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The House : Energy

Efficient use of clean energy is an important part of a sustainable home. There are so many ways in which you can make your home more energy efficient. The Archetype Sustainable House incorporates all the following advances in energy efficiency.

House A is intended to demonstrate practices and technologies that are current and practical today. House B demonstrates practices that you will see in future. Come out and visit the Kortight Centre in Vaughan to experience more.

Heating, Cooling

  • R20 basement walls were made with Durisol blocks. "R" stands for resistance against heat flow so this home exceeds normal building standards by 30 per cent.
  • Zoned air conditioning system
  • Micro-cogeneration unit is installed which integrates a heat pump and generator into a simple package delivering air-conditioning, space heating, electrical power generation & hot water.
  • Smart metres are installed to display accurate real-time energy use information to the consumer and the energy supplier.
  • In home energy display monitors were installed to ensure optimal temperature control.
  • Each home demonstrates both an electrical and gas heating and cooling option for consumers and this is a special feature that was installed as long term testing will take place to monitor which system is most efficient.
      House A
    • Electrical option: an air source heat pump
    • Gas option: a solar assisted mini gas boiler
      House B
    • Electrical option: a solar assisted ground source heat pump
    • Gas option: a combined heat and power furnace that uses Sterling Engine to generate electricity and recovers the wasted heat to heat the home
  • In-floor radiant heating which is a method of heating your home by applying heat underneath or within the floor.
  • A heat recovery ventilator which uses fans to maintain a low-velocity flow of fresh outdoor air into the house (incoming air stream) while exhausting out an equal amount of stale indoor air (exhaust air stream).
  • Domestic hot water tank - water heated for uses other than space heating.
  • Drain water heat recovery which is a sealed coil that removes heat from waste water for reuse in preheating hot water.
  • The roof of the house uses R40 Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) which are insulated Styrofoam panels.

Windows

    House A
  • Double paned, low "E", fiberglass framed windows - Heat loss is greatly reduced with the use of low-E [low-emissivity*] treatment for the glass which reflects heat back into the house during the winter and blocks out radiant heat during the summer.
    House B
  • Triple glaze, low "E" argon windows - The third layer of glass greatly enhances this process making the window a heat processor all on its own.

    *Emissivity is a measure of a material's ability to radiate absorbed energy.

Insulation

    House A
  • Roxul Batt Fibre Insulation (R21) which is a fire resistant product. Has three inches of Styrofoam on the outside for a total of a R30 wall. This high efficiency insulation allows for a high percentage of heat and air conditioning environment retention through a higher reduction in air exchange through walls, windows, doors, sills, attics/ceilings and more.

    House B
  • Spray foam insulation is used. Two different products were used in different parts of the home: Heat-Lock Soya Polyurethane Foam and Icynene spray foam. Spray foam insulation minimizes air leakage for increased energy efficiency, creates a healthier indoor environment, reduces airborne sounds and offers greater design freedom.

Solar Power

  • Roof integrated solar Photovoltaics (PV) is technology related to the application of solar cells for energy by converting sunlight directly into electricity
  • Solar orientation for passive solar gain which aims to maintain interior thermal comfort throughout the sun's daily and annual cycles while reducing the need for active heating and cooling systems.

Appliances/Lighting

  • ENERGY STAR® appliances are used in the house. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models.
  • Lighting is all using compact florescence bulbs which use less power and have a longer rated life.