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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018


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Better Builder Magazine brings together premium product manufactures and leading builders to create better differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. The magazine is published four times a year.

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Better Builder Magazine, Issue 28 / Winter 2018

  1. 1. ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018PUBLICATIONNUMBER42408014 INSIDE Rosehaven on the Leading Edge Streamlining Approvals Village Homes’ Innovations Campanale Offers Added Value Climate Change Reality Check The MunicipalIssue ProfilesinLocalLeadership
  2. 2. 209 Citation Dr. Unit 3 & 4 Concord, ON L4K 2Y8 905-669-7373 · Models C95 & C140 Condensing Combination Boiler Glow Brand C95 and C140 instantaneous combination ASME boilers for heating and on-demand hot water supply. The ultra-efficient compact design combination boiler has an AFUE rating of 95%. These units are fully modulating at 10 to 1 and 2 inch PVC venting up to 100 feet. Canadian Made
  3. 3. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 16 1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 2 Rewarding Leadership and Creative Thinking by John Godden THE BADA TEST 3 A Little Common Sense and Technology Can Streamline GTA Development Approvals by Lou Bada INDUSTRY NEWS 7 “Streamline” Finally Becomes a Buzzword for Politicians, Industry by Richard Lyall BUILDER NEWS 11 Village Homes Exceptional Local Leadership by Alex Newman SPECIAL INTEREST 14 The Game Changer in Air Sealing of Houses by Gord Cooke SITE SPECIFIC 20 Discovery Channel by Rob Blackstien 20 A North American First by Rob Blackstien INDUSTRY NEWS 24 Campanale Homes Commitment to Quality Gives Home Buyers Better Values by Alex Newman FROM THE GROUND UP 30 Climate Change Reality Check: A Call to Action by Doug Tarry FEATURE STORY 16 Leading Edge East Gwillimbury may be ready to take its game to the next level – thanks to a unique innovation driven by Rosehaven Homes. by Rob Blackstien 11 ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 On our cover: Franco Fiorucci, Construction Site Manager, Rosehaven Homes; Joe Laronga, Architecture and Engineering Manager, Rosehaven Homes; Marco Guglietti, Owner, Rosehaven Homes; Mary Jafarpour; and Nick Sanci, Contracts Manager, Rosehaven Homes. Photos by Rodney Daw courtesy of Enbridge Gas. Images internally supplied unless otherwise credited. 7 14
  4. 4. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20182 W hat makes good leadership? We know that poor leadership usually consists of simplistic thinking or fundamentalism. In contrast, balancing pros and cons – and preserving balance and choice – is key to effective leadership. In training sessions, I usually ask the participants “yes” or “no” questions – but I rarely get commitment to either response. Maybe people are afraid of suffering the disapproval of the group. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing the answer, but asking yourself the question is what’s most important. Good leadership is about constantly asking good questions. Here’s a question worth asking. In Ontario, we have a surplus of off-peak electricity and challenges with fresh water supply and waste treatment capacity. What could be the best way to manage our energy and water needs and reduce CO2 emissions? For the answer, let’s look at Rosehaven Homes in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. In 2015, East Gwillimbury launched the Sustainable Development Incentive Program (SDIP). Under the SDIP, developers are offered 28% more lots if they guarantee that builders provide ENERGY STAR certification and equip homes with water-saving measures, which help to reduce infrastructure costs for the municipality. That sounds great, but the unintended consequence of the program is that builders have to bear construction cost increases of $3,000 to $5,000 per house to reach those goals. Rosehaven Homes was an early adopter of ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide labelling of homes. In 2012, it adopted its own brand using the Better Than Code platform. Other municipalities, such as Vaughan and Oakville, allowed Rosehaven to use these guidelines to meet the equivalency of an ENERGY STAR labelling – but unfortunately, after several attempts to convince the town of East Gwillimbury, Rosehaven’s building permits were still applied for under ENERGY STAR version 12. Here is where the leadership kicks in. In a Savings by Design workshop in January 2018, Rosehaven presented a challenge to East Gwillimbury’s Mayor Virginia Hackson. The builder would construct a model home that would exceed energy savings from ENERGY STAR and water savings from the SDIP checklist if the mayor would agree to host the open house that summer. On August 30, 2018, the total water solution (TWS) was unveiled in their discovery home. The mayor kept her part of the bargain, attended the open house and – due to Rosehaven’s outstanding results – indicated the municipality would review the SDIP. Read about this success story on page 16. Campanale Homes is another leader that’s bringing energy savings and upgrade packages to the market. They’ve developed a discovery home that functions as a sales office, model home and public education space under one roof, and their marketing message is consistently focused on their energy-efficiency efforts. And as you’ll read about on page 24, Campanale is always working to develop partnerships so they can bring their customers the best possible upgrade options. Campanale constructed their vision 2030 home in Ottawa using solar panels and the TWS, and it truly is net zero. Good leadership requires two things: forward thinking and a willingness to question existing norms and try new solutions. Both Rosehaven’s and Campanale’s discovery homes are examples of such leadership. The real reward is a job well done. BB Local Leadership Rewarding Leadership and Creative Thinking publisher’snote / JOHN GODDENPUBLISHER Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 416-481-4218 | fax 416-481-4695 Better Builder Magazine is a sponsor of PUBLISHING EDITOR John B. Godden MANAGING EDITOR Wendy Shami To advertise, contribute a story, or join our distribution list, please contact FEATURE WRITERS Rob Blackstien, Alex Newman PROOFREADING Carmen Siu CREATIVE Wallflower Design This magazine brings together premium product manufacturers and leading builders to create better, differentiated homes and buildings that use less energy, save water and reduce our impact on the environment. PUBLICATION NUMBER 42408014 Copyright by Better Builder Magazine. Contents may not be reprinted or reproduced without written permission. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the authors and assumed to be original work. Better Builder Magazine cannot be held liable for any damage as a result of publishing such works. TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. UNDELIVERABLE MAIL Better Builder Magazine 63 Blair Street Toronto ON M4B 3N5 Better Builder Magazine is published four times a year.
