Page 1

the high-performance housing magazine

sPRING 2015

Strathcona

Net Zero House

Living laboratory in historic neighbourhood

Pape Village HOUSE Active and passive solar

THE LEED CANADA FOR HOMES 2014 certifications and selected profiles

THE ECOHOME DEMO HOUSE Stage two: building the walls

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

1


2

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015


The national source of information on Canadian sustainable high-performance homebuilding in partnership with www.ecohome.net.

spring 2015 6

THE ECOHOME DEMO HOUSE STAGE TWO

9

LEED CANADA FOR HOMES

18

PAPE VILLAGE HOUSE

Building the walls using the REMOTE system 2014 certifications and selected profiles Active and passive solar in the city

24 Strathcona Net Zero House

Modern home a living laboratory in historic neighbourhood

29 Thermal bridges

What they are and how to break them

SEE MORE at:

• www.sabmagazine.com u click on ecoHouse Canada • www.ECOHOME.NET

Cover: Strathcona Net Zero House. Photo: Paul Horsman

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

3


Have you tried a Sun Tunnel yet? It’s the easiest skylight for professionals to install

Meets OBC & SB-12 requirements

velux.ca 1 800 888-3589

4

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015


AA sister sister publication publication of: of:

Message Message from from the the publisher publisher

Publishing Partners: Publishing Partners:

FIRST First BUILDING building VIDEO video SHOWS shows WHAT’S TO COME what’s to come

Canada Canada Green Building Council Council Green Building

VISIT VISIT www.sabmagazine.com www.sabmagazine.com for for our our Product Product Directory Directory

PUBLISHER Publisher Don Don Griffith Griffith 800-520-6281, 800-520-6281, ext. ext. 304, 304, dgriffith@sabmagazine.com dgriffith@sabmagazine.com GRAPHIC Carine De De Pauw Graphic DESIGN Design Carine Pauw 819-778-5040, 819-778-5040, ext. ext. 308, 308, cdepauw@sabmagazine.com cdepauw@sabmagazine.com SENIOR Senior ACCOUNT Account MANAGER Manager Patricia Patricia Abbas Abbas 416-438-7609, 416-438-7609, pabbas8@gmail.com pabbas8@gmail.com EDITORIAL ADVISORS editorial advisors • Tom Knezic, Knezic, M.ARCH., • Tom M.ARCH., LEED LEED AP, AP, OAA OAA Solares Solares Architecture Architecture Inc., Inc., www.solares.ca www.solares.ca •• Roy Roy Nandram, Nandram, LEED LEED AP, AP, RND RND Construction, Construction, www.rndconstruction.ca www.rndconstruction.ca • Mike Reynolds, Reynolds, LEED LEED AP-Homes, AP-Homes, ecohome.net ecohome.net • Mike

Published by: Published by:

media media + + marketing marketing communications communications

81 Gatineau Qc J8X 3A7 3A7 || T 81 Leduc Leduc Street Street || Gatineau Qc || J8X T 819 819 778 778 5040 5040

www.janam.net www.janam.net

Subscription/address Subscription/address changes: changes: ecohouse@sabmagazine.com, ecohouse@sabmagazine.com, 800-520-6281, 800-520-6281, ext. ext. 304 304 SUBSCRIPTION PRICES Subscription prices 1 YEAR [4 ISSUES] 1 year [4 issues] 2 YEARS [8 ISSUES] 2 years [8 issues] 3 YEARS [12 ISSUES] 3 years [12 issues]

CANADA: [TAXES EXTRA] Canada: [Taxes extra] PRINT DIGITAL PRINT DIGITAL $17.95 $12.95 $17.95 $12.95 $31.95 $21.95 $31.95 $21.95 $45.95 $31.95 $45.95 $31.95

ISSN ISSN 1920-6259 1920-6259

Copyright Inc. All All rights rights reserved. reserved. Contents Contents Copyright by by Janam Janam Publications Publications Inc. may without written written permission. permission. may not not be be reprinted reprinted or or reproduced reproduced without Views the authors authors exclusively. exclusively. Views expressed expressed are are those those of of the

