A recent survey published in this weeks Calgary Herald revealed some startling facts .. Dr. Jeffery Hay a professor of geography conducted the study … why ? .. He was wondering why his recently built home in Cougar Ridge was so cold and why his energy bills were so high.
Hmmmm … maybe he was in the same _ _ _ _ _ built home as I once owned in Cougar Ridge ,.. I although knew why my home was cold in winter and the heating bills were rather high … .. cheap windows ,no caulking around the windows , a “Hot Box” which is a insulated box under the bonus room over the garage with hot air blowing in to the empty cavity used to heat the bonus room ..(which I was told was acceptable practice by most builders in the area) .
Dr Hay .. minimal code and no quality control … is your answer. As I see more and more in recent building practices in Alberta .
I asked my builder when my home was under construction why they do certain things that I was amazed they could get away with .. they told me if I changed anything it would be classed a “Custom Build” and I would pay more $$$ and have a longer possession date …to build more energy efficient ??? Really ….
These are real stats from the study :” Among the nearly 38,000 single-family homes in the northwest and southwest quadrants of Calgary that have been mapped so far, the web map estimates those homeowners could realize annual savings on heat of $4.9 million and avoid 29,000 tonnes in C02 emissions through efficiency improvements”….. states Dr Hays Study .
Anyone building with a one of the big players in the new home construction business in Alberta should be asking the tough questions , Not …what colour is our granite , but what has the builder done to make my new home more energy efficient ? Do you shoot my home with an infrared camera before I take possession to see if there are any places where heat may escape ? Do you have a quality control program ? If so can I see your manual ?
We are so stuck on the “Lipstick ” on a new build like … granite countertops , Hardwood floors , walk-in closets etc we miss the meat & potatoes of a home … triple glazed Low-e windows , spray foam insulation high efficiency furnaces , direct heat Hot water tanks etc .. Until the Buying public start raising these issues with the builders … and not buying there less then efficient homes then we will see this practice carry on for generations to come .
I saw the infamous Mike Holmes at a Canadian Home Builders seminar a few years ago , where the majority of the audience was made up of New Home Builders and their staff ,Mike s opening remarks were ” When are you guys going to stop building crap so I can retire ” .. as a gasp came across the room and an eerie silence followed until Mike was done .. needless to say he was not invited back the next year .
So , Dr Hay … I commend you for your study and hopefully get some funding to do the remaining areas of our fair city… maybe the New Home Builders will become pro-active & fund it ?? Good Luck !
For more info on the U of C study please go to www.saveheat.co.