  5. 5. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 A Little Common Sense and Technology Can Streamline GTA Development Approvals 3 T here are two big policy issues for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) these days: a lack of affordable housing and inadequate transportation infrastructure. Housing affordability problems arise mainly from too little housing supply compared to demand. According to BILD, GTA constraints result in a defi­ cit of 10,000 housing units every year. One key factor artificially reducing supply is the GTA’s very slow develop­ ment approval process. We may or may not be a world-class city, but we certainly have world-class red tape. Very slow approvals not only delay but reduce new supply. Even routine projects that are compliant with the provincial and municipal planning policies face long and unexpected delays. More complex projects , face even bigger delays, with the result that developers don’t consider these projects or drop them along the way, contributing to less new supply. In July 2018, RESCON released its Streamlining the Development and Building Approvals Process in Ontario report (find it at news/files/RESCON_Streamlining_ Approvals_Process.pdf). RESCON’s Michael de Lint was the lead author, and Starlane’s Shawn Leonard was a key working group participant. Slow site plan approvals are a big factor. This is a largely technical process that should take one month, according to the Planning Act. But according to RESCON’s and other reports, actual site plan approval time frames are often over one year. This is the proverbial “canary in a coal mine” thebadatest / LOU BADA – signalling that the health of the GTA approval process is not at all good. So how do we speed up the develop­ ment approvals process in the GTA? RESCON’s report includes hard-to- argue-with, common sense ideas to speed up the planning machinery. The report takes a bigger view and looks at the building regulatory system ecology, including approval agencies, builders, e-permitting and building information modelling (BIM) technology. Corporate culture in regulatory agencies is also a problem. Too often there is no sense of urgency. Legislated approval time frames are ignored and treated as a nice idea. RESCON recommends that the province implement a “transparency checklist” requiring, among other things, that all regulatory agency websites report actual median approval time frames. Part of the reason for the slow approvals is that, even after all upfront planning requirements have been completed, planners reviewing applications are still in “planning mode,” coming up with new ideas. RESCON’s report recommends a “client- centric checklist,” including the idea that persons reviewing applications be called “development facilitators” (or something similar), rather than planners. Some U.S. and Ontario jurisdictions are starting to do this. Often, regulatory agencies argue that delays arise from incomplete applications. But many agencies are not transparent about all of their requirements, making it difficult for builders to avoid incomplete applications. The report’s “transparency checklist” recommends that agency websites include: checklists to help guide applicants submit complete applications; standard details for drawings (such as standard drawings for site plan applications, and standard house designs); staff telephone and email addresses (surprisingly, this is missing from many agency websites). Pre- Streamlining the Development and Building Approvals Process in Ontario Good practice concepts and a guide to action
  6. 6. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20184 consultation with key agency staff prior to formal submission can also help ensure a complete application and fewer problems. The RESCON report provides good information on effective approaches. As a builder, I know that the building industry can, under the right circumstances, also contribute to a faster approval process. For example, our firm makes sure that even low-rise house plan designs are coordinated and peer reviewed by a professional to avoid design clashes and ensure Code compliance. Also, early in the process, we pre- consult with all relevant agencies to make sure our development and building applications are complete and compliant – this helps to speed things up. However, many regulatory agencies still need to be much more efficient, transparent and client- centric, and they should follow the RESCON report’s recommendations to guide them in that direction. Builders can also have a role in supporting innovation. RESCON’s report argues that for larger buildings involving several professionals, design coordination and peer review can make municipalities more comfortable in approving complex, energy-efficient and innovative designs, via alternative solutions. Finally, the report recommends that Ontario expand the use of e-permitting and BIM. Some municipalities have started down the e-permitting road, but we can do much more – many G7 countries already have strategies to expand e-permitting and BIM, including a common platform allowing municipal and provincial agencies to share digital files more easily. But, as RESCON recommends, we can’t automate everything – builders still need to be able to talk directly to a development coordinator or building official. These are common sense ideas to speed up and streamline the approval process. By doing so, builders can build much more of the innovative, high-performance housing that home buyers want. BB Lou Bada is vice president of low rise construction at Starlane Home Corporation and on the board of directors for the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). 4
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  9. 9. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 Y ou’ve probably heard the term “red tape” floated about Ontario for numerous years. The longer the Liberal government remained in power over the course of 15 years, the more the opposition brought up the layers of red tape that were created between the provincial and municipal governments, a variety of industries and the people of Ontario. When looking at the red tape involved in residential construction, in 2015, RESCON identified at least 45 different provincial and municipal approval agencies that builders and developers have to deal with in order to get anything built. Is there any wonder why it takes 10 years for residential developments to come to fruition? The Doug Ford government has embraced “the cutting of red tape,” even going as far as naming MPP Jim Wilson as the “minister responsible for red tape and regulatory burden reduction,” according to a recent press release – that’s in his spare time, when he’s not busy as minister of economic development, job creation and trade. Since Ford, Wilson and the Progressive Conservatives came into power, another term has been making the rounds publicly: “streamline.” This is a word that we have urged previous governments to investigate and implement to help the development approvals process backlog within Queen’s Park as well as municipalities across Ontario. The approvals process has become painfully slow, causing unnecessary financial risk and uncertainty for residential construction. Suddenly, in July, those who were looking in from the outside are now in power at Queen’s Park – and suddenly, “streamline” is being heard from the lips of today’s elected officials and industry stakeholders. At a housing summit held in downtown Toronto during the fall, Ontario municipal affairs and housing minister Steve Clark told the crowd gathered that there was “no silver bullet” to tackling housing affordability and supply issues. However, he added, the regulatory and approvals process “takes too long” and “creates barriers to construction of new housing supply.” What are the solutions to tackling the GTA’s housing supply crisis? We think Clark knocked it out of the park – streamline development 7 “Streamline” Finally Becomes a Buzzword for Politicians, Industry industrynews / RICHARD LYALL In 2015, RESCON identified at least 45 different provincial and municipal approval agencies that builders and developers have to deal with in order to get anything built. 247868038/SHUTTERSTOCK
  10. 10. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 20188 approvals, reduce red tape, and plan for growth which aligns with transit and population growth. “The days of excessive regulatory burden are over,” Clark said, followed by a round of applause. Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association, opened the same housing summit in conjunction with the Ontario Home Builders’ Association and the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario by talking about the need to “streamline the approvals process” and “bring more housing supply to the market.” That’s music to our ears. The Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) recognizes this as well. In its 2017–2018 annual general report, OBOA president Matt Farrell noted: “A new provincial government has come into power with a goal to streamline the development process and make housing more obtainable. They are asking for our help.” During a mayoral candidates debate organized by the Toronto Real Estate Board before his re-election, Toronto mayor John Tory made it clear to his audience that the approvals process has to speed up: “I’m working very hard now to speed up the approvals process at City Hall for construction. We are at the stage where things are simply too complicated and taking too long, and most of that was from a lack of proper interdepartmental cooperation inside the city… When I’m told it takes twice as long to do things in Toronto as it takes elsewhere, I don’t like that… It doesn’t need to take twice as long.” We can only hope that with the 888 mayor entering his second term now, addressing housing supply and affordability will be key mandates of the city. The time for rhetoric is done; it’s time for all levels of government to act now. In nearly two decades of advocacy, we have been talking about streamlining in reference to cutting Liberal government red tape within housing and municipal affairs. And while we asked the Liberal governments about cutting red tape and streamlining approvals to prevent a crisis with the housing chain of supply, the residential construction industry was ignored. Meanwhile, we watched as the Kathleen Wynne government’s red tape cuts were announced to help auto parts manufacturing, food processing, financial services, mining, chemical manufacturing, forestry… where was residential construction? New government, new look, new buzzwords – including in their press releases on other subjects. An October release from the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, announcing the introduction of legislation to dismantle Bill 148 and the winding down of the Ontario College of Trades, included the following statement: “The government will continue to systematically review Ontario’s stock of regulations, then streamline, modernize and, in some cases, eliminate unnecessarily complicated, outdated or duplicative regulations.” Of course, there was also the “streamlining” of Toronto city council from 47 to 25 councillors. Whether you agree with this decision or not, it’s difficult to deny that this government is energized, focused and active. Government and industry will continue to work together to eliminate unnecessary steps and processes within the bureaucracy – and we would like to see streamlining used as building approvals processes are updated. So what should streamlining look like for residential construction? For that answer, please turn to page 3 to read Lou Bada’s excellent column. We think you’ll agree that it’s about time the use of “streamlining” moves from industry rhetoric to government action so that we can move on to the next buzzword – whatever that will be. BB Richard Lyall, president of RESCON, has represented the building industry in Ontario since 1991. He is also a frequent speaker and writer on issues related to the construction industry. Contact him @ RESCONprez or at “The government will continue to systematically review Ontario’s stock of regulations, then streamline, modernize and, in some cases, eliminate unnecessarily complicated, outdated or duplicative regulations.”
