Kamloops leading in the green
Starting this fall, the way new homes are built is going to change in a big way.
After Sept. 8, new green building code requirements will come into effect across the province, all in an effort to increase energy and water efficiency in new homes.
And to help builders adjust to the new regulations known as Bill-34, the Canadian Home Builders Association of Kamloops (CHBA) is offering several Built Green two-day courses.
The Built Green program essentially views the house as a system, looking at ways to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
The Built Green course being offered by CHBA a major supporter of the program is a condensed two-day program that gives builders all the information needed to understand the new standards.
Built Green is based on a point system used by the EnerGuide house rating chart a federal rated program.
And depending on the points, a home will get a bronze, silver, gold or platinum rating.
In order for a builder to be certified as a Built Green, they must belong to the CHBA, take the course and pass with 80 per cent or higher.
Patsy Bourassa, executive officer with CHBA-Kamloops, built the first Built Green home here three years ago for herself, in part to see just how the process would work.
Her home scored an 83, good enough for a gold rating.
Bill-34 mandates all builders have to build to an EnerGuide rating of 77.
While Bourassa acknowledged it was a difficult process at the time mostly because manufacturers weren’t familiar with green concepts she’s very happy with her home and said her gas and electricity costs are a third less.
She points out there are a number of green principals that need to be applied to get a Built Green rating.
Some of those principals include better insulation, energy efficient furnaces and double-paned Low E windows to name a few.
Bourassa also used Energy Star appliances in her home, including a front-load washer, gas fire-dryer and a tankless hot water system that relies on copper coils for heat.
She said builders and owners may as well embrace Green Built homes.
“You’re going to have to do it anyway,” she said.
The federal government through the Office of Energy Efficiency offers a number of grants and incentives for homes that use energy efficient appliances.
A list of incentives can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca.
Green Built courses are being held June 12-13, July 24-25 and Aug. 21-22.
Bourassa said the public is also welcome to take part in the course.
For more information and to register contact the CHBA-Kamloops office at 828-1844.