Net-Zero Structures Blog

Superior R-Values Lead to Greater Comfort

Jan 12, 2017 

When the weather is cold the thermal comfort of our homes is important. Our homes are built with different materials, with each material having its own r-value.

R-value is a material's resistance to heat flow, and a higher r-value means that it will conduct less heat. The flip side is that the inside of a wall built with materials with a higher R-Value will feel warmer on the cold winter day. A warmer wall equates to greater comfort.

The important thing about r-values is that you must account for the r-value for all of the components in a wall, the average r-value, and not just the nominal r-value of the insulation. The average r-value is also referred to as effective r-value. When comparing different wall systems (i.e. SIPs, stick frames, advanced stick framed) it's important to compare effective r-values and not the nominal r-values of the insulation. SIP walls have an advantage over most other wall systems because of their continuous insulation leads to higher effective r-value for the same thickness of wall. For example a 6" SIP wall has a 42% greater r-value as compared to a 2"x6" wall with batt insulation. Combine this with their greater ease of construction as compared to a double stud wall construction and the advantages add up more. 

Click here to read more about SIPs and their superior r-values.

If you want another way to think about effective r-value and nominal r-value read this blog by Quick-Therm.

Avoid cold rooms

Dec 23, 2016
Does the temperature in your home vary from room to room? 

The reasons for this are plentiful. Either your heating system is not functioning properly or your building envelope is not up the job. It could be low insulation levels in the walls and roof, faulty or inefficient windows, thermal bridging, and/or air leaks. It doesn't need to be this way.  

New house construction techniques and materials enable higher performance homes with much higher insulation values, reduced thermal bridging, and significantly reduced air infiltration. This is the reason why Net-Zero Structures builds with an advanced framing technique using structural insulated panels

Older homes can be retrofitted with renovations panels. Adding renopanels to the outside of your house will increase the high r-values and eliminate thermal bridging across wall studs and floor joists. For basements, renovation panels can be used to renovate the interior of basement walls as was done in this video

Live in comfort. Either have your new home constructed by Net-Zero Structures or ask us about retrofiting your existing home. 


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Net-Zero Provides Design Services

Are you searching for building plans? Search no more. Net-Zero provides professional design services for your custom design needs. For $2000, Net-Zero will provide a complete set of plans, including floor plans, elevations and construction drawings.

Once finalized, you will own a set of the drawings. If you select Net-Zero as the general contractor for the project, your design fee will be credited towards to the cost of construction. 

Net-Zero works with qualified design professionals to complete the design work. Our capacity for both design and general contracting services includes recreational, residential and light commercial buildings. We have completed design work for home owners, first nations bands, and recreational property owners.  Click this link to view an example of a cabin that Net-Zero designed for an client in the Northwest Territories. 

Alternatively, Net-Zero has a selection of floor plans (both single family and multi-unit residential) to choose from including our small homes. You can download the small house plans here. If you’re interested in our other plans, send me an email with a description of what you’re looking for and I’ll see if we have a set of plans that meets your needs. 

Contact us to learn more about Net-Zero’s design services. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 250-847-3143. 



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Beat Bad Weather with SIPs

The construction window in many parts of BC and the Yukon can be limited due to seasonal weather. With fall comes a rush to get new buildings to lock up and dry. Using structural insulated panels can save time and labour when there is a race against the weather. 

Canyon Tree Farms in Fort St James, BC recently took advantage of the faster installation offered by SIP technology.
Installation of SIPs in fall weather.

Read more: Beat Bad Weather with SIPs

Featured Project

New Home in Watson Landing, Smithers

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This energy efficient house was built in the new Watson Landing subdivision on the shores of Lake Kathlyn in beautiful Smithers BC. 

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Did You Know?

sips meets canadian national building codeThe Canadian National Building Code, and therefore the provincial building codes, set minimum energy efficiency standards for new building construction for both insulation and air tightness.

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          Net-Zero Structures Ltd.     250 877 8678    PO Box 5184    Smithers BC     V0J 2N0  

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