Net Zero Design at KLC - Kawartha Lakes Construction
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Net Zero Design at KLC

May 28, 2021

Posted by Lindsay Wilson in Blog

KLC is offering net zero design.

KLC is offering net zero design on new homes. Our goal is to be proactive in net zero building as Canada moves towards its 2050 goal. We currently have several designers and developers undergoing training.

Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of green house gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. In looking at building more energy efficient homes, we need to consider the embedded carbon in the homes we are constructing. Above all, net zero is about building a tight envelope and then insulating it so that air cannot escape freely.

How does a builder become certified?

To attain the designation, one of the key aspects is that a builder has to construct a demonstration home utilizing best net zero building practices.

As a result, this year Scott Wootton, KLC’s owner, began construction on “Eaglecliff”. It is a demonstration home employing the principles of net zero. Consequently, “Eaglecliff” incorporates insulation values, window efficiency, heating and cooling equipment and an ICF basement.

What is tested?

Once “Eaglecliff” is complete it will be tested for air tightness. In addition, the equipment installed will also need to be certified as energy efficient. Finally, after passing the test, KLC will be able to register the home with Enercan as a net zero ready home. (A net zero home produces as much energy as it’s consuming. A net zero ready home, like “Eaglecliff”, is built with the ability to transition to a net zero home. For instance, “Eaglecliff” will be solar ready. The engineering for the trusses was done in a way that can support the weight of solar panels.)

Why is the carbon footprint and the embedded carbon in a home important?

Ultimately, it is a significant component of the lifecycle of a house. If the home is operating on very little operational cost, but it has a massive carbon footprint to build, it is still a negative for the environment and the planet.

KLC is also looking at ways to use more environmentally friendly components in our builds. Firstly, there are many choices that can be made in combination. For example, recycling glass products into aggregates. Secondly, there are also many different areas that can incorporate materials that are highly sustainable, areas like cabinetry or flooring.

Likewise, this year KLC completed construction on a cottage that received an Energuide rating of 170gj per year. In perspective a typical new home scores 222 gj under the Energuide rating. This translates into this cottage using 23.4% less energy while still being totally comfortable, functional, and beautiful.

The path forward.

In conclusion, finding the right path forward with net zero means looking at the long-term and short-term effects of cost and energy performance. After that, it’s coming up with something that makes the most sense for the client and the construction of the home.

Interested in learning more about net zero? Thinking about building a net zero home? We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you design a gorgeous home with a low carbon footprint. Give us a call at 705-652-5241 or email us.

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