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  13. 13. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 Michael, who had studied archi­ tecture at California Polytechnic State University, and Judy, who was doing a master’s in ecology at University of California at Davis in the early ’70s, were inspired by the UK’s garden cities. These innovative communities were first envisioned by Ebenezer Howard, a British urban planner in the late 1800s who believed open green space was the answer to polluted, post- Industrial Revolution-era cities. Fast forward to the early 1970s. The Corbetts and a group of like- minded graduate students started meeting on Sunday nights, disturbed by how North American cities were developing, and particularly concerned with suburban sprawl. The group fell apart, however, when the Corbetts started working on actually developing a model neighbourhood, a vision which included a local bus system, gardens, orchards, a farmers market, a vineyard, affordable housing and playgrounds. That vision would eventually become a planned community of 225 energy-conscious houses and 20 apartment units, situated along pedestrian-friendly cul-de-sacs, which were individually/privately owned. The small retail area – containing a ballet studio, a restaurant and other businesses – generated income and was operated and maintained by Plumshire Corporation. The 60-acre project was unique in North America at the time. The road from vision to shovels in the ground, however, took two or three years of “hell,” says Judy – pushing and convincing city council, the planning department, the police, the fire department, public works, the city attorney and, of course, the bank that this could work. “They had never seen anything like this before,” Judy says. Though the community has had a lasting impact on state building and energy standards, she recalls that back then they had “tremendous push back from all city officials, except for the city manager and city attorney.” Ultimately, the project had to be financed by friends and family, along with a loan from a local savings and loan company that already had a relationship with Michael’s parents (they were builders). It was completed 11 Village Homes Exceptional Local Leadership buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN N amed by Time magazine as one of the world’s best examples of sustainable development, Village Homes is still going strong 40 years after its inception. The visionary brainchild of Michael and Judy Corbett, graduate students in California who were married, Village Homes was intended to create higher residential density while offering greater open space, discouraging car use and encouraging human interaction. THISPAGE&TABLEOFCONTENTS DESIGNFORHEALTH|CCBY2.0 Abundant fruit for all.
  14. 14. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201812 in five stages over six years, with 30 to 40 houses built each year, along with the accompanying streets, greenbelts and orchards. The Corbetts would sell each unit before moving on to the next. The prices for homes were the same as other subdivision developments in Davis, but because the community has become such a popular place to live, the prices are now higher per square foot. In the planning stages, they figured the best way to discourage driving and to promote human interaction was to make it more difficult to drive than to walk or bike around. Judy was in graduate school at the time, looking at how a sense of community happens. They created clusters of seven houses, with laneways in the rear for cars and meandering paths in the front for people. Each cluster received a one- third-acre communal open space and $600 – this was in 1977 – both of which were intended to be incentives for neighbours to get together and jointly care for the land. Many of the paths run beside drainage swales that are part of an overall system to protect the development from flooding. In one video, Michael describes how the city engineers said their system of edible landscaping, solar orientation and natural drainage wouldn’t work, and how they imposed an expensive bond to cover the city having to fix issues and lay new pipes. But in the second year, a heavy storm sent water backflowing into the project from the city’s system. Michael went to council to request they remove the bond, which they did. Although homes were built close together, the vast green spaces – orchards, vineyards and playgrounds – represent 40% of the total land and brought the density to around six units per acre, Judy says. “You’d never do this density now, especially since we can do solar and passive energy on much smaller land parcels.” When it came to construction, Corbett says they used a lot of high- mass materials, such as tile floors and tile roofs, which allowed for better air ventilation, especially on hot summer nights. Units face south to capture sunlight; roof overhangs block the summer sun from penetrating inside, but during winter months (when the sun is lower on the horizon), the sunlight gets inside more easily. Initially, the homes had structural columns filled with water that moderated the inside temperature – all part of the passive solar technique, Corbett says. They also had solar greenhouses that would retain heat in the floors and pulled cool night air through the same system. Walls and roofs had higher levels of insulation than most homes of the day. Today, residents are also looking at water storage and water recycling. The Corbetts had innovated a natural drainage system that kept all storm­ water and urban runoff on the site, allowing them to recharge the ground­ water supplies. “When the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] instituted their non-point pollution regulations, they used Village Homes as an example for pollution control. Now it’s an example for groundwater recharge.” Their one failure, Judy says, was to run greywater from home to yard. The health department took them on, and they had to pour concrete in the drains that allowed them to run from the upstairs bathtub to the yard. In 1991, a private non-profit group in nearby Sacramento invited Michael – along with fellow architects Andrés Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Peter Calthorpe – to come up with some principles for community land-use planning. The group named these the Ahwahnee Principles, and presented them to government officials. In 1993, the architects (not In the planning stages, the Corbetts figured the best way to discourage driving and to promote human interaction was to make it more difficult to drive than to walk or bike around. MODIFIEDFROMFGRAMMEN Street network diagram of the Village Homes community in Davis, California. At its midpoint, the neighbourhood measures 325 metres wide. COLLECTOR ROADS PATHS LOCAL STREETS
  15. 15. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 including Corbett) founded the Congress for the New Urbanism, which is now the leading international organization promoting New Urbanist principles. Looking back, Judy says that “I couldn’t imagine doing this project today if we knew how difficult it would be, and that we would have to elect a whole new city council.” She adds that there have been other attempts since, but most have failed, and none were mixed income like Village Homes. “Bottom line is the final decision is made by mayors, city councils … that’s why I started the local government commission to educate local elected officials and planners.” Their stream of admirers have included the likes of Jane Fonda, Rosalynn Carter, François Mitterrand, and tons of students and professors. As Judy says: “You can’t imagine how many people I meet who say they learned all about us in planning or architecture school.” (In fact, John Godden, president of Clearsphere and publisher of Better Builder, credits Village Homes as the catalyst for him to dedicate his career to energy-efficient building and sustainable planning and development. His honours thesis at the University of Waterloo was titled The Resource-efficient Subdivision: An Alternative Development Concept for Rural Lands.) The biggest difference in building sustainably is the emotional, cultural and physical impact it has on the people who live there. In their book, Designing Sustainable Communities: Learning from Village Homes, the Corbetts’ son Christopher describes a feeling in regular