In In Fall, Fall, 2014 2014 II wrote wrote about about the the Video Video Building Guide which will appear Building Guide which will appear on on our our affiliate web site, www.ecohome.net, affiliate web site, www.ecohome.net, this this summer. The The Video Video Building Building Guide Guide will will summer. be be a a fantastic fantastic visual visual resource resource because because it it Photo: will document the steps in building Photo: Roy Roy Grogan Grogan will document the steps in building our our high-performance high-performance Demonstration Demonstration House House which achieve LEED LEED Platinum. Platinum. which is is designed designed to to achieve The The 20-part 20-part video video series series will will cover cover the the building building techniques, techniques, products and technologies such as a slab-on-grade products and technologies such as a slab-on-grade construction construction with in-floor in-floor radiant radiant heating, heating, a a vegetated with vegetated roof, roof, heat heat pumps pumps and and HRVs, HRVs, window window selection selection and and installation, installation, and, and, most most important important of of all, all, building building an an envelope envelope that that is is highly highly insulated insulated and and air air tight. tight. In In that that regard, regard, the the walls walls of of the the Demo Demo House House are are built built according according to to the the ‘Residential ‘Residential Exterior Exterior Membrane Membrane Outside-insulation Outside-insulation Technique’ Technique’ or or REMOTE, REMOTE, a a high-performance high-performance building building envelope envelope developed by the Cold Climate Housing Research developed by the Cold Climate Housing Research Centre Centre in in Alaska. In Alaska. In this this method method most most of of the the insulation insulation is is on on the the outside outside of sheathing so so that that the the vapour vapour control control layer layer is is sandwiched sandwiched of the the sheathing between layers of insulation where it can perform best between layers of insulation where it can perform best in in climates climates with with distinct distinct summer summer and and winter winter seasons. seasons. See See the the article article on the the next next page page for for more more details, details, and and visit: visit: http://www.cchrc. http://www.cchrc. on org/remote-walls. org/remote-walls. You You can can get get a a taste taste of of the the content content and and presentation presentation of of the the videos videos by having having a by a look look at at the the first first one one here: here: http://www.ecohome.net/ http://www.ecohome.net/ guide. guide. The The full full Building Building Guide Guide Series Series will will be be launched launched over over the the summer and fall making it one of the best information sources summer and fall making it one of the best information sources on on high-performance high-performance housing housing in in the the Canadian Canadian climate. climate. We We have have invited invited companies companies that that we we felt felt would would make make a a good good fit fit with the Demo House to become sponsors by supplying with the Demo House to become sponsors by supplying their their products. products. We We thank thank our our current current sponsors: sponsors: Roxul, Roxul, W.R. W.R. Meadows, Meadows, Kott Lumber, Lumber, Uponor, Uponor, Ecogenia/Lunos, Ecogenia/Lunos, CGC, CGC, Fantech, Kott Fantech, Delta Delta [Cosella [Cosella Dorken], Dorken], Mitsubishi Mitsubishi Electric Electric Canada, Canada, American American Standard, Standard, Benjamin Benjamin Moore, Moore, A.O. A.O. Smith, Smith, Riopel, Riopel, Columbia Columbia Forest Forest Products, Products, and and Les Les Fenêtres Fenêtres Élite Élite Inc. Inc. Companies Companies interested interested in in being being sponsors sponsors should should please please contact: contact: dgriffith@sabmagazine.com. dgriffith@sabmagazine.com.

Don Publisher Don Griffith, Griffith, Publisher

Publication #40024961 Publication Mail Mail Agreement Agreement #40024961 Return address mail mail to: to: Return undelivered undelivered Canadian Canadian address Janam St., Gatineau, Gatineau, Qc Qc J8X J8X 3A7 3A7 Janam Publications Publications Inc., Inc., 81 81 Leduc Leduc St., The Canada uses uses Rolland Rolland Environ100 Environ100 Satin, Satin, The print print version version of of ecoHouse ecoHouse Canada a is certified certified FSC FSC and and EcoLogo. EcoLogo. It It is is processed processed a 100% 100% post-consumer post-consumer fiber fiber that that is chlorine-free, FSC-recycled FSC-recycled and and is is manufactured manufactured using using biogas biogas energy. energy. chlorine-free,

Please Please forward forward comments, comments, article article ideas ideas and project project contributions and contributions to: to: Don Don Griffith, Griffith, Publisher Publisher dgriffith@sabmagazine.com dgriffith@sabmagazine.com -- 11 800 800 520 520 6281 6281 ext.304 ext.304

