Building a Custom House? What You Need to Know About the Net Zero Home Labelling System
If you’re in the process of building a custom house, you need to know about the Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s recent launch of its Net Zero Home Labelling Program. This program provides custom house builders and consumers with a clearly defined and rigorous two-tiered system that recognizes Net Zero Ready Homes and Net Zero Homes, and identifies the builders who construct them. From September 2015 to December 2016, a pilot version of this program was run to affirm its administrative and technical details.
The CHBA’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program is designed in a way so that homes still qualify for R-2000 or Net Zero Ready or ENERGY STAR® if Net Zero isn’t achievable. Compared with these homes, the energy performance of a Net Zero Home is 100 percent better than homes built up to standard code.
As an extension of this program, the CHBA’s 2017 Home Buyer Preference Survey revealed what buyers are looking for when they build a custom house, and it demonstrates how important energy efficiency is to new home buyers. For this survey, 22,000 recent new home buyers from six difference provinces reported the top 10 “must have” features they want in a home:
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Walk-in closets
- Kitchen islands
- High-efficiency windows
- Linen closets
- Open concept kitchens
- Large windows
- 2-car garage
- HRV/ERV air exchange
- Overall energy efficient home
Since buyers want and expect an energy efficient home, the Net Zero Home Labelling Program provides confirmation both to the builder and homeowner that their home is as environmentally friendly as possible while including features that lend itself to enhanced efficiency.