Is an energy efficient home worth the cost?
Building a “green” house comes at a cost, but is it a good investment? Certainly, according to the organization Écohabitation, which has encouraged this approach for more than 20 years. Not only will your home have better resale value, but you'll be saving on your utility bills in the first few weeks.
Experts consulted by Ecohabitation, during a study in 2020, estimate the additional cost of an ecological house at 3.7%. So you will pay about $ 12,000 more to build a $ 322,000 house. Of course, the costs fluctuate a lot from case to case. It depends on the work done, the area, the materials used, etc. There are many ways to build a greener home.
“An energy-efficient home will also be better for your health and your wallet. Depending on the work that has been carried out, you could quickly get a return on the investment, “said CEO and spokesperson for Ecohabitation, Emmanuel B. Cosgrove.
View this post on Instagram
Multiply the ecological-gestures & nbsp;
For that, you have to make the right choices. Say goodbye to environmentally damaging materials like concrete foundation, asphalt shingle roofing and vinyl flooring. “We have to review our ways of building. Too often, people own too big houses, with vacant spaces that will still be heated, ”he explains.
This is what Mélanie and Gabriel, a couple of young professionals who have built an energy-efficient home in the Eastern Townships themselves. They adapted the plans according to the terrain and the orientation of the sun; they chose sustainable materials, recycled counters and an efficient air exchanger system. Choices aimed at reducing their carbon footprint, but also their energy consumption and, consequently, their bills.
“We also did a lot of recovery. We reused materials that were intended to be discarded and we even bought a complete kitchen on the Marketplace, which we simply repainted, ”says Mélanie Robitaille proudly, who spent long hours sanding, painting and modifying the furniture. his grandparents inherited.
To reduce their electricity bill, Mélanie and Gabriel have stepped up “green” actions, such as the purchase of a low-water consumption toilet, an Energy Star certified heat pump and , above all, limit air infiltration.
Better consuming & nbsp;
Energy performance is the most important aspect to consider when building an ecological house, argues the Ecohabitation expert. & Nbsp; A well-designed house is not only well insulated, but it & nbsp; also takes into account the orientation of the sun and the prevailing winds which will make a difference in energy costs. & nbsp; & nbsp;
This is also the main criterion of the government program & nbsp; Novoclimat, which has encouraged the construction of new homes with high energy performance for 20 years. In addition to offering subsidies, the program allows the occupants of these houses to achieve savings of 20% on energy costs compared to a home built according to the Quebec Construction Code *. & nbsp;
P as of certification & nbsp;
Yet despite all of these efforts, Mélanie and Gabriel’s new home has not yet received any certification. Why? Because they are self-builders and they have not hired a certified Novoclimat contractor. And the fees associated with applying for LEED certification ( see sidebar ), which can run as high as $ 5,000, have discouraged the couple.
“Certification is not necessary to have an energy-efficient home and its benefits,” reassures Mr. Cosgrove. But before embarking on such a project, it is important to be well informed. ”
What is LEED certification? & nbsp; & nbsp;
An international benchmark for sustainable design, the LEED (Leadership & nbsp; Energy & nbsp; and & nbsp; Environmental & nbsp; Design) program works with a points system, which allows you to reach one of four levels: certified, silver, gold and platinum. . Unlike the Novoclimat program which focuses on energy efficiency, LEED certification also takes into account 17 prerequisites, including the location, layout of the land, the choice of materials, the interior finish and even the access to public transport. In short, it's not just the building that is & nbsp; energy efficient, but your way of life! & Nbsp; & nbsp;
5 simple tips to have a more & nbsp; energy efficient & nbsp; (without renovating everything)
- Opt for wood furniture from certified forests & nbsp; & nbsp;
- Install a water recovery system from rain & nbsp;
- Repaint the walls with paint without VOCs (volatile organic compounds) & nbsp;
- Change & nbsp; the range hood for a performance model & nbsp;
< li> Caulk windows and doors to prevent heat and energy loss & nbsp;
Need info? & nbsp; Écohabitation & nbsp; will offer a new virtual training course on planning from February 2022 of a self-construction. Other workshops are also offered. & Nbsp;
* Percentage established by the organization Energy Transition