Environmental savings for for this this issue: issue: Environmental savings

FSC FSC LOGO logo

14 14 Trees Trees

52,769 litres 52,769 litres water water

799 799 kg kg waste waste

2,078 2,078 kg kg CO CO2 2

ECOHOUSE CANADA | SPRING | 2015 ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

5 5


Td he em eo ch oo h ou ms ee

The wall we designed for the Demo House is best categorized as a ‘REMOTE’ wall, a high-performance building envelope developed by the Cold Climate Housing Research Centre in Alaska. REMOTE stands for ‘Residential Exterior Membrane Outside-insulation TEchnique’.

1

2

Remote walls are framed in the familiar way with 2x6s and sheathing; stud cavities are still insulated with batts, but the majority of insulation is on the outside of the sheathing. This way the vapour control layer is sandwiched between layers of insulation where it can perform best in a wildly varying climate like we have in Canada. We have also used a vapour retarder primer on the interior to further slow the migration of moisture through the wall. Vapour retarder primers more than satisfy the building code requirements, yet allow some moisture to dry inwards in hot humid months. When an air barrier is on the exterior, it is protected from the usual assault a 6 mil poly vapour barrier would normally receive from wiring and other penetrations, so our first blower door test resulted in .7ACH, or about 1/5th the accepted average for air leakage in new home construction.

3

STAGE TWO Building the walls using the REMOTE system

6

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

4


Wall assembly: • 60% of glazing is facing south and walls were framed using 100% FSC certified wood from Kott Lumber [photos 1, 2 and 3]; • Delta Vent SA moisture-permeable exterior membrane from Cosella-Dorken as air barrier [photos 6, 5 and 8]; • Four courses of 2” Comfortboard IS from Roxul for an 8” seamless exterior blanket of R32 [photo 4]; • Delta Vent S exterior weather barrier, taped for additional air sealing; • FSC Certified Shiplap wood siding from Riopel; • Interior - CGC Sheetrock® Brand UltraLight Panels , coated with vapour-retarder primer from Benjamin Moore and zero VOC Natura paint, also from Benjamin Moore [photo 7].

6

7

Window openings were built out to allow for the additional exterior insulation. The Delta air barrier was wrapped around the entire window box and into the interior; the following weather barrier taped down to that. A Delta window flashing was then added to ensure that any water that finds its way in can also find its way out. The weak points in any air barrier are the penetrations that come with attaching it, or attaching other components to it. While this is not a great concern with an exterior membrane on sheathing, for kicks we stuck on small pieces of Delta Flexx-Band which will self-seal the holes where screws from strapping would puncture the Vent SA.

5

8

To get a better look at what we’ve got going on so far and some of the fancy features still to come, check out the Ecohome Building Guide at ecohome.net; we have just launched the first episodes of our video guide which will document the entire process of this house. We thank our product sponsors: Roxul, W.R. Meadopws, Kott Lumber, Uponor, Ecogenia/Lunos, CGC, Fantech, Delta [Cosella Dorken], Mitsubishi Electric Canada, American Standard, Benjamin Moore, A.O. Smith, Riopel , Columbia Forest Products, and Les Fenêtres Élite Inc. Companies wishing to become a sponsor should contact dgriffith@sabmagazine.com. v

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

7


Courtesy of the Vancouver Convention Centre

BUILDING LASTING CHANGE 2015

Join us at Canada’s premier green building conference » Industry education

» Green building tours

» B2B meetings

» Networking events

» 100 exhibitors

Vancouver Convention Centre, June 2-4 Register now at: www.cagbc.org/blc2015 8

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015


FOR HOMES

2014 certifications and selected profiles

PLATINUM Aditus Altitudo Residence 1A-27, Harrington, QC

>

Collister Residence, Ottawa, ON Architect Inc.

>

Condos de la Baie Phase 3, Quebec, QC Construction Dinamo inc.

>

Discovery 5 House, Calgary, AB Avalon Master Builder

>

Écohabitations boréales - Val-Morin, QC Écohabitations boréales inc.

>

Gare Bois-Franc phase 3, Montreal, QC Samcon Bourrassa Inc.

