Benefits of the program for a homeowner
Through the program, Built Green Canada builders offer healthier, more durable, comfortable homes with a lower environmental impact than code-built homes. Further, the program allows homeowners choices as to which green features they want.
Features are focused on energy efficiency, indoor air quality, resource use and overall environmental impact. Homeowners can work with their builder to choose from a series of options. These include options in energy efficiency (furnaces and air conditioners, windows, appliances [Energy Star], etc.); electrical efficiency (Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) to timers and motion sensors to whole home automation; water efficiency (water saving toilets to low-flow showers and faucets to xeriscaping); and more.
BUILT GREEN® certified homes offer cost savings:
• A home built in the Built Green Canada program should save a minimum of approximately 10% in annual utility bills compared to a code-built home. Cumulatively, the savings can be substantial. Better efficiency means long-term savings with water, electricity, and gas bills.
• Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Genworth Financial mortgage insurance rebates are available for BUILT GREEN® homes.
• BUILT GREEN® certified homes offer the benefit of longer-term durability through the efficient use of building materials and processes. This means a longer life for the home with lower maintenance costs.
• Durability options can range from engineered lumber that resists warping to extremely durable exterior features such as 30-year shingles; this means fewer home renovations are necessary.
• Consumers who purchase a BUILT GREEN® certified home will benefit from an increase in market and resale value. Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s recent research has shown homes with green certification sell for close to 10% more on average than homes without green certification. Further, there are many jurisdictions in Canada where an energy assessment is necessary before a home is sold—saving the homeowner approximately $300 – $500 depending on location.
BUILT GREEN® certified homes are more comfortable:
• There is a significant reduction of drafts and cold spots, due to the program’s attention to the home’s air tightness (all certified homes must have blower door tests performed by Energy Advisors).
• Noise transmission is greatly reduced, due to triple-paned windows, increased insulation, and air tightness.
• Ventilation and indoor air quality are two important sections in the BUILT GREEN® checklist, and homeowners breathe easier because of it. For all the home’s inhabitants, this means less stress on the respiratory and immune systems, and for those who suffer from ailments like asthma, the focus on improved air quality can become quite important and result in a much more comfortable home life.
• Proper ventilation also results in a reduced cleaning necessity: ventilation systems pull stale air and particles in the air (dust, etc.) out of the home, replacing these with fresh, clean air.