developments of being “locked in by the fence in my backyard and the street in front of my house. [Living in other communities,] I feel a loss of the freedom I had as a child.” He recently purchased an empty lot to build a home in the area. Judy says many kids who were raised in Village Homes want to come back and live there. She knows why: “Last week I walked to the swimming pool, and as I passed the dance studio, I could hear ballerinas in there practising. I could hear high school students practising orchestra in our community centre. I passed by the restaurant, and you could hear people laughing and enjoying themselves. Honestly, I never expected it to be this good.” BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at 13 Roof truss and wood sill connection. Simpson Strong Tie MGT system shown Drywall screwed into amvic polypropylene webs as per building code Electrical outlet Wood sub-floor installed as per local building Simpson strong tie ICFLC and wood floor joists connection Amvic insulating concrete forms Amdeck floor & roof system Exterior wood siding installed as per local building code Amvic high impact polypropylene webs Acrylic, standard ptucco or eifs applied to exterior face of Amvic ICF Brick veneer Parge face of exposed brick ledge Grade Peel-and-stick waterproofing membrane (or equivalent) as per local building code Perforated weeping tile INSULATED CONCRETEFORMS FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT: AMVIC.COM
  16. 16. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201814 specialinterest / GORD COOKE If you don’t know the legacy of Mr. Orr, you should check it out at the link below. In short, Mr. Orr was recently honoured with the Order of Canada for his pioneering work in the 1960s and 1970s on energy-efficient housing construction. He was a key contributor to the success of the Saskatchewan Conservation House that was the first comprehensive demonstration of what became the R-2000 program and the German Passive House program. Mr. Orr is credited with the development of the first blower door system for measuring airtightness. Thus it was great fun for me to spend time with him at the EEBA conference in San Diego and hear about the early attempts to make building enclosures very airtight. Then, it was very satisfying for me to introduce him to what I believe is the game-changing new technology for air sealing called AeroBarrier. This technology could well be the end game of our industry’s search for a comprehensive, cost-effective way to ensure the control of unwanted air leaks through building enclosures. I had heard about AeroBarrier in the summer of 2017 from colleagues of mine in Minnesota who were conducting field trials of the system in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home research project. They were very excited about the product and the amazing results they were seeing in large- volume builders’ homes. As I looked into it more, I found that the product was developed at the University of California, Davis and has been licensed to the same company that markets the Aeroseal duct sealing system that I have recommended to builders and HVAC contractors for years. Then, at the 2017 EEBA conference in Atlanta, I met Geoff Ferrell, the chief technology officer of Mandalay Homes in Arizona. Geoff told me they had used AeroBarrier on dozens of homes and had already committed to using it on the 200+ homes they build per year. In Geoff’s words, “AeroBarrier may be the most important innovation to hit the building community in years. The ability to consistently seal all the small leaks that would otherwise take countless man hours to seek and hand seal, assuming you even find them all, in just one automated application is simply amazing. The cost effectiveness is beyond immeasurable when you consider the total sealing solution AeroBarrier provides and all the labour saved by automating the application process. We couldn’t be happier with AeroBarrier and the fine folks behind the product.” That was enough for me to explore bringing the technology to Canada, and the first system landed here in April. We have done about 70 homes in southern Ontario since, and Geoff’s assessment was indeed correct. Large custom homes, production detached homes, townhomes and multi-family suites were all sealed to whatever level the builders’ goals were, including The Game Changer in Air Sealing of Houses I was very privileged recently to help present the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance’s (EEBA) inaugural Legends award to the father of energy efficiency in Canada, Harold Orr.
  17. 17. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 three Passive Homes under 0.6 ACH at 50 Pascal. In each case, the sealing results are tracked in real time with a certificate of completion outlining the sealing work at the end. AeroBarrier is a non-toxic, water-borne acrylic sealant that is aerosolized through a system that includes a pump, hoses and up to 16 nozzles placed throughout the home. The house is fogged with the sealant while the house is pressurized up to 100 Pascal of positive pressure, using a blower door similar to the one your energy advisor uses to air test your homes. As air moves through the house and towards any leakage points in the enclosure, the sealant is entrained in the air and coagulates around the edges of holes in the enclosure. It adheres well to over 20 different commonly used building materials such as drywall, OSB, wood, concrete, plastics, metal and foam. It is important to note that it is not coating surfaces, but rather just coagulating around the edges of holes until the holes are sealed. The whole process is monitored by computer, with the air sealing progress tracked and graphed such that you can target any level of airtightness you want. Once the target is achieved, the sealant is stopped and air is flushed out of the building. Some residue of dried sealant falls to the floor and any other horizontal surfaces and can be swept up. As you consider this technology, there are a couple of things you will want to keep in mind. First, the system can be applied after rough-ins and before insulation and drywall if you use an exterior air barrier such as extruded insulation board. In fact, we have already conducted demonstrations with Owens Corning’s CodeBord Air Barrier System. The other good time to apply the system is just after the first coat of drywall mud is applied. This minimizes seal time and clean-up time. With set-up, application and clean-up, the process typically takes between three and five hours – the tighter the target, the longer it takes. Next, the system pressurizes the house. This has two implications. First, window sashes and exhaust fan vents need to be taped off so sealant doesn’t find its way in those areas. It also means that the final test results may be slightly different than your regular energy advisor’s depressurization test result. Holes in houses can leak differently depending on the direction of flow. Finally, although it would seem that older houses might really benefit from the technology, recall that the sealant does deposit out on horizontal surfaces, and clean-up of furniture, flooring and cabinets would be prohibitive. If, however, you are doing a thorough renovation with all new flooring and new cabinets, and all furnishings are out of the house, then AeroBarrier may well be a very cost-effective way to air seal an existing house. When you consider the net zero- ready goals for 2030 and the proposed Ontario Building Code for airtightness testing of all new homes by as early as 2021, I think you can agree with Geoff Ferrell’s assessment that AeroBarrier is an important technology. Consider the opportunities to employ the performance path of the Ontario Building Code now, where airtightness trade-offs can be used to offset other expensive energy-efficiency elements, such as increased insulation levels. Consider, too, the labour to meet the 16 rigorous prescriptive air sealing clausess already listed in Section 9.25 of the Code and the liability if you aren’t able to meet the ever-increasing expectations of home buyers for the “perfect” house. With this in mind, you can imagine why I felt the need to bring the system to Canada. I am hoping you will want to learn more. Check it out at www. BB Gord Cooke is president of Building Knowledge Canada. 15 Setup for whole-house air sealing.