>

Grandview Residence, Toronto, ON MyHaven Homes

>

Union Street ECOheritage , Vancouver, BC

Maison Papin Ouellet, Repentigny, QC Claude Ouellet Construction Midori Uchi, North Vancouver, BC Naikoon Inc.

Willibrord, Montreal, QC Projets Knightsbridge

>

>

REEP House for Sustainable Living, Kitchener, ON Reep Green Solutions Ltd.

>

Lefebvre Family Residence, Ottawa, ON Linda Chapman Architect

>

GOLD >

12 Euclid Street, Unionville, ON

129 Riverside Drive, London, ON CBRE Limited

>

173, rue Gendron, Chateauguay, QC Habitations G.F.B. inc.

>

24 Norton Street, Town of Niagara on the Lake, ON

>

2nd & Commercial, Vancouver, BC Eighth Avenue Development Group

>

>

Arlequins, Saguenay, QC

2014

>

>

2014

Boucherville - OMHL, Boucherville, QC Francisco Rebelo Arch.

>

Chalet au 225, chemin Flynn, Low, QC Bala Structures

>

>

Des Rigolets, Vaudreuil sur le Lac, QC

Dubuisson Duplex, Montreal, QC Ville de Montreal

L’Héronnière, Wentworth-Nord, QC Écohabitations boréales inc.

Résidence Caza/McInnes, Blainville, QC - Marquis Inc.

>

>

>

Les Maisons Roco Homes, Lantier, QC

Springfield Towns, Ottawa, ON The Lake Partnership Inc.

>

Maison Modèle - le Quartier Chambery, Blainville, QC - Marquis Inc.

Terrasse des équinoxes Bloc G, Saint-Laurent, QC - Groupe Montclair

>

>

Maison Orbis, Val-Saint-Come, QC Éco Habitation Le Draveur

Villas du Mistral, Saint Laurent, QC Sotramont

>

>

Écohabitations Boréales - La maison Françoise, Ste-Anne-des-Lacs, QC Écohabitations boréales inc.

>Manitoba Housing, Brandon, The Pas, Thompson, MB ft3 Architecture Landscape and Interior Design

>

Écohabitations boréales - Lac St-Victor, >Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, Kempt, NS Wentworth-Nord, QC - Écohabitations boréales inc. Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute [MTRI

>

>

Willowdale Passive Solar House, Toronto, ON Sustainable TO

>

Yorkview, North York, ON Castleform Developments Inc.

>

B-83 Botsford, Moncton, NB Bay Construction

>

SILVER 2014

III 2454, Halifax, NS MRB Contracting

>

Faubourg Cousineau, St-Hubert, QC Habitations Lussier

>

Écohabitations boréales - La maison Verte, Lac des Plages, QC

>

15 Brynhurst Court, Toronto, ON

>

Hyclyff, West Vancouver, BC Invenia Inc.

>

CERTIFIED 2014

2 Spruce House, Toronto, ON Global Warming Prevention Technologies

>

>

Watson Residence, Lethbridge, AB

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

9


LEED FOR HOMES PLATINUM SCORE CARD

consideration for LEED qualifications, the final result is

Innovation & Design Process Location & Linkages Sustainable Sites Water Efficiency Energy & Atmosphere Materials & Resources Indoor Environmental Quality Awareness & Education

4.5/11 9/10 16.5/22 9/15 17/38 14.5/16 12/21 0/3

a Platinum scoring residence, ready for immediate delivery.

TOTAL

82.5/136

For 25 years, Samcon has been a leader in the construction

of new residential condominiums in Montréal and the qualityto-price ratio of a Samcon condo is instrumental to Samcon’s leadership and success. Proud to offer an array of urban condo-projects in several areas of Montréal, Samcon is pleased to present project Place de la Gare Bois Franc III, a 3-storey structure comprised of 3 units. Constructed with utmost

[1] Even as the snow falls, the project’s exterior is sleek and robust. [2] Wonderful natural lighting makes for excellent dining. [3] Ample space gives way to both bedrooms and home-offices. [4] Open-concept kitchens provide an ideal segway into the dining area. [5] Hard-wood floors cast a warm glow throughout the condo. [6] Simple and sleek designs allow for countless interior decorating options.

