Made to Last Custom Homes built the Quamichan Net Zero Home on the shores of Quamichan Lake in Duncan. This is the Cowichan Valley’s first officially labelled Net Zero Home.

“Net Zero” means that this home produces as much energy as it is consuming. This is partially thanks to the solar panels on the roof.  But a labelled Net Zero Home with the CHBA is more than just balancing the power used and produced. It also means the home meets hundreds of other standards required for an energy-efficient home. The Quamichan Net Zero Home was built to the highest tier (Step 5) on the BC Step Code.

With current climate change and environmental impact concerns, many Canadian homeowners are considering their home’s energy efficiency when building or renovating. However, many homeowners view Net Zero Homes as a luxury.

According to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), Canadians are asking: “Can a Net Zero Home really be cost-effective for the average buyer?”

The initial investment toward high-performance products for Net Zero homes may be higher. However, this investment can pay for itself over the years. Net Zero homes offer decreased utility bills, increased comfort, a healthier in-home living environment and a higher quality of life.

Lower Utility Costs

Net Zero Homes are at least 80% more efficient than the current standard building codes. By incorporating renewable energy systems into their design, such as solar panels, Net Zero Homes can eliminate or reduce the monthly costs associated with your utility bills. This helps protect you from any future cost increases for energy.

Net Zero Homes are Built to a Higher Quality Standard

These are not just energy efficient homes. Increased air tightness, better insulation, higher performance windows, and advanced mechanical systems for heating, cooling and ventilation are just some of the ways that these homes are built to a higher standard. Building a home with advanced products and using building science allows homeowners to save on future maintenance costs.  Net Zero Homes also improve resale value.

Increased Health and Comfort

Net Zero Homes are built with increased air tightness compared to homes that are built to the standard building code. This increased air tightness, along with increased air filtration from advanced mechanical systems, help to reduce allergens within the home. Overall, Net Zero Homes have vastly improved air quality.

Advanced insulation, better windows, and increased air tightness also help to reduce noise transference from outside.

Although home comfort may not seem to save money, a cleaner, quieter home is proven to increase health and reduced stress.  In the long term, this will save money for both the homeowner and the health care system.

So, do Net Zero Homes save you money? Can they really be cost-effective for the average buyer? Over the lifetime of owning the home, yes. In addition, as more builders voluntarily train to build Net Zero Homes and technology continues to advance, these homes will become more affordable to build.

How Can Made to Last Help?

At Made to Last Custom Homes, we always guide our clients to get the best value out of their budget in regards to floor plan, product selection, and finishing. We also consider energy efficiency and overall environmental impact. Wherever possible, we use building materials manufactured or sourced on Vancouver Island. This helps the local economy, reduces shipping costs, and sometimes can even save money.

Our work has been seen as making outstanding contributions towards the advancement of green building practices. Recently, Made to Last Custom Homes won Green Builder of the Year at the 2022 CARE Awards. Our work building Quamichan Net Zero, as well as using advanced energy efficiency in all of our projects was recognized as helping the overall construction industry.

See this related article to learn more about the other aspects that can impact the cost to build a custom home.

Are you considering building your own dream home?  We would love to hear from you! Contact us today to start the process.

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