  18. 18. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 LeadingEdge featurestory / ROB BLACKSTIEN One of Ontario’s most progressive municipalities, East Gwillimbury may be ready to take its game to the next level – thanks to a unique innovation driven by Rosehaven Homes. W hen it comes to showing progressive municipal leadership in the area of sustainable development, East Gwillimbury has few peers. Located at the northernmost reaches of Highway 404, the town has long maintained a focus on environmentalism, especially in water conservation, given its limited wastewater storage space. In fact, in 2014 the town began working on a comprehensive initiative called the Sustainable Development Incentive Program (SDIP). Launched in January 2015, the program was outlined in an 88-page tome of guidelines and practices aimed at developers and builders. East Gwillimbury continues to push this agenda. Earlier this year, the 16
  19. 19. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 town extended its “Thinking Green” standards beyond the building envelope “to encourage a holistic approach to sustainability,” says Mayor Virginia Hackson. A tremendously ambitious under­ taking intended to reduce water demand and wastewater and result in more energy-efficient development, the SDIP offered up some great incentives for developers. Specifically, those that agreed to abide by the guidelines of this voluntary program were eligible for a 28% boost in lot allocation. So developers are able to sell nearly a third more lots – but it is the actual home builders who are now forced to construct houses to meet SDIP requirements, including water conservation, energy conservation and renewable energy measures, plus resource management and home owner education. This is all very well intentioned and highly commendable. However, from the builders’ perspective, it’s forcing them to build in a rather prescriptive – and often more costly – manner, at a time when all levels of government are decrying the rising cost of homes. (You know what they say about the road to hell…) Unfortunately, East Gwillimbury’s SDIP – while a huge push towards sustainability – was already a tad antiquated upon its release. It is therefore hamstringing builders that may have already evolved past the program’s preferred methods. Enter Rosehaven Homes, a builder with a long history of innovation. Its discovery home, launched in late summer, may have finally opened up the eyes of enough of the town’s key stakeholders to usher in change. Last year, Rosehaven was engaged in the construction of its Anchor Woods community in the Holland Landing section of East Gwillimbury. As part of the process, the company was engaged in the Savings by Design program (see Summer 2018 issue, page 11), which includes its standard charrette, this time involving key stakeholders from the town (including Mayor Hackson) and various sustainable building experts, like Clearsphere’s John Godden. Having unsuccessfully lobbied Facing page: East Gwillimbury Mayor Virginia Hackson welcomes everyone to the open house. Above right, from left to right: Homeowner Mary Jafarpour, Mayor Virginia Hackson, John Bell (Greyter Water Systems), Marco Guglietti (Rosehaven Homes), and Ian MacPherson (Enbridge). 17 PHOTOSBYRODNEYDAWCOURTESYOFENBRIDGEGAS
  20. 20. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 THE TOTAL WATER SOLUTION HOW THE RENEWABLE STRATEGY WORKS 18 to build Anchor Woods using its preferred HERS approach, by this point Rosehaven was resigned to using the SDIP-prescribed ENERGY STAR program. Still, knowing Rosehaven was likely to produce similar (or even better) results using HERS while still achieving the goals of the SDIP, Godden made a suggestion that put both the builder and the mayor on the spot: if Rosehaven were to build a discovery home that met SDIP’s standards, would the mayor come to the opening and endorse it? All parties agreed, and soon, Godden was invited to speak at an East Gwillimbury council meeting to discuss Rosehaven’s plans. Mayor Hackson wanted all the councillors to understand and embrace this concept. “It went very well,” she says. “[He] delivered the message very strongly.” And so it was that the wheels were set in motion for Rosehaven to show leadership through innovation (as it has wont to do through its 26-year history), and in this instance, perhaps do what we’ve all likely dreamt of from time to time – namely, change city policy. Ushering in change is nothing new to Rosehaven. The 80-plus-employee firm has a long history of being on the leading edge. In 2005, Rosehaven built Riverstone Golf and Country Club in Brampton, the first EnerGuide (the forerunner to ENERGY STAR) community. Rosehaven was also the first builder to embrace the HERS label with its Kleinburg community in 2012, ultimately proving its expertise by winning the Cross Border Builder Challenge President’s Award in 2016 with a home that had a HERS score of 46. And now the company has helped pioneer another first: the Total Water Solution, a multi-company effort featuring the integration of eight technologies and the centrepiece of the discovery home’s renewable strategy. (For more on the Total Water Solution, see the “A North American First” sidebar on page 20.) By spearheading the efforts of several players to make this happen, Rosehaven showed true leadership. But Joe Laronga, the company’s architecture and engineering manager, was quick to deflect credit, calling it “a group effort.” It’s important to understand that when Rosehaven balked at the SDIP, it did so mostly because the program wasn’t in the spirit of the Building Code, which specifically recognizes several different energy rating systems, not just ENERGY STAR. Laronga set up a meeting with the town to discuss the issue. “We don’t have a problem with your SDIP,” AIR CONDITIONER HEAT PUMP uses off-peak electricity to provide heat in the shoulder months WATER MAIN AIR HANDLER GREYWATER RECYCLING SYSTEM 2 showers provide 30 toilet flushes DRAIN WATER HEAT RECOVERY UNIT 50% efficiency DUAL PURPOSE CONDENSING HOT WATER HEATER shower water goes through DRAIN WATER HEAT RECOVERY UNIT and then to greywater system WATER LEAK DEVICE AND FLOW MONITOR remotely shuts off MAIN and measures fixture consumption greywater feeds toilets UPONOR LOGIC PLUMBING ERV manages relative humidity with heat recovery
  21. 21. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 Laronga recalls telling the town official. “What we have a problem with is that it has prescriptive language in it.” Essentially, ENERGY STAR is a brand, “and the town should really remain neutral in enforcing that.” It’s not as if Rosehaven didn’t have a ton of experience with ENERGY STAR, but “our main concern is that the ENERGY STAR is a moving target,” he explains. “You can get multiple versions within a project that has different phases,” leaving the company to constantly update its drawings and specs to keep pace. That becomes a costly proposition. The SDIP also poses a challenge because more items need to be installed in these houses, says Franco Fiorucci, Rosehaven’s site supervisor and the person credited for making this all happen on the ground. He says this includes humidifiers; on-demand hot water recirculation pumps; WaterSense-labelled toilets and faucets; and low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and stains. Laronga says that “HERS is part of our DNA, really” – so the SDIP requirements led to a standstill, which will hopefully be rectified by the discovery home. (For more on the discovery house, see the “Discovery Channel” sidebar on page 20.) It’s clear that Rosehaven’s discovery home will achieve the town’s goals. In fact, building to SDIP guidelines results in a home about 15% better than code; Rosehaven’s discovery home is 26% better than code. “This is an eye opener for them,” Laronga says. He’s hoping the discovery home will help the town realize that changing the SDIP to allow for any home energy rating system that’s Code-approved is beneficial to all. Give builders more choice, and not only will it help them keep costs in check, but it will also allow them to innovate. Everyone involved lauds East Gwillimbury’s desire to drive sustain­ ability, but the SDIP should be a living, breathing document that can evolve over time. “At the time it got produced, it was leading edge, but by the time we started implementing it and putting it into practice, the technology had changed already,” Laronga explains. Adds Fiorucci: “We’re saying ‘hey, we’re a leader in the industry, we want to try something new. Are you willing to work with us and see that there is a better way to do things?’” Of course, building this discovery home is not without its risk. Fiorucci admits, “if it doesn’t work, it kind of backfires on us a bit.” But as we all know, those on the leading edge must take risks in order to innovate. The question is: has Rosehaven proven the technological development here enough to prompt a review of the SDIP? “I believe so,” says Mayor Hackson. “If you have a municipality that’s open to flexibility, then it breeds creativity, really, when it comes to environmental stewardship. Our staff [is] very open to listening and taking a look at all kinds of ideas that aren’t standard or the norm to make a difference.” Mayor Hackson understands that, in a market that’s flattened over the last year, providing builders with more choice is one way to lure them to your community. Notably, she offers a slight indication that the SDIP may be changing: “Our council has directed staff to review the technologies and report back with ways for us to continue to promote this and any other options that builders come forward with to incorporate into their design for every home.” Based on the fact that she attended the Savings by Design charrette, invited Godden to speak to council and went to Rosehaven’s open house, it seems like Mayor Hackson is on board with the idea of builders finding the best energy efficient solutions for their homes.. “Yes, you’re absolutely right: I have bought into this concept,” she confirms. Fears that Mayor Hackson would be voted out in October – and the new boss may not see things the same way – were assuaged when she was re-elected. Regardless of the leadership, Laronga says, “the discovery home is a placeholder” that will show real energy and water savings, and which ought to pave the way for a more flexible approach by East Gwillimbury. We’re all familiar with the old adage “you can’t fight city hall” – but perhaps Rosehaven has found a way to at least change its mind. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. 19 “If you have a municipality that’s open to flexibility, then it breeds creativity, really, when it comes to environmental stewardship.”