1

2

This certified LEED Platinum 3-storey building is situated in

a peaceful area on a quiet street in the heart of Ville St. Laurent. Outdone with wonderful landscaping, residents will enjoy interior parking with private storage space, spacious private balconies for each unit, a private terrace for the upper level, and immaculate interiors providing maximum lighting.

Superbly located and near countless amenities, Place de la

Gare Bois Franc III is complete with its easy access to highways and public transportation.

10

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

3


4 5

Built with FSC certified wood, ENERGY STAR appliances,

energy-efficient glass windows, locally made, high-efficiency products, and a holistic approach to environmental friendliness, it comes as no surprise that Place de la Gare Bois Franc III achieved the highest ranking LEED certification: Platinum.

Whether residents seek the highest quality LEED certifications,

high-rises, or low-rises, Samcon is proud to have delivered over 4,000 units city-wide.

6

Please find us on Facebook and visit www.samcon.ca

for more information.

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

11


LANTIER, QC HOUSE 2014

The task was to replace a lakeside house built by the grandfather many years ago with a new one that could welcome an expanding family of three generations all vacationing together. The challenge was to design a plan on a long and narrow footprint that was in close proximity to waterfront and heritage trees while having all the right proportions including large open common areas, cathedral ceilings and a loft. Building to LEED standards made for greater efficiencies. Pre-built insulated wall panels reduced costs and waste, in addition to stimulating the local economy. Reclaimed elements, such as kitchen cabinets and metal balusters, were incorporated into this sustainable design. After having 25 years of experience building country homes we were proud that our very first LEED construction earned a gold standard.

www.maisonsroco.ca/eco

You’re invited ‌ to the Demo House Video Building Guide

One of the best information sources on techniques and products for building high-performance housing in the Canadian climate. View the brief, informative videos, and return often as we add more.

http://www.ecohome.net/guide

A project of ecohome.net in partnership with ecoHouse Canada.

16

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015


2015

Attend The Awards Presentation Event 2015 BUILDING LASTING CHANGE June 2, 2015 at 4:15 p.m. Vancouver Convention Centre, West Meeting Room 302

www.sabmagazine.com

RSVP by May 26 to dgriffith@sabmagazine.com

THANKS TO OUR AWARDS SPONSORS

focus 1/2 awards.indd 1

2015-04-17 3:21 PM

and

Canadian Directory OF Sustainable PRODUCTS SERVICES Find products and expertise for high-performance building http://sabmagazine.com/product-directory.html ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

17


Pape Village

House Active and passive solar in the city

Our clients had begun to outgrow their small, East Toronto bungalow in Pape Village and wanted to pursue their dream of a well-designed, energy-efficient home. We designed them a new, two-storey home which uses passive and active solar systems and a highly insulated, air-tight envelope. The house actually generates electricity and scores 85 on the EnerGuide scale! by Melodie Coneybeare

Detail of the front entry [1], and streetscape [2]. The rear elevation where sun screens block the summer sun. The photovoltaic [PV] rooftop solar array is visible and is connected to the Ontario MicroFit electricity buy-back program where the excess energy produced from the roof is fed back into the grid for a profit [3]. Triple-glazed windows with fiberglass frames have low conductance of heat and cold [4].

1

Site plan A B C D E F G

18

Garage Rear yard Deck Two-Storey house Shared driveway Front porch Front yard

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

C B

F D

A E

G


ACTIVE SOLAR The house has an active photovoltaic [PV] rooftop solar array. The PV panels are part of a 5-kW system that is connected to the provincial MicroFit electricity buy-back program. With no battery storage on site, all the excess energy they produce from the roof is fed back into the grid for a profit.

2

This PV system is designed so that each module has a micro-inverter on the back that can be individually monitored and optimized. Generated electricity goes to the mechanical room ready to be used right away, and if efficiency drops [due to blow-on leaves for example], they can know exactly which panels are affected and remedy it right away. There’s also an online dashboard which lets the owners monitor the system from wherever they are. The numbers from their MicroFit participation are very encouraging. From their program start in late March 2014 until the end of December, they generated 4,759 kWh. That electricity was fed back into the grid in exchange for a monthly cheque, which has already amounted to over $2,500.

