Energy efficiency ratings
How does the EnerGuide rating (EGH) of our homes compare to that of a typical home? Homes that meet the minimum guidelines in the current Alberta Building Code have an EGH of 70. Upcoming revisions to the Building Code will change that minimum to 78.
At Habitat Studio, we do better:
- Our minimum specification results in houses with EGH 82.
- About half of our houses are built to EGH 86, which meets the requirements for the Net-Zero Ready label proposed by National Resources Canada (NRCan).
- We can now design and build net-zero houses (EGH 100) on most sites.
Most builders have no idea how efficient (or inefficient) their buildings really are. We use NRCan’s HOT2000 program or the Passive House Planning Package (PHPP) software early in the design stage to predict how much energy a house will use. This lets us fine-tune the insulation, the windows, the shape, the mechanical system, and other features to get you the best value per dollar.
Third party verification
American real estate studies have shown that houses with third party energy performance verification sell faster and for higher prices. Besides enhancing the resale value of your house, third party verification assures you that you will get the energy reduction benefits you pay for, protecting you against greenwashing. We have had dozens of our houses rated under the NRCan EnerGuide for Houses (EGH) system. We have also gotten LEED certification, and can get Passive House certification for projects that meet the requirements of those programs.
Passive House the highest energy efficiency standard in the world. Meeting the standard in Alberta is a significant challenge. We embrace the Passive House methodology and have been incorporating selected aspects of it into our houses.
Renewable energy options
A better building envelope will take you a long way toward a sustainable house. After optimizing energy savings, it is worth considering renewable energy sources. These include:
- Passive solar energy (used to some degree in most of our houses)
- Photovoltaic energy (solar electricity)
- Solar thermal energy
- Geothermal energy
- Air source heat pumps
For more information on our environmental standards and practices, contact us.