Net Zero and Net Zero Ready

Building a House in the next 8 years? You will want to read this.

By 2030 the whole idea of building a house from the ground up will change. The National Building Code of Canada will require that all new homes built at or after 2030 will need to be built with Net Zero Ready practices.

So what does this mean? What is Net Zero and What is Net Zero Ready? Can you build a new home now, that is Net Zero Ready?

A Net-Zero vs Net-Zero Ready

A Net Zero home generates as much renewable energy as it uses over the course of a year.

A Net Zero Ready house has all the building envelope and energy efficiency measures as a net-zero energy house, but does not include a renewable energy system. Some examples of renewable energy systems are Passive Solar heating and Cooling, Geo-thermal and Solar Photovoltaic (Solar panel’s) or wind turbine electricity generating systems.

House orientation, sufficient roof area and ideally, pre-wiring for easy installation of a future renewable energy system are part of a net-zero ready house.

Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Houses offer the following advantages:

Consumer Benefits

  • Low Energy Bills.
  • Improved Comfort.
  • Healthy Indoor Environment.
  • Quality Design and Construction; and
  • Energy Security

Societal Benefits

  • Reduced Pollution and CO2 emissions
  • Reduced demand on infrastructure
  • Energy Secruity.

The features of Net Zero Energy Housing is showing that homes can still be built in a range of housing styles and forms and all in a range of climate zones through out Canada. All of the homes having the common features:

  • Site and Climate-specific integrated design solutions.
  • Highly advanced building envelope comprising high levels of insulation, careful selection of windows based on thermal resistance and solar heat gain characteristics and air sealing that results in low air exchange rates. This would consist of preforming blower door testing to measure air leakage rates.
  • Passive Solar Design
  • Reduced domestic hot water usage
  • Reduced mechanical, lighting and appliance loads.
  • Properly sized, high-efficiency mechanical systems.
  • Heat Recovery.

The basic principles for Net Zero Ready and Net Zero Housing is:

  • Minimize heat losses through the building envelope with appropriate amounts of insulation, a high degree of air tightness and the use of windows with high thermal resistance and a low solar heat gain coefficient. The low solar heat gain is to reduce cooling loads in the summer in those areas of the country that typically need cooling.
  • Use energy efficient lighting, appliances and minimize exterior energy use thereby reducing the base loads as much as possible.
  • Us the most efficient types of space heating, water heating and ventilation systems available
  • Provide the house with supplemental energy using a renewable energy source.