New Era of Green Building

Make the switch to SIPs before you have to...

For years building codes have required new buildings to have progressively higher insulation values and lower air infiltration rates. What was considered the state-of-the-art in the last century has continually evolved and how things were done in the past is no longer acceptable. Today's state-of-the-art in energy efficient buildings continue to evolve faster than any time in the recent past. We now talk about passive solar houses, sustainable housing and even Net-Zero housing; all reflecting a new awareness of the implications of our building design and construction decisions have on the environment, on the cost to operate our building and on the health of the building occupants and the surrounding community. And the building Codes continue to evolve.

The Canada Building Codes are changing...

The Canada Building Code is scheduled to change in late 2012 and will require higher and better insulation values and improved air infiltration standards. For more information on the expected changes in the Canada Building Code.

It is noteworthy that in some American jurisdictions, for example California, new legislation requires that all new construction, both residential and non-residential, must be net-zero energy by 2013. Since California is an innovator in energy efficiency, it is very likely that other states will soon follow their lead.

Energy Efficient Buildings Enter the Mainstream...

In the recent past, energy efficient buildings were considered to be on the fringe of building science and to be prohibitively expensive. Some of the early Net-Zero pioneers, faced with unattractive payback periods, argued that building an energy efficient home was not about economics but about philosophy and ethics; it was just the right thing to do. While some people still believe that energy efficient buildings are "on the fringe", fact is that these new cutting edge buildings, designed to maximize building energy efficiency and the well being of the occupants, have become main stream.

Costs are coming down...

One of the challenges with adopting energy conservation or renewable energy technologies is that you needed to pay up front for long term payback. Most of us either do not think in longer time scales or we were simply not economically able to do so. With respect to energy efficient buildings, and specifically with respect to SIPs, costs have been coming down, partially because of better design and partially because of market acceptance of SIPs and related technologies. There are now many examples where good quality, energy efficient homes can be constructed for well below $150 per square foot and in some cases, achieving LEEDs certification and Net-Zero status. This was unheard of even ten years ago.

The bottom line is that...

...if you want an energy efficient building, one that provides a healthy and safe space for its occupants and is a good long term investment, that building is now within reach for relatively modest costs. Why not contact Net-Zero to discuss how SIPs can contribute to the success of your building project?

Featured Project

structural-energy-efficient-net-zero-mountain-chalet-blackburn

Energy-Efficient Chalet on Hudson Bay Mountain Built with SIPs

When Jodie and Rob Blackburn decided to build a private chalet on Hudson Bay Mountain, they knew a conventional stick-frame construction was not going to be the most efficient building for their needs. 

“I began to research energy efficiency and affordability and your companies’ product quickly became the front-runner,” says Rob. “We chose Net-Zero Structure’s structural insulated panels (SIPs) for many reasons including ease and speed of erection as well as cost and availability.” 

Read more...

Did You Know?

As the difference between ambient air and the air encapsulated in the EPS foam in a Net-Zero SIP panel become more and more pronounced, the r-value of the foam increases. The practical implication is that the colder it gets, the more insulation value the foam has.  Read more...

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