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First CHBA Net-Zero labelled Home in Canada

Saanich house meets CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program

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 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 CHBA NZE 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 to deliver the required training.

The CHBA NZE Building Science Training is mandatory for participation in the CHBA NZE Labelling Program. The training introduces the concept of the building as an integrated system; the basic principles of building science, and how these 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 NZE 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 barbecue terrace.

The main floor living space is open plan to maximize daylight and views to the ocean, 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 the compact plan and a high-performance, airtight building envelope, including triple-pane windows and doors, with a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.18 and a North American Fenestration Standards [NAFS] performance grade rating of PG50 Plus.

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