Return on investment

3 4

Our energy consultant for this project, BlueGreen Consulting Group, calculated the annual return on investment for the PV system using the initial investment amount of about $22,500 before tax, the MicroFit numbers to date, and climate data for their first eight months in the program. The system will pay for itself in just 7.4 years, a 14% rate of return. The cumulative net profit over the next 20 years, assuming that the available solar radiation stays the same, will be in excess of $35,000.The cumulative net profit is calculated for 20 years to match MicroFit’s 20-year contract terms. The system will continue to yield a profit after that time has passed, but the rates are yet to be determined by the Province.

Energy efficiency and air tightness In addition to passive and active solar systems, the house uses triple-glazed windows with fiberglass frames which have low conductance of heat and cold, in-floor radiant heating, ductless mini-splits for air-conditioning, an energy recovery ventilator, lots of ceiling fans for air circulation, LED lighting for all pot lights and compact fluorescents for the rest. The plumbing system uses a shower drain heat recovery system which channels the heat from used shower drain water to preheat hot water used elsewhere in the house. The home is also roughed in for a future greywater system, and all fixtures are low-flow.

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

19


ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

23


Strathcona Net Zero House Modern home a living laboratory in historic neighbourhood

1

2

The Strathcona Net Zero House, with an Energuide Rating of 95, is located in the 100 year-old neighbourhood of Old Strathcona in Edmonton. The area retains much of its original character including one of the most well preserved historic business districts in western Canada, along with tree-lined streets having a mixture of heritage homes, mid-century walk-up apartments, and new infill housing.

By Paul Horsman

The corner lot is ideal for solar exposure since the back faces south and the side yard faces west [1]. The stair has flair being constructed of parallel strand lumber [2]. Exposed concrete floors on the main floor store excess heat collected on sunny days and release it after the sun goes down [3]. An operable VELUX skylight located over the stair can help to ventilate the home through the stackhouse effect which can save energy by reducing demand on the air conditioning [4].

24

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015


Constructed just two blocks from the owner’s previous house, the home was built with a budget comparable to similar-sized homes using technology that could be adapted to main stream residential construction in the future. The owners also wanted to stay in the neighbourhood because of its proximity to local shopping, entertainment and natural amenities, reinforcing their commitment to investing in an established community. The key to achieving energy efficiency is centered around conservation first and energy production second. Careful attention was given to the selection of energy-efficient LED lighting and appliances, insulation, advanced window glazing and a very efficient cold climate air-source heat pump provides all the space heating requirements. In addition a separate air source heat pump water heater provides all the necessary domestic hot water. The skylight contributes with the ventilation stackhouse effect which can help to reduce cooling demand on the air conditioner. By maximizing conservation the home owners were able to minimize how much was invested into energy production. Active electricity generation comes from 48 photovoltaic modules on the roof, and passive heating is helped by strategically placed south-facing windows. Exposed concrete floors have the thermal

mass to store excess heat collected on sunny days and releasing it after the sun goes down. Located on a corner lot surrounded by large trees, the home owners were able to save a large ornamental crab apple tree on the site which fills with pink blossoms every spring. The site itself was selected as the back faces south and its side yard faces west making it ideal for solar exposure. This year there are plans to plant numerous edible perennials and put in a small vegetable garden. Rainwater will be harvested in barrels and will be used for supplementary irrigation.

4

3

Winter sun penetration

Summer sun penetration and ventilation patterns

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

25


The premier magazines and web sites

The future of building is high performance, and no other publications in Canada cover this topic as consistently as Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine [SABMag] and ecoHouse Canada.

ON High-performance

building

u Profiles of sustainably-designed projects and renovations

and related products

u Directory of sustainable products and services

for commercial/institutional construction and home building

u Continuing Education for LEED professionals u Award-winning layout

house

☛ Issue number 42 | wInter 2013/14 | Pm40024961 | $6

special

and

Canadian direCtory oF SuStainable ProduCtS SerViCeS

Issue number 40 | summer 2013 | Pm40024961 | $6

Issue number 41 | FALL 2013 | Pm40024961 | $6

house

Special issue

for designers, builders and homeowners | fall 2013

for designers, Builders And Homeowners | SPRING 2013

ZEN BARN

VanDusen botAnIcAL GArden

issue

Net zero works iN the average NeighBourhood

The essential ingredient of building envelopes

the

envelope

The Need for Enhanced Commissioning

House in niAgArA energy efficiency from the foundation up

développement

Tiny TAck House

durable interView

The earTh rangers CenTre CenTre fOr engineering innOVaTiOn benefits of u of Windsor flagship building extend beyond campus sabMag - winter 2013/14

