Home Buyers

What is an EnviroHome Project?

EnviroHome projects features new homes that:

  • are better for the environment
  • are exceptionally comfortable
  • are healthier to live in
  • are highly energy-efficient
  • are affordable
  • provide R-2000 Quality Assurance

Today, it is possible to own a new home that actually helps to solve a wide range of environmental problems such as:

  • climate change caused by burning fossil fuels
  • increased allergies and asthma linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution
  • health concerns related to a wide range of natural and synthetic chemicals
  • overuse and pollution of fresh water resources
  • loss of green space within urban areas
  • consumption of natural resources including forests, energy and minerals

EnviroHome projects give you the opportunity to see a new home that helps protect our environment.  A new home that offers real benefits, and proven design and technology, at very little additional cost.  

EnviroHome display homes are constructed by some of Canada’s most knowledgeable and experienced home builders.  The quality and value of these homes reflects the builders’ commitment to offering the best new homes possible.  Using proven products and materials, EnviroHomes provide a better living environment and a healthier natural environment.

When you tour an EnviroHome, you will find information signs explaining the many environmental, energy-efficient and healthy features that have been included.  If you have additional questions about these features, or about any other aspect of the home, please ask the staff who will be glad to assist you.  

EnviroHome projects are sponsored by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and TD Canada Trust with additional support provided by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the R-2000 Program of Natural Resources Canada. 

The Story Behind EnviroHome

EnviroHome projects reflect more than two decades of intensive research and development by government, product and material manufacturers and the home building industry.  This unique partnership has made Canada the world leader in residential construction technology and is the story behind every EnviroHome.

To begin with, EnviroHome projects are certified and quality-assured to the R-2000 Standard which ensures that the home achieves a high level of energy efficiency.  

The R-2000 Standard also requires the use of a mechanical ventilation system which provides a continuous supply of fresh, filtered air to all living areas of the home.  Before certification, each home is independently inspected and tested to ensure that it meets the demanding Quality Assurance requirements of the R-2000 program.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada’s national housing agency, has also played an important role in developing the technology you see in every EnviroHome project.  

CMHC’s research has helped develop Canadian housing expertise in areas such as indoor air quality, energy efficiency, conservation of resources, responsible waste management and affordability.  CMHC’s Healthy Housing Initiative promotes new approaches to improving the healthiness of the indoor environment while reducing the environmental impact of constructing and operating a home.  

EnviroHome projects demonstrate the use of Healthy Housing features.  Careful selection of paints, finishes and building products means the release of fewer chemicals into the air, contributing to better indoor air quality.  Emphasis on such features as natural lighting, solar heating and recycled materials promotes sustainable use of natural resources.  

Today, EnviroHome projects celebrate Canada’s achievements in housing, showing the public that high-quality, environmentally improved homes are affordable and available today.  The Canadian Home Builders’ Association and TD Canada Trust support EnviroHome projects across Canada in recognition of the consumer and environmental benefits these homes can provide.

For more information about R-2000 homes, contact The R-2000 Initiative, Housing and Equipment Division, Office of Energy Efficiency, Telephone: 1-800-387-2000, TTY: (613) 996-4397 (Teletype for the hearing-impaired), Fax: (613) 996-3764, E-mail: r.2000@nrcan.gc.ca

For more information about Healthy Housing, contact Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Telephone: (613) 748-2000

Good For You . . . Good For Your Community . . .Good For The Enviroment!

EnviroHome projects include a wide range of features and products that can help protect the quality of the environment—indoors and out.  In designing and constructing the home, the builder draws on more than a decade of building science research and product development by both government and industry.  

As a result, these new homes will provide a number of benefits to the owners, to the community and to the environment.

Good for You . . .

  • Fresh air ventilation throughout the home ensures a healthy indoor living environment.  With allergies and asthma on the rise, clean indoor air is more important than ever.
  • Materials and products, from flooring and kitchen cabinets to paints, varnishes and glues, have been carefully chosen to minimize the amount of chemicals released into the home’s air, further protecting the indoor environment.
  • A well-constructed, energy-efficient building shell protects from the elements.  The home is virtually draft-free, with even temperatures throughout, providing year-round comfort and low heating and cooling costs.

Good for Your Community . . .

  • Water-conserving toilets, faucets and showerheads reduce water use in the home and help keep municipal service costs down.
  • The highly energy-efficient design of this home means lower utility costs and reduced local air pollution from power-generating plants.

Good for the Environment . . .

  • Efficient use of resources and energy significantly reduces overall environmental impact.  This helps to control climate change and means cleaner air and water for everyone.
  • Many of the building materials used are manufactured from fast-growing tree species and mill leftovers, replacing “environmentally expensive” solid dimensional timber and conserving forest resources.  Building products made from other recycled materials, such as paper and steel, are also used.
  • The solid R-2000 construction and high-quality materials used in EnviroHome projects means these homes will stand the test of time, protecting the environment today and for decades to come.

A home that is good for the environment also provides a good environment for you and your family to live in.  EnviroHome shows you that homes like this are available and affordable today!

Meet Today's Professional New Home Builders

EnviroHome projects show consumers some of the best homes the industry has to offer built by some of the most knowledgeable and experienced builders in the business.

EnviroHome projects showcase the latest environmental and healthy housing features available in today’s new homes.  The overall quality of these projects reflects the skill and experience of EnviroHome builders.  

Just as the materials used in this project are different than those used in the past, today’s home building professionals are a new breed of builders—highly trained, experienced in managing all aspects of residential construction and committed to meeting consumer expectations of quality and service.  

EnviroHome builders are among “the best of the best”.  In order to earn the EnviroHome designation, builders have to meet demanding technical and environmental criteria.  Before a builder is given the EnviroHome designation, their proposed project is reviewed by the National EnviroHome Selection Committee.  On average, only 10 to 12 projects across Canada are granted this distinction each year.

Every EnviroHome builder has taken R-