  22. 22. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201820 sitespecific / ROB BLACKSTIEN U pon deciding to build a discovery home in Anchor Woods, Rosehaven faced a big question: which home owner would be willing to try the experiment (albeit in a good way, considering the technology was all donated and would add up to significant utility savings)? Fortunately, the perfect candidate existed in Mary Jafarpour. Not only was she a long-time Rosehaven customer, but she had extensive building industry experience, so she was in the unique position to understand the value of what they were trying to accomplish. “Agreeing to have the mechanical system installed in my home was a win-win situation,” Jafarpour says. “I would be helping the environment by reducing my carbon footprint and helping Rosehaven and the Town of East Gwillimbury by agreeing to promote sustainable development.” Fiorucci says this discovery home is filled with innovations, as one of the first homes to receive a greywater system that reduces wastewater by around 25% and cuts sanitary inflow and outflow. It’s the first home to employ an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) to manage moisture, eliminating the need for a humidifier. Combination hybrid heat reduces natural gas usage and employs off-peak electricity through the heat pump, he adds. When Laronga and Rosehaven contracts manager Nick Sanci ran the idea for the discovery home up the flagpole, it was met with enthusiasm by Rosehaven’s owner, Marco Guglietti. “I welcomed the idea… yet again, I encourage new ideas for improved performance and efficiency in our homes,” he says. “Ideas like the discovery home epitomize Rosehaven Homes’ mission.” All told, about $5,000 worth of equipment was donated to make this home a reality and help achieve a HERS score of 41. Thanks to the home’s energy-efficiency features, Jafarpour is expected to save around $510 annually off her utility bills. continued part of this because it was a great idea, and I think that it’s time that we all looked at this stuff.” The Total Water Solution, the first of its kind in North America, consists of the following: M Phyn flow monitor: to monitor water usage and measure annual savings; M Drain water heat recovery system: recovers up to half of the heat from shower water to preheat the home’s domestic water; M Greywater recycling system: used to treat water from the shower and reuse it for flushing toilets (two showers will deliver enough water for 30 flushes); M Logic plumbing: part of the system (but not in this particular home), this helps structure water distribution to reduce the waiting time for hot water, thereby saving water; M Radiant dual-purpose condensing hot water heater: employs a modulating boiler to deliver space and hot water heating; continued I t took a lot of parties to pull off what Rosehaven accomplished in its discovery home with the Total Water Solution. One of the key players involved was Joe Krebs, estimator contracts manager for Applewood Air Conditioning. He really stepped up by helping convince Carrier – a long- time Rosehaven supplier – to donate a side discharge heat pump and thermostat. vänEE donated the ERV and Applewood supplied extra labour at no charge to get it done. “Everybody kind of kicked in,” Krebs says. “I was really happy to be a Discovery Channel A North American First Mayor Virginia Hackson presents homeowner Mary Jafarpour with a certificate of recognition.
  23. 23. Visit for directions, maps, hours and community information or call (1-888/416) 410-0175 On August 30, 2018, Rosehaven Homes, in partnership with Enbridge’s Savings by Design and the Municipality of East Gwillimbury, proudly unveiled the Discovery Home in our Anchor Woods community. A symbol of our spirit of innovation, the Discovery Home incorporates the latest, sustainable, energy-efficient features and finishes that go above and beyond the Building Code. Just one of the many ways in which Rosehaven Homes is building a better future for all of us. We would like to sincerely thank all our trades, partners and associates who collaborated with us in building our Discovery Home in East Gwillimbury. Enbridge Panasonic Greyter RESCON Building Products of Canada Thermal Hydronics Renewability Air Solutions Applewood Heating Carrier Town of East Gwillimbury Enercare Better Than Code Ecosmart Air Radiant Hydronics Uponor DISCOVERTHEHOME OFTHEFUTURE ECO-FRIENDLY STARTSAT HOME
  24. 24. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201822 M Ecosmart air handler: in conjunc­tion with the boiler, distributes heat and air conditioning through forced air ducting; M Carrier air conditioner heat pump: uses off-peak (cheaper) electricity to provide supplemental heat during shoulder months; and M vänEE energy recovery ventilator: delivers high efficiency heat recovery for ventilation and managing humidity levels. John Bell, Greyter Water Systems’ vice president of business development for residential homes, says this solution will be ready for a full-scale launch in January 2019. “As water costs rise, home owners will start to ask for the technology, but that’s really a couple of years out before I would ever consider [it to become] mainstream [for] end users,” he says. BB Rob Blackstien is a Toronto-based freelance writer. Among the home’s energy-efficient features: M High-performance envelope: rated 26% better than Code; M High-performance HVAC: a combination heating system, including an electronically commutated motor (ECM) blower, ensuring maximum air distribution and comfort (controllable with a web- based thermostat); M Indoor air quality: an ERV delivering minimum efficiency of 75% sensible recovery efficiency (SRE) with exhaust ducting to the bathrooms; M Reduced water usage: thanks to dual flush toilets and greywater recycling; and M Efficient lighting and material management: with 90% compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lighting. BB Discovery Channel, continued Joe Krebs A North American First, continued
  25. 25. EcoVent™ —The fan that meets designed airflow requirements. For true performance under the hood, install Panasonic EcoVent™ with Veri-Boost.™ Ideal for new residential construction, EcoVent is the perfect solution for home builders looking to meet designed airflow requirements the first time and avoid the hassle of replacing underperforming fans. EcoVent is a cost effective ENERGY STAR® rated solution that delivers strong performance. If you need to bump up the CFM output to achieve airflow design, simply flip the Veri-Boost switch and increase the flow from 70 to 90 CFM and you’re good to go! Learn more at