1

PB

sabMag - Summer 2013

sabMag - FALL 2013

1

PB

ecohouse | fall 2013

NESTED DESIGN House inside a house could save energy

buIlD a poly-frEE HouSE

special issue

A joint program of

Practical improvements to achieve LeeD Platinum ebOM

Miriam Turner on Net-Works™

Testing the concept of living really small

PASSIVE HOUSE

WINNING PROJECTS

Infill building densifies the city

sabMag - SUMMER 2013

1

www.sabmagazine.com

PB

ecohouse | SPRING 2013

ecohouse | fall 2013

painting on your vapour barrier works better

GEorGIa Eco 4-plEx aND THrouGH HouSE 2013 canadian Green building awards Winning projects

1

PB

ecohouse | Summer 2013

ecohouse | SPRING 2013

1

www.ecohome.net

ADVERTISE

Print, digital, web, e-News, regional markets - we have a lot to offer in helping you position and market your products or services to Canadian design and construction professionals, builders and building managers.

SUBSCRIBE

Get the print or digital editions covering some of the most advanced building projects in Canada, plus articles on building and design trends. https://www.sabmagazine.com/subscribe-shop.html

CONTACT 28

Belgravia

Air BArriers

Maison du

sabMag - FALL 2013

Canada

for DESIGNErS, buIlDErS aND HomEoWNErS | Summer 2013

green HouSe

Reclaimed siding melds modern house into historic neighbourhood

Visitor Centre designed to meet Living building Challenge

Pushing

PB

house

Canada

Canada

CaGBC CONFERENCE GUIDE INSIDE

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

Don Griffith, Publisher 800-520-6281 ext. 304 dgriffith@sabmagazine.com

ecohouse | summer 2013

1


Thermal bridges What they are and how to break them When one section of a wall conducts heat much quicker than another, we refer to it as a thermal bridge, and that can greatly reduce the overall R value of a wall. Thermal breaks are the solution.

>>> By MIKE REYNOLDS >>>

MIKE REYNOLDS

It’s easy to look at the R value rating of a material and assume that our entire wall assembly matches it uniformly. But when you factor in the thermal bridges caused by framing materials and any discontinuities in the wall structure, you can also quickly deduce that this is not the case. It doesn’t take expensive equipment or an engineer to identify a thermal bridge in a home, just run your hand along your walls on a really cold day and you will find them.  This isn’t only an issue of heat loss and the higher bills that come with it, it is about comfort and quality of life. On really cold days it can make being too close to walls quite unpleasant, rendering part of your home somewhat unusable at times. Wood, metal and concrete in exterior walls act as thermal bridges, conducting far more heat than the insulation on either side of them. But with most types of wall assemblies we have little choice but to use some kind of heat conducting material as wall frames; foam studs wouldn’t carry a Canadian snow load. What you can do is factor that in during the design phase so you achieve the actual wall performance you want. Installing R19 batts of insulation with R5 wood studs on either side results in a wall that performs closer to R13 or even lower, depending on the amount of studs. The true or ‘effective’ R value of a wall is further impacted by the quality and amount of windows you install. If you ran an energy simulation model to find out how well a wall would perform but you neglected to calculate thermal bridges, you would be trying to solve a math equation without using all the variables and your conclusions would simply be wrong. 

Thermal imaging gives a good perspective of heat movement. Here the orange-coloured wall studs show where heat is lost through thermal bridging, highlighting the importance of a seamless blanket of insulation as a thermal break. photo Courtesy alain hamel.

Thermal bridge-free construction Basic guidelines: 1 - Be conscious of the use and type of exterior framing members. Some of the wood used in exterior framing can be safely eliminated - headers on non-load bearing walls, unnecessary cripples, redundant studs in corners etc. 2 - Try to avoid metal fasteners of any kind that span the entire wall assembly. 3 - Design your basement wall so it is better protected against moisture and water damage. This can allow you to use wood interior studs instead of switching to metal as a durability precaution.  4 - Leave metal stud cavities on exterior walls empty, and instead use the money you would have spent on batts to thicken up a seamless layer of board insulation. You may lose a couple of inches of interior space, but that space would be more comfortable and you will get a much better return on your insulation investment.

