Sustainability is defined as, the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
In other words, humans right now, must be thoughtful about how they live, and must act responsibly, so that future generations will also be able to live, work and play in such a way that will not compromise further generations to come.
Green building is the practice of designing, constructing and operating buildings to maximize occupant health and productivity, use fewer resources, reduce waste and negative environmental impacts, and decrease life cycle costs.(USgbc.org)
WHAT MAKES A HOME SUSTAINABLE?
When it comes to constructing homes and buildings, a collaborative design process should start right at the beginning, so that every consideration and decision that is made for your home will have the best outcome, for you, for your community and for the environment. That includes:
Buyer Builder Designer/Architect Project manager Mechanical engineer Electrical engineer Landscape architect and site planner Energy consultant
Since its introduction in the 90’s, the Integrated Design Process has proven to be a great way to ensure thoughtful, energy-efficient, cost-effective choices for site development, building design, construction, and operation and maintenance with minimal environmental impacts throughout the life-cycle of the building. The results are lower costs, higher durability, increased comfort and a lowered environmental impact.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF BUY-IN?
Sustainability is based on sensible choices. It’s not complicated, it’s not difficult, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. There are several important areas of focus that can make a big difference to your monthly bills, and your environmental footprint.
Energy Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Indoor Air Quality Materials and Methods Water Management Integrated Design
Simply put, that amounts to a well-sealed, well insulated, durable building envelope, energy star windows and doors, energy efficient HVAC, energy-efficient appliances, lighting and automation, low-flow water fixtures, eco-friendly choices for materials, and smart ways to deal with waste during construction, and when you are living in your home.
You can do a little, or you can do a lot. You can choose your level of buy-in. The main thing is to make sensible, affordable choices that suit your needs, ones that will enhance your health and well-being, and will also help the environment.
According to statistics, Canadian households spent $2,136 on average on energy in 2016. Residential expenditures, such as heating/cooling, lighting and operating appliances.
In determining simple payback for a green building retrofit project, the cost of the project is the numerator and the annual savings (such as energy or electricity costs) would be in the denominator.
For instance if $10,000.00 was invested to install an energy management system, and this resulted in annual savings of $3,000.00, your equation would be 10,000/3,000 = 3.33 (or 3.33 years to breakeven on the investment).
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CERTIFICATION, SUCH AS LEED OR BUILT GREEN CANADA?
Built Green Canada
PARTIAL PREMIUM REFUND OF UP TO 25%
Eligible borrowers can receive a 15% or 25% refund of the CMHC premium paid. Applications are accepted from the borrower within 2 years of the closing date of the mortgage. Please visit www.cmhc.ca/greenhome to obtain information on how to apply for a refund.
▪ These come with a reduction in monthly operating costs—increased home efficiency means long-term cost savings: on water, electricity, and gas bills.
▪ Automatic mortgage loan rebate eligibility of 15% through CMHC, Genworth, and others. For example, if you pay $350,000 with a 5% deposit, you would get $2,000 back—that’s a nice advantage, and good reason to include eco upgrades in your home. You can calculate their rebate here: www.builtgreencanada.ca/mortgage-rebate-calculator
▪ Increased durability cuts down on fix-its / renovation costs.
▪ Homes with green certification sell for close to 10% more on average than homes without (CHBA National).
▪ And there are jurisdictions where an energy assessment is necessary before a home is sold—saving the homebuyer approximately $300 – $500, depending on location.
VERIFICATION OF GREEN BENEFITS
Third-party certification recognizes the authenticity of the home: you are able to review a detailed report and a checklist showing products used. You have a terms-of-reference for home maintenance and have guidelines to gauge the performance of your home. Built green Canada certification is a two-in-one: an EnerGuide label and a BUILT GREEN® seal. These two labels offer validation to the energy efficiency and the green features of the home; these labels are usually affixed to the furnace or electrical panel. Greenhome Developments offers you a Built Green Canada Certification plaque to proudly display in your home.