About the Net Zero Program
What is a Net Zero Energy Home?
In simple language, a Net Zero Energy home produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis, depending on occupant behaviour. In terms of technology, materials and efficiency standards, the homes are built at least 15 years ahead of where the building industry is today. They include features such as advanced heating, cooling, ventilation, high-efficiency windows, superior levels of insulation and air tightness and solar panels that feed the electrical grid. Net Zero homes have been around for many years but they have typically been custom-built and at a significantly higher expense than regular homes.
National Net Zero Demonstration Program
The American Association of Architects set a goal that by 2030, all homes could be built to produce as much energy as they consume. Inspired, Owens Corning Canada proposed the first-ever national Net Zero Energy housing community demonstration project to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) as part of the ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative’s (ecoEII) call for proposals. Owens Corning included in its proposal, 5 hand-selected builders in 5 different regions across Canada. The builders were selected based on their experience, knowledge, and reputation. Reid’s Heritage Homes was selected to represent Southwestern Ontario in Fall 2013.
Owens Corning’s project was successfully chosen and funded by the NRCan ecoEII because it differed from past Net Zero projects, which have been custom built one-of-a-kind designs. This project is geared to the mainstream public, and the low-rise production builder, using products that are readily available to the average builder.
The overall national project will see the construction of at least 25 Net Zero Energy homes in four provinces – Nova Scotia, Québec, Alberta, and Ontario. Reid’s Heritage Homes will be constructing five Net Zero Homes by 2016 in its flagship Westminster Woods community in Guelph, Ontario.
Reid’s Heritage Homes is honoured to have been selected as a participant in this national demonstration program and has accepted this exciting building challenge with the goals of:
- Advancing the awareness and science behind sustainable building practices, by determining optimal innovative systems that will work in the ultra-efficient Net Zero homes
- Provide consumers with homes that will improve their lives
- Make these homes available to the mass market and to more homeowners than ever before
Net Zero homes will be healthy, safe, comfortable and durable, and will hedge against increasing energy costs. They will provide all of the benefits of resource-efficient, affordable sustainable housing, by making this option accessible to every day families.
Some of the benefits that Net Zero Energy Homes provide include:
- The potential for saving money on energy costs all year round and protecting families from future energy price increases
- Providing healthier, more comfortable living spaces with better indoor air quality, stable temperatures, and healthier building materials
- Lowering greenhouse gas emissions, conserving resources, reducing pollution, and minimize the household’s ecological footprint.
To build a Net Zero Energy Home, we have focused on the following items:
- Advanced home comfort delivery systems
- High efficiency water heaters
- Higher R values in walls
- Insulation of the basement slab
- Insulation the basement walls
- Advanced building enclosures
- Fresh air ventilation systems
- Renewable solar power
- Efficient electrical components