All You Need to Know about Built Green and EnerGuide

Published November 13, 2018.
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

If you have the perfect lot and you are planning to build your dream home from scratch, you have the chance to actively participate in every stage of the process with the help of a professional home builder in Calgary. This also means that you have the opportunity to make an impact on the environment by going green during the building process.

At Sunset Homes, Calgary's bespoke home builder, we are committed to green building and environmentally friendly techniques to find the perfect balance between design and building practices that efficiently benefit the environment, while providing safe, healthy, and comfortable living spaces.

An essential component of sustainable practices to benefit the environment and preserve natural resources is the active participation of Calgary custom home builders in the Built Green Program and the EnerGuide Rating System. As a proud member of the Built Green Canada Program and the Canada Green Building Council, at Sunset Homes, we encourage homeowners to participate in the program to preserve natural resources, increase the value of their properties, and improve their quality of life.

Another of our main goals as a serious and responsible Calgary custom home builder is to provide our homeowners with building process notions that will stay with them even after their project with us is finished. That is why we have prepared this short guide with the basic concepts you need to know about Built Green and EnerGuide.

What Is Built Green?

Built Green is a certification program that promotes and encourages sustainable and environmentally responsible building practices by homeowners and home builders in Calgary, among other locations. Built Green focuses on seven areas of sustainable building: Energy and envelope, materials and methods, indoor air quality, ventilation, waste management, water conservation, and building practices. The program offers different levels of certification for detached and semi-detached, homes according to their characteristics.

What Is EnerGuide?

EnerGuide is a rating system administered by Natural Resources Canada that applies to low-rise detached, semi-detached homes, and small multi-family buildings under four stories. EnerGuide is used to measure and rate the energy efficiency of your home. Usually, any home that seeks to get a Built Green Certification is tested by the EnerGuide Rating System (ERS).

The primary requirement of EnerGuide is that the builder works with a Certified Energy Advisor licensed by Natural Resources Canada. At this stage, your chosen Calgary custom home builder will create a computer-simulated model of your home to calculate its energy use and comply with a mandatory air leakage test. After this process, your home will be provided with an ERS score.

Building Efficient Homes: Built Green, Leed, and EnerGuide

What Are The Levels of Certification by Built Green?

The four levels of achievement that you can opt for under the Built Green Program are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Logically, the level you are granted directly depends on the number of points awarded in each of the seven categories we mentioned above. If you are considering to obtain a Built Green Certification for your new home, we advise you discuss with your Calgary home builder each category and the best way to adapt the program requirements to your building plan and budget.

What Are Some of The Built Green Requirements?

As explained before, the program has seven categories, and awards points to homeowners depending on the extent these categories are fulfilled with green practices. But it is also essential that your Calgary custom home builder discusses with you the fundamental pillars that are considered by Built Green: Resource use, energy efficiency, recycled content, indoor air quality, durability, innovation, alternative construction, measurable or validated quality, promotion of higher purpose, and environmental impact.

Depending on your building and design plan, your home builder in Calgary will suggest the best choices that can be rewarded by Built Green. For example, you can consider Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), zoned heating systems, programmable HVAC systems, Energy Star appliances, energy saving lighting and water fixtures, efficient materials for framing, recycled materials for your overhead door and carpet, and the installation of hardwood flooring.

Is The Built Green Certification Mandatory in Calgary?

Participation in the Built Green Program is entirely voluntary, and homeowners are not required to obtain a certification when building their new custom home. Nevertheless, as experienced Calgary custom home builders committed with eco-friendly building practices, we suggest you consider the program as a means to reduce the impact on the environment and to increase your property value and safety.

What Are The Program’s Benefits for Homeowners?

Besides the reduction of waste and the preservation of the environment for future generations, a significant benefit of complying with the program is that your home will be a safer and healthier place for you and your family. For example, your Calgary custom home builder can opt for VOC building materials and heat recovery ventilators that will improve the quality of the air you will be breathing every day by removing allergens and toxins, while the proper green-certified insulation can reduce drafts, cold spots, and temperature changes. Additionally, sustainably built homes and extremely more durable and efficient which make them last more years in tip-top shape.

Another great benefit for homeowners who get a Built Green Certification is savings. If your home is efficiently built, your monthly costs for water, electricity, and gas will be significantly reduced. Another plus worth mentioning is that, according to our experience as Calgary inner city home builders, properties that have a green certification increase their value and sell for 10% more than not certified properties. Finally, the program offers you a 15% automatic mortgage loan rebate eligibility through the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation and Genworth Canada.

Are you considering to get a Built Green certification for your new custom home? Contact us today! We will prepare a class 3 estimate for your new custom build or major renovation, and provide you with the right tools for every step of the custom home building process.

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Too Long Didn't Read (TLDR)

If you are building your dream custom home from scratch, this is the perfect moment to consider getting a Built Green certification for your home. Every day, many more homeowners are seeking to enjoy the benefits of a Built Green certification and a high EnerGuide score for their homes.

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