  26. 26. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201824 buildernews / ALEX NEWMAN Campanale has been building and developing low-rise, townhome, commercial, purpose-built rental, and high-/mid-rise projects since the late 1970s. They have always positioned themselves as “leaders in change, looking for ways to build better with new products, always wanting greater efficiency,” says Tony Campanale, head of construction. “With rising utility costs, buyers are increasingly concerned about energy use.” Always keen on using better materials and methods for greater efficiency and quality, the company recently teamed up with Clearsphere to refine their existing ideas and glean new ones. Tim Campanale, manager of contracts and estimating, says that it isn’t just about being good stewards, but also about making a better house and saving their buyers money in utility costs – “as much as 10% to 30%, depending on what they decide to include.” Instead of being dazzled by the icing on the cake – like granite counters and hardwood floors – home owners are encouraged to focus on the bones of a house. “[It’s] more important to have a well-built, durable home that reduces energy consumption and has more comfortable interior air quality. We’re building better and proving it’s better, by doing a blower door test and giving a seal guaranteeing that the house is 10% to 30% better than code.” It’s all in the envelope Campanale Homes puts a focus on a tight envelope with multiple air barriers and exterior sheathing, so their standard construction includes Excel exterior sheathing, a structurally rated product with an R-value of 1.5. It’s three times more effective than oriented strand board (OSB) because of its higher R-value and its ability to dry to the outside while preventing thermal bridging. Windows have lower U-values and a lower solar heat gain coefficient, which is superior to standard windows and much better than the existing Building Code. Essentially, they allow less heat to escape in the winter and less heat to penetrate during the summer months, effectively reducing the heating and cooling costs. Insulation for the low-rise homes is fibreglass batts on exterior walls. Occasionally, they use ROCKWOOL in demising walls and ceilings between units to prevent fire spread and sound transmission, but they rarely use it on exterior walls unless required by code. Typar on the inside of foundation walls behind the insulation is a moisture barrier and keeps moisture from wicking into those walls. Insulation stays dry and mould free, and also retains its R-value. When and when insulation gets wet, it does not keep its thermal effectiveness. Intelligent HVAC solutions With a tight envelope, it’s critical to have good ventilation. The Campanales install HVAC systems that include a Radiant boiler, which works as a domestic hot water heater for showers and taps, while also working as a heating appliance with a Radiant air handler. The combo system, Tim says, creates a more efficient heating system for the house. Instead of having a hot water tank and a gas furnace, which means burning gas for two appliances, you use one burner and Campanale Homes Commitment to Quality Gives Home Buyers Better Value Left to right: Tim Campanale, Rob Johnson, and Tony Campanale. T he principals of Campanale Homes – two generations of a family that work very well together – have always been committed to quality building. That’s something most builders say they’re committed to, but the Campanale difference is that their definition of quality includes energy efficiency.
  27. 27. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201826 less gas. The boiler works on two separate loops, which means that your water heated for showers and taps does not affect the water heated for the air handler and heat for the house. This new product, sourced from Italy, has a coil system in it. “It’s efficient, easy to use, and has one of the most efficient heat exchangers.” If a purchaser wants, a heat pump air conditioner is offered as an upgrade. A heat pump air conditioner is essentially the air conditioner working in reverse, using cheaper, off-peak electricity to provide supplemental heat. It saves money during the shoulder months, when it’s not really cold outside. They also install an energy recov­ ery ventilator (ERV), rather than a heat recovery ventilator (HRV), which balances the home’s humidity levels. Most builders use HRVs, but Campanale finds that ERVs provide a healthier interior environment for both the house and the people who live in it. The only fan vented to the outside is in the master bathroom; the other bathrooms’ exhaust air is ducted to the ERV in order to provide balanced ventilation. The company also stresses the value of renting HVAC elements. “Enercare gets a great price for these, so we rent and pass the savings on to the home owner,” Tim says. “The big benefit is if it breaks down, Enercare fixes it.” Future-friendly options A PVC conduit running from a basement panel to a meter outside and to the roof makes it possible to put solar panels on the roof. A selection of the homes is solar-ready, complete with engineered trusses, giving home owners the option to add solar later. A web-based ecobee thermostat is installed in all homes, in order to program heat and air conditioning, and to reduce bills. An upgrade offer includes a drain All these products meet ENERGY STAR’s higher standards For more information or to order, contact your local distributor. vänEE 100H vänEE 200HvänEE 60H vänEE 60H-V+ vänEE 90H-V ECMvänEE 40H+vänEE 90H-V+ vänEE 60H+ vänEE 50H1001 HRV vänEE Gold Series 2001 HRV vänEE Gold Series vänEE air exchangers: improved line-up meets ENERGY STAR® standards Superior Energy Efficiency Ideal for LEED homes and new building codes 5-year warranty* FRESH AIR JUST GOT GREENER *ON MOST MODELS. 0
  28. 28. Barrie, GTA West, GTA North Eric Byle | 416-937-8793 Toronto East Al Crost | 416-676-0168 Available to water heater customers whose equipment is not operational (i.e. no hot water)
  29. 29. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201828 water heat recovery pipe, although the Campanales didn’t install one as a standard since they were able to achieve 10% better than code without it. Greywater recycling is also part of that upgrade package, as is Uponor Logic plumbing, which brings hot and cold water separately to each fixture so there’s no waiting for hot water. Selling sustainability Although home owners are increasingly looking for ways to reduce energy consumption, the extra costs associated with efficiency are sometimes harder to market. So the Campanales have explored a variety of ways to really cement their brand’s quality and efficiency for consistent messaging. Every marketing strategy the company undergoes reinforces its brand as the quality, energy-efficient builder in Ottawa. Builders and developers are well aware that the challenge of being green is communicating its value to potential customers. Given their 40 years in the business, the Campanales know that’s best done concretely – through visual aids, the indisputable results of blower door tests, and honours and awards bestowed by respected associations like Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. The idea of “seeing is believing” is one reason they opted to create a dis- covery home that serves as a sales office, model home and public education space all in one. It shows potential home buyers everything about a Campanale home, including physical demos on how the homes are built (using partial wall construction models), HVAC demos, a TV and whiteboard monitor with an instructional video, and smart home technology demos. “We make it very clear what the advantage is, and in clear, easy-to-understand language,” explains Christian Campanale, who oversees marketing. In addition to having a presence on all the major social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – they always put their name forward for any builder awards under consideration. Christian, who also does land development with his cousin Cody, says the company entered the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association awards competition and won the Production Builder of the Year award in 2017. Partnerships push Campanale forward The company is also in the process of working with an Ottawa car dealership that will give new home owners a discount on an electric car. Chargers are included in an upgrade, along with a garage rough-in for future installation. They’re also in partnership with Switch Energy, a solar panel manufac­ turer. For every solar panel upgrade that’s made, a portion of proceeds is donated to Canadian Indigenous communities. All in all, Campanale Homes strives to bring exceptional value to its home buyers. BB Alex Newman is a writer, editor and researcher at Reverse electric meter for solar PV system.
