Your 'Home of Tomorrow' is available today
February 3, 2017 by Nicole Bogdanovic
In the market for a new home? There’s a lot to consider, so it’s little wonder energy-efficiency can fall behind the more tangible finishing features like flooring and kitchen design. And while these are important, a project in Kelowna set out to show just how much of a difference energy-efficient features can make—and the early results are impressive.
In a unique, three-year research project called the Wilden Living Lab, local industry and post-secondary institutions worked together to build two identical homes side-by-side. One is built to today's building codes and standards. The second, called Home of Tomorrow, incorporates energy-efficiency features that go beyond today's codes, in particular, with the building envelope or ‘shell’.
According to the initial EnerGuide® test, the national standard for testing a home’s energy efficiency, the Home of Tomorrow is 53 per cent more efficient than a home built to today’s building code. That means it’s expected to use only 47 gigajoules of energy per year compared to a typical new Canadian home of today which uses, on average, 99 gigajoules per year:
Many of the energy-efficient components in the Home of Tomorrow are readily available, but having them all in one place is rare. And having the opportunity to compare the energy performance side-by-side with an identical house, is even more unique. This will allow researchers to analyse the energy performance of both homes over three years under normal living conditions using data made possible by FortisBC’s advanced meter infrastructure, a project completed last year.
For future new home buyers, this information may help them make more informed decisions about energy-saving components.
But what about people who are buying a new home today? Well, with the introduction of the ENERGY STAR® for New Homes standard from Natural Resources Canada, it’s become easier than ever to identify energy-efficient homes.
An ENERGY STAR new home is a minimum of 20 per cent more efficient than code. All Wilden show homes will be built to this standard. FortisBC also supports this program by providing builders and developers with a $2,000 rebate through our New Home Program.
Here’s a look at some of the energy-efficiency features in the Home of Tomorrow and available to savvy new home buyers of today:
|Feature||Energy saving compenent|
|Taps and nozzles|
*Savings of 1,100 KWh per year as calculated from FortisBC Regional Technical Forum HPWH Worksheet. Savings are based on a four person household in the Southern Interior using a blended January 2017 FortisBC electricity rate of $0.12955 per KWh.
*** Source: EnerGuide Homeowner Information Sheet, November 14, 2016 Total Home Solutions, Kelowna, B.C. Note: For a new home built to today’s building code, this would be equivalent to approximately 10 per cent of a home’s energy use.
This pioneering initiative is collaboration by Wilden developer Blenk Development Corp, AuthenTech Homes, UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College and FortisBC. wildenlivinglab.com.
- Wilden Living Lab
- FortisBC New Home Program
- ENERGY STAR clothes washers and dryers
- ENERGY STAR refrigerators
- Home Renovation Rebate Program
- Heat Pump Water Heater Program