WHAT EXACTLY IS A NET ZERO HOME?

Net Zero is a term that is used often these days and can describe buildings, companies and even countries. It is a measurement of one thing that nets out – or balances – with the measurement of another thing, to equal zero. In the case of a home, it refers to the amount of energy that the home produces versus the energy that it consumes.

While we are defining terms, high performance needs to be defined here as well. In the world of home building, high performance is used to describe a home that is energy efficient with year-round comfort, health, durability and sustainability – benefitting the environment. They are also quieter, safer, and more controllable – offering utility and maintenance savings, and increasing the value of your home.

Now back to Net Zero Homes. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) has created the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program to clearly define the home and requirements for the builder or renovator.

 

A CHBA NET ZERO HOME

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A CHBA Net Zero Home – new or renovated – produces as much clean energy as it consumes to net to zero energy consumption over a year. They are up to 80% more energy efficient than typical new homes and use renewable energy systems – usually solar panels – to produce the remaining energy they need. The result: the ultimate high performance home where every part of the house works together to create exceptional energy performance and the ultimate in comfort –a home at the forefront of sustainability. It all adds up to a better living experience for you and your family.

The CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program has a rigorous two-tiered technical requirement that recognizes both the home and the builder or renovator. Builders are required to pass training courses delivered by CHBA Qualified Net Zero Trainers. Then, CHBA Qualified Net Zero Energy Advisors work directly with the builder to design and independently model, test and inspect each home to ensure it has met the program’s technical requirements. The certified home will have permanent labels placed on the electrical panel – a Net Zero Home label from the CHBA and an EnerGuide label from Natural Resources Canada which details the energy consumption of the home.

Homeowners should be wary of claims by others like “near net zero” which doesn’t have a definition or a program like the CHBA Net Zero Program – that includes independent verification. Over 1700 homes have been labelled by the program since it began in 2015.

 

net zeroTHE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CHBA NET ZERO HOME AND NET ZERO READY HOME

 

A Net Zero Ready Home is a Net Zero Home that has a renewable energy system designed for it that will allow it to achieve Net Zero Home performance, but the renewable energy system is not yet installed. All the other parts of the building are complete, and it is wired to easily install the renewable energy system in the future.

 

 

 

HOW DOES A CHBA NET ZERO HOME ACHIEVE HIGH PERFORMANCE?

 

A high performance home is one that is designed and built as a system: tightly built envelope with better insulation and wall systems, windows, ventilation and mechanical systems. Designed using modeling software, they are constructed without compromise to include the latest and greatest in building science, achieving optimal, high performance.

We recommend Our Design Build Process for Net Zero Custom Homes because it is no small task to achieve net zero energy consumption. Meticulous planning and integrating various systems and technologies is needed to ensure the house produces as much energy as it consumes – like coordinating architectural design, energy systems, materials selection, and building envelope efficiency. Our process encourages collaboration to arrive at innovative solutions and creative design strategies to overcome challenges and maximize energy efficiency without compromising aesthetics or comfort.

 

WHERE IS THE PROOF THAT MY HOME ACHIEVES NET ZERO?custom house designcustom house design

 

Any builder can claim to build energy efficient homes. However, energy efficiency is not subjective – it can be measured. There are two tests that we use to independently measure and verify the energy efficiency and quality of our homes and both are required for the permanent registration and labeling of CHBA Net Zero or Net Zero Ready certified homes: The Blower Door Test and The EnerGuide Rating.

Both tests are performed at the home by independent, licensed professionals and Qualified Energy Advisors. You will be provided with records of test results and permanent labels and certifications. Natural Resources Canada also conducts random quality assurance on EnerGuide labelled homes. This is another check to ensure that these programs have credibility and integrity.

 

 

 

When the time is right, we’d naturally love to work with you in designing and building your Net Zero custom home.

It all starts by Booking A Free Discovery Session, so you can get off to the right start in planning and building your custom home.

Design your dream house

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Our Free Guide – How To Get Your PROVEN High-Performance Comfortable & Healthy Home.

Read More about Net Zero Homes and Our Design and Build Process.

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Sustainable home construction

Paul Gambino

Paul’s Business, Financial, and System skills ensure every aspect of your home’s construction runs smoothly and safely with no surprises, and finishes on time and on budget.

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