  30. 30. Check out our website at
  31. 31. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201830 fromthegroundup / DOUG TARRY This classic quote from Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities is one of the greatest opening lines in literary history. In this brief introduction, Dickens deftly describes the conflict between the established monarchy and the revolution that would ultimately topple the ruling class of France and give to the commoners a say in how they would be governed. Democracy. Despite the turmoil, this was also a time known as the Age of Enlightenment, with an incredible number of new inventions, famous philosophers such as Voltaire and Kant, and inventors like Franklin and Watt. Peasants began to have paying jobs and were no longer indentured to the landowner. This was the begin­ ning of the middle class and the birth of modern democracy. Much of our society, as we know it, is based upon this incredible burst of energy throughout Europe and the New World. So what does any of this have to do with an article for Better Builder magazine? As the saying goes: if you don’t study history, you are bound to repeat it. Dickens could very easily be describing our own rapid transition to a digital society. Technology changes are advancing faster than any of us can imagine, we have unlimited information available to us right on our smart phones, and we are more connected than at any time in human history – yet we are becoming increasingly polarized in our views on religion, on politics and on the environment and climate change. Climate change! Remember when it used to be called “global warming”? A lot has happened since most of us first heard about greenhouse gas. As a society, it seems we’ve fallen into two camps: climate change believers and climate change deniers. The believers see this as a time of great peril but also tremendous opportunity to do something about the issue, much like the revolutionaries of Dickens’s novel. The deniers see any discussion of climate change as a threat to their current way of life, and they have a steadfast refusal to consider any change to the status quo – they’re the monarchists, if you will. But I’m going to propose that we consider looking at things in a different manner. Rather than the two camps pro and con noted above, I’d like to consider that there are two different groups within the believers: climate change optimists and climate change realists. To clarify this distinction, I’d like to cite Michael Quist on “The optimist tends to see the positive side of things, sometimes at an unrealistic level. He tends to believe in people, and thinks that things will turn out well. He is the opposite of the pessimist, who sees everything in as negative a way as possible. The realist tries to see the facts, uncolored by emotion.” Climate change optimists are those of us who believe that we must do everything we can to reduce global carbon emissions in order to limit the effects of climate change. We believe that we can do so by using existing technologies to manufacture electric Climate Change Reality Check: A Call to Action “I t was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” 204292300/DEPOSITPHOTOS
  32. 32. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 2018 vehicles and build net zero homes. Within a few years, both of these will be the new normal. We believe that there will be disruptive technologies that will help further reduce our carbon footprint. When a disruptive technology can also be utilized at close to no additional cost, then it can have a really significant impact. Full disclosure: I am involved with two of these technologies right now. One is AeroBarrier, an aerosol sealant that can dramatically reduce the air leakage of our buildings. With the right amount of insulation on the exterior of the building envelope, there is the further ability to remove the poly vapour barrier, giving the wall the ability to dry to the inside of the home and reducing cost and callbacks. The other one is Graphenstone. This is a company from Spain that manufactures a variety of specialty sealants, including paints, mortars, stucco, sealants, primers and stains. What makes these products truly unique is that there is no off- gassing, and the majority of their products absorb CO2. That is because Graphenstone has found a way to marry limestone with graphene nanotechnology that not only binds the material together, but gives it a great deal of strength while remaining pliable. Imagine a thin mortar that can bend without breaking after it has dried. I was so blown away by the potential for what the specialty coatings from Graphenstone can do 31 When a disruptive technology can also be utilized at close to no additional cost, then it can have a really significant impact. Contains graphene fibres Purifies the environment Breathable. Absorbs CO2 High performance Washable UNIQUE PROPERTIES The most advanced solution in ecological paints & coatings with graphene technology. ® Contact us at: Telephone: 519-488-5200 | Toll Free: 1-888-840-0153 17-280 Edward Street E. St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4C2
  33. 33. BETTERBUILDER.CA | ISSUE 28 | WINTER 201832 that we are importing it from Spain as the primary distributor for Canada. But back to my main point. Climate change realists understand that it doesn’t really matter if you believe climate change is happening because of the actions of man or because it’s just a natural cycle of Mother Earth, who’s been on a warming trend since the last mini ice age ended. Whatever the cause, rising global temperatures are resulting in more frequent and more severe storms, such as the recent hurricane in Florida, while drought conditions in some areas are resulting in massive forest fires destroying thousands of homes. My own conversion to becoming a climate change realist happened during our Hope Agua Vita missions to Puerto Rico – seeing how people’s lives are devastated by the effects of a hurricane and knowing they don’t have the money to rebuild, when better construction techniques would have withstood all but the most severe parts of the storm. The destruction could have been far less. And when these people become your friends, it makes it a lot harder to ignore more resilient construction methods. Back here in Ontario, I arrived in Ottawa for the annual Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) conference, the day after six tornadoes ripped through the Ottawa Valley. I’m sure the people who lost their roofs and belongings would have preferred that their homes were built to a higher residency standard. As builders, suppliers, trades and municipal inspectors, we need to understand that this problem is not going to go away. Our need to address more resilient construction techniques is going to accelerate rapidly as a priority as municipalities become increasingly concerned about the safety and property of their voting tax base. We don’t have decades to act – we have years. Currently, Durham Region is attempting to address this outside of our normal Code cycles. This should be alarming to all industry stakeholders. The Code process may be tedious and time consuming, but it is so for the very reason that we need to know that how we are asked to build a home is based upon widely practiced and understood standards and methods, and just as importantly, that there is industry capacity to make the change. We face a choice. We can be monarchists and decide to do nothing and wait for the terms of this new reality to be dictated to us, for better or worse, without having brought our cumulative experience to the dialogue. Or we can be realists and work with the researchers, the municipalities and the insurance industry to develop a pilot program around more resilient construction. So that is exactly what I am propo­ sing: that we, as the home building industry, set up a pilot program, working with leading researchers and insurers to develop best practices for our Canadian climate. Our goals need to be simple and clear, and any requirements must consider affordability and capacity. This pilot and eventual program should be created in a similar manner to what the home building industry did with the ENERGY STAR for New Homes program. With a concentrated effort, we can better prepare for what lies before us. Both the OHBA and Canadian Home Builders’ Association are actively engaging with industry stakeholders. The goal is to provide open source information so that we can rapidly expand the dialogue and knowledge base. This includes engineered fastening details for builders to test out so they can share their experiences and bring them back to our industry associations. In closing, I leave you with one final question: Are you a climate change denier, optimist or realist? It’s worth thinking about. BB Doug Tarry Jr is director of marketing at Doug Tarry Homes in St. Thomas, Ontario. Our need to address more resilient construction techniques is going to accelerate rapidly as a priority as municipalities become increasingly concerned about the safety and property of their voting tax base.
  34. 34. Homeowners, contractors, and builders rely on ROCKWOOL™ for dependable insulation solutions. More than a rock, ROCKWOOL™ insulation products resist fire, repel water and absorb sound. This year, start your renovation right with easy-to-use ROCKWOOL™ stone wool insulation. What it’s made of makes all the difference. ROCKWOOL COMFORTBATT® An exterior insulation product for use in both new residential construction and renovations where wood or steel studs are used. ROCKWOOL SAFE’n’SOUND® A residential insulation product for interior walls constructed with wood or steel studs, where superior fire resistance and acoustical performance are required. ROCKWOOL COMFORTBOARD™ 80 An exterior non-structural insulation sheathing that provides a continuous layer of insulation around the building envelope. ROXUL® is proud to now be known as ROCKWOOL™