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Posts Tagged ‘Benefits’

Net Zero Houses

Here on the West Coast of British Columbia, and indeed worldwide, sustainability and environmental protection are top of mind with eco-conscious builders and homeowners. Certainly, many of us strive to protect the beauty of our precious environment while pursuing innovative ways to live greener every day of our lives.

Builders and homeowners embrace a greener way of living by supporting the construction of Net Zero Energy homes. These homes are the pinnacle of energy efficiency, designed and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes annually.

What is Net Zero?

The definition of a Zero Energy Building or Zero Net Energy Building is a structure with zero net energy consumption. In other words, the total amount of energy used by the building each year approximately equals the amount of renewable energy created on site. Consequently, these types of buildings generate a smaller amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than traditional builds. 

MIKE HOLMES: ““Net-zero homes produce as much energy as they consume. Given rising energy costs these homes are becoming increasingly more popular.””
Photo Credit: Joern Rohde, RDC Fine Homes

A further definition, according to Mike Holmes of HGTV online, “A Net Zero home produces its own energy locally and should aim to produce at least as much energy as it consumes. EnerGuide rates the energy performance of the home; the higher the rating, the more efficient the home. The lower the EnerGuide number the better energy performance of the home is. In order for a home to be completely Net Zero, it will most likely need to incorporate solar power or utilize some form of renewable energy source.”

Concerned individuals choose a net zero home build because they’re up to 80% more energy efficient than typical new home builds. They produce as much clean energy as they consume. All this plus a more comfortable living space and reduced future energy costs for the homeowner.

The features that enable a Net Zero Energy Home to do what it does comprises sourcing passive heat from the sun, using air-sourced and ground-sourced heat pumps, as well as the installation of solar panels.

Benefits

There are further benefits to living in a Net Zero Home:

  • All home features work together to minimize the household’s environmental footprint.
  • Comes equipped with water-saving fixtures and appliances.
  • Produces as much clean, renewable energy as the structure consumes.
  • Empowers homeowners to help protect against climate change and preserve our natural resources.
  • Provides a quiet, peaceful living atmosphere due to superior insulation.
  • Provides clean fresh air indoors via a filtration system that reduces allergens and other air pollutants for a healthier living environment.
  • Delivers outstanding year-round comfort with advanced construction methods and materials, in addition to heating, cooling, and ventilation systems that maintain comfortable, consistent temperatures everywhere in the home.
  • Offers durability with high-performance windows, superior insulation in walls and roofs, all built to higher standards than conventional homes.
  • Protects the homeowner from future increases in energy prices.
  • Generates minimal year-round utility bills.
  • Built with an advanced foundation system with superior insulation qualities.

 

Why Choose Net Zero?

Net Zero Houses are important to us for several reasons. For one, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation describes a substantial rebate on your mortgage insurance premium when you invest in a Net Zero Energy Home. Furthermore, they’re not limited to new builds, although it takes some planning, renovating an old home to a net-zero home is possible and the energy savings are worth the effort.

In order to build a net zero home, the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) has a labelling program to guide consumers. They are also a rich source of information to help plan a net zero build.

Longhouse has long been a supporter and partner in a number of sustainable building projects. We are proud to support these types of endeavours and believe they’re a mainstay of our future. If you’re searching for a more efficient, sustainable way of living, a net zero home is a sensible choice. 

Benefits of Building with Cedar

Benefits of Building with Cedar

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products

Cedar trees grow where the weather is damp. Due to the destructive nature of fungus, microorganisms and insects in these conditions, cedar trees have developed self-protective qualities which allows the cedar trees to fend off insects, rots and temperature related stresses. It’s because of this inherent ability that cedar wood is extremely valued in areas where humidity, temperature and cracking problems can occur.

Unlike other types of wood, cedar will not warp due to moisture due to its remarkable dimensional stability. Meaning, that despite weather, humidity or temperature conditions, cedar wood doesn’t change its size or dimension, making it perfect for house siding. And being a light, porous type of wood, cedar can also absorb noise, which can be beneficial when used as fencing or siding. The oil within the wood emits an earthy, woodsy and slightly sweet scent which not only enhances the atmosphere in and around your home, but also helps to keep moths and other insects at bay making it a popular choice for around hot tubs and saunas.

Benefits of Building with Cedar

Building with cedar wood is also environmentally friendly as it’s actually more environmentally superior to synthetic products. It has a negative greenhouse gas effect, meaning it actually removes these gasses from the atmosphere, and it’s renewable and biodegradable. The unique tones and patterns of cedar make it a popular choice for adding a warm, durable, natural beauty to the exterior of homes as siding, eaves, decking, soffits and fascia. Cedar doesn’t have to be stained because of its inherent qualities, but in most cases pre-stained is recommended, making it great for any type of home.

The aesthetics of cedar wood, especially the colouring of the Western Red Cedar which is rich with crisp colours and tonal properties can magically transform outdoor spaces, liven up home décor, and inspire innovative architectural designs. Great for adding light and warmth to any area, cedar comes in a smooth or knotty variety. Each variety has its own characteristics giving it its own natural and distinct signature.

The many benefits of building with cedar wood goes back centuries with the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. Today, more and more discerning architects and builders are enhancing their projects with this beautiful and sustainable resource. No man-made product can match the beauty, performance and longevity of cedar. It seems nature still knows best despite all efforts at imitation.