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

29


This article originally appeared on our web affiliate, ecohome.net, which contains a wealth of information on high-performance home building.

The growing popularity of metal studs Metal studs are becoming more commonplace in residential construction, and not always with great results. Some builders love them, and for interior walls that’s fine, but the energy performance of buildings that trade out wood for metal on exterior walls can take a serious hit when we ignore thermal bridging. Metal conducts heat so easily that there is really little point in putting insulation on either side of it. It is estimated that metal studs with batts in the cavities can reduce the overall performance of that insulation by 60 to 70%, or more.  According to  Building Science Corporation, “The R-value of 6 inch deep steel studs installed at 16 inch centres with cavity insulation of R-21 is reduced to R-7.4, a value only 35% of the nominal.” If putting heat conduits on either side of batt insulation reduces their performance by half, you essentially paid double the price for the R value you think you purchased. So your money may be better invested by employing alternatives.

Energy modelling simulation of heat loss through thermal bridging © Denis Boyer for Ecohome.

Building codes and thermal bridges It is not only sensible to address thermal bridging in construction, it is becoming law. Recent revisions to building codes have increased the thermal requirements of building enclosures in many regions, including requiring a thermal break. Contrary to common assumptions, the insulation values in  building codes are not about promoting the most efficient and cost-effective wall systems, they exist to protect home buyers by ensuring there is a bottom rung of performance we don’t fall below. So if breaking thermal bridges has now made it into code as a ‘must do’ practice, then you know the effects are significant. Thermal bridges affect a home’s energy performance but they also have health and durability implications by causing cold spots that will increase the risk of condensation. So beyond heat loss and comfort, air quality and structural integrity can be a factor as well in terms of mould, mildew and rot. Insulating exterior wall stud bays is not something we should stop doing, but we should not ignore the overall effect of thermal bridges when we add up all that wood, and we definitely  shouldn’t replace insulated wood frames with metal if it can be avoided.

30

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

Using metal studs as a means of holding insulation was called an ‘abomination’ by Joe Lstiburek of Building Science Corporation who eloquently explained it like this: ‘’Putting insulation between metal studs is like eating a sweater to try and stay warm.’’ Thermal bridges that will cause significant heat loss are not limited to just studs in a wall. They include discontinuities in the insulation, corner junctions, badly installed insulation [convective thermal bridges], concrete slab junctions at walls and balconies, service openings [structural thermal bridges], and ‘penetration’ thermal bridges such as metal I-beams that pass through wall assemblies. Calculating heat flow through building enclosures is much more complex than calculating it through individual materials, particularly when highly conductive components such as steel or concrete are in play. So the R value written on your insulation indicates what it is capable of, how well it actually performs is up to the designer and builder. v Mike Reynolds is a former home builder, a LEED for Homes Green Rater and the editor of Ecohome.net.


What One Canadian University Learned About Zuba-Central.

And how this new study can lead to more satisfied customers. Every HVAC system claims to be energy efficient. But how many of these claims are backed by science? Ours is. An independent study*conducted by Ryerson University in Toronto proves that Zuba-Central: SAVES ENERGY With a COP ranging from 1.4 to 3.19, Zuba-Central delivers energy savings of up to 60% annually over conventional heating and cooling systems. OPERATES EFFICIENTLY AT LOW TEMPERATURES Our advanced system design and innovative compressor technology ensures effective and efficient operation in temperatures as low as -30째C. IS MORE AFFORDABLE THAN GEOTHERMAL Zuba-Central delivers similar energy efficiency at a fraction of the installed cost of a geothermal system.

Get the facts for yourself and see why Zuba-Central by Mitsubishi Electric is the proven choice for energy efficiency and cost savings. *Study conducted by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and Ryerson University: Performance Assessment of a Variable Capacity Air Source Heat Pump and a Horizontal Loop Coupled Ground Source Heat Pump System

*When installed by an authorized HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) installer. Certain conditions, restrictions and/or limitations apply. See warranty terms and conditions for complete details.

photo courtesy of TRCA

www.Zuba-Central.ca

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

31


Excellence in Window & Door Hardware

32

ecohouse CANADA | SPRING | 2015

Digital teasre ecohouse10