed as some fringe building technique like the Earthship and turn off builders and homeowners. Any new advance in house construction has to be scalable and not stray too far too quickly from the current norms that builders are familiar with.
What are Net Zero Homes?
In a nut shell, a Net Zero House is one that produces as much energy as it consumes. It starts with an energy efficient building envelope, high-quality windows, high-efficiency heating and ventilation systems to keep the overall consumption of the home as low as possible, and then renewable energy sources like roof top solar panels must provide enough power to operate the home. Read more about the Net Zero Home Pilot program beginnings, and here we will cover the results.
Net Zero Energy Homes pilot program results
Under the pilot program, 23 individual Net Zero Energy Houses were built by six different builders (two from the RFP and four under the ecoEII project): Construction Voyer, Habitat Studio & Workshop Ltd., Mattamy Homes, Minto Communities Canada, Reid’s Heritage Homes, and Sloot Construction Ltd.
Through the Pilot, all of these builders became new (or were re-licensed as) R-2000 builders. The Pilot also gave the opportunity to build a range of different archetypes, including detached (single family) dwellings, four townhomes and a six-plex multi-unit residential building.
Throughout this Pilot there were a number of homes that weren't approved because they either: didn't meet the labelling deadline, they did not install the necessary PV solar panels for providing their own power, or they included technologies that weren't improved within the program. However, even homes that weren't approved for the pilot provided helpful insight for fine tuning the program in the future.
Ecohome would like to extend congratulations to the six builders that successfully achieved Net Zero Energy Performance under the R-2000 Net Zero Energy Pilot!