What is a High-Performance Home?

With energy costs rising, an increased concern for the environment, and a focus on comfort, homebuyers are more often turning to high-performance homes to meet their needs.

High-performance homes use less energy and are more comfortable and healthier to live in than traditionally built homes. You may already be familiar with performance labels or technologies that can be features of a high-performance home without realizing it. If you have newer appliances in your home, you may have noticed labels such as ENERGY STAR or BUILT GREEN. Or you may use technologies such as a heat pump in your home.

If you are building a new home, the 4 most cost-effective ways to achieve a higher performance home are to:

  • Add more insulation
  • Increase air tightness
  • Add a heat recovery ventilator (HRV)
  • Improve your window quality (i.e. triple-glazed windows)

If you already have a home and you are looking to make a small change, consider LED lighting. This is an affordable option that can easily be altered for your home. Adding an HRV unit may also be possible for minimal cost and a possible return of investment within 3 years.

Why Consider Building a High-Performance Home?

By 2022, British Columbia has mandated that all homes be built to Step 3 on their Energy Step Code, and by 2032, homes will need to meet Step 5.  At Made to Last, we already build high-performance homes as our standard. Our custom homes offer heat pumps, increased insulation, and airtightness as part of our base pricing, and we always recommend adding an HRV. Our homes without upgraded windows and HRVs already test between Step 2-3 on the BC Step Code.

High-performance homes offer:

  • Lower energy bills, meaning the costs of operating your home is lower
  • Healthier living through better air quality
  • Increased comfort from decreased drafts and temperature variation
  • Reduced carbon footprint as you reduce your energy consumption
  • Increased resale value
  • Reduced noise levels from increased insulation and better-quality windows
  • Possible increased natural light

At Made to Last, we are helping to lead the industry in building energy-efficient and greener homes.  We currently are designing three homes for our 2020 calendar that are targeting Step 4 or Step 5, each of which takes advanced planning and non-traditional construction to meet.

We would love to work with you on building your high-performance home. If you are interested in building with us or learning more about our process for better quality homes, please contact us here.

If you are looking to learn more about the Energy Step Code in BC, visit https://energystepcode.ca. To see some of our custom homes, check out our project page. Currently, we are building Quamichan Net Zero Home. This home will be the first CHBA labeled Net Zero home in the Cowichan Valley.

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