Energy Efficient Home in Nanaimo

I saw the article below in the paper and for me it was one of those “Hey! I know those guys!” moments. I was in this energy efficient home while it was being built and got a tour from the person in charge of the heating and plumbing systems (an esteemed friend of mine) as well as the owner. Check out the heating and plumbing company at this website.

The thing a lot of people assume about energy efficient homes is that they’re really weird. Upon visiting this home you would see that on the surface it appears to be as normal. Also normal, would the lifestyle of the people living there. That is, unless you take into account the added comfort of radiant heating and reduced energy costs.

It’s only once you start to analyze it from a builder’s perspective that you see the differences. I see no reason why we couldn’t use these system in more homes and one day make it the new standard.

The hardest part to change is not how we build, but how people think about building.

Ryan Coffey

Energy-efficient homes expected to save about 80% in power costs

By Darrell Bellaart, Daily News July 25, 2011

Nine months after construction began on Nanaimo’s newest highly energy-efficient home, owner Mike Legge is moving in.

Legge had a local builder with a reputation for quality craftsmanship build his the 2,200-squarefoot (3,000 square feet including basement) steel-reinforced concrete green home at 440 Johns Ave.

The building incorporates some of the most up-to-date designs in energy efficiency, from in-floor hot water heating through passive solar energy collection,

A grey water system recycles waste water for re-use in toilets, avoiding flushing potable water down the drain. Ventilation is through a “solar chimney” in the roof of the house. Everything is computer controlled to ensure constant comfort.

Construction took longer than an anticipated March completion date, due to design changes made midstream of the project.

Gallant Homes built it to platinum level, the highest rating on the four-step Canada Built Green scale. Exterior walls made of concrete sandwiched between insulated form or ICF blocks. From the outside, the home looks much like any other new home today.

The most noticeable element inside the house is the two-tone, fired porcelain appearance of the floor.

“It’s concrete,” Legge said. “They paint it on.”

Moving in, however, he quickly learned to be careful on it. Like any paint, in can be chipped if not treated with respect.

An open plan interior offers a friendly, livable environment.

Large south-facing windows offer a pleasing south-facing view of his cool, forest-shaded property sloping down to the Millstone River. Hard awnings keep the summer sun from overheating the interior, but the lowangled winter sun will warm the house by penetrating the bare branches of the trees.

Legge enjoys showing off the electronic and mechanical features of his house: A tankless hot water heater to heat the house on cooler days, with each room computer monitored to ensure climate-controlled comfort. A miniature weather station feeds wind speed and direction information to a computer to open louvres to release excess heat and moisture.

It will take a winter to know how energy efficient the house is, but Legge is hopeful.

“The fellow says it will be an 80% saving, but we’ll see,” he said.