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Posts Tagged ‘Future’

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.


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. 

The Future Looks Bright for Longhouse

The Future Looks Bright for Longhouse

The Future Looks Bright for Longhouse

Owned and operated by the Jenkins family in Parksville Qualicum since 1985, Longhouse Specialty Forest Products is renowned for adhering to sustainable forest methods. Thereby, the company is dedicated to preserving the longevity of Vancouver Island’s old growth forests. Why is this important? Because they are a family-run company that cares about present and future generations and consistently live by this code.

The Future Looks Bright for Longhouse

Brian’s wife’s family began milling wood in Qualicum back in the 1890s and the Jenkins clan soon followed in the 1920s. Today, Moila Jenkins is Operations Manager and their daughter is Assistant Sales Manager. Owner/Operator Brian Jenkins and his family bring an amazing depth of knowledge as the primary unfair advantage that Longhouse presents over competitors. Not only do they distribute direct anywhere in the world, but the business is in control of product quality every step of the manufacturing process. Clients have received finished product as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia, and New York State. They also give the highest dollar value for their product by selling directly to the end user.

Jenkins passionately maintains that his company leaves a smaller carbon footprint than other mills simply due to the fact that every phase of manufacturing takes place in their facility. There is no need for additional trucking or middlemen. From custom millwork to custom coatings and kiln-firing, all the work is completed on one property.

The progression of Longhouse to adding on a final process—pre-staining—gives them another huge advantage over competitors. You will be hard pressed to find another business that does it all, including pre-stained cedar siding, with access to the best supply lines. Longhouse does it all at cost and that translates into the best price for the customer.

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products maintains the coveted FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified by the Rainforest Alliance since 2007. The FSC® is a non-profit organization that uses third party certifiers. As a consumer, when you purchase FSC® certified wood products, you can rest assured that the wood is sourced from FSC® certified forests. The company is also a proud member of The Victoria Residential Building Association, the Canada Green Building Council, and The Greater Vancouver Home Building Association. They also belong to the South Island Woodlot Association.

An additional competitive edge is their mill delivers projects direct to any address, worldwide. With objectives to increase sales five-fold over the next five years, this family business is fast becoming a major player on a global scale. Indeed, Longhouse presently boasts facilitating over 14,000 projects globally in the construction and design industry.

The Future Looks Bright for Longhouse

Jenkins states that Vancouver Island provides the most high grade softwood in the world. Although they specialize in Western Red Cedar, Longhouse also works with all interior and coastal softwoods, such as yellow cypress (cedar), Douglas-fir, Pacific Coast hemlock, and spruce pine fir (SPF). Specialty products manufactured by the company range from custom cut yellow cedar decking, solid wood flooring, cedar fascia and soffits, different varieties of FSC® certified cedar siding—both sourced from Vancouver Island’s coastal rainforests, Japanese grade spruce siding, white oak flooring, and Douglas Fir products (flooring, timbers, and beams).

Longhouse Specialty Forest Products are harvested, milled, and finished on Vancouver Island. Their fine products are integral to a coveted eco-friendly and viable modern-style building. Photographs of completed projects displayed on the web site reveal striking natural beauty. The future for this family business is dedicated sustainable growth and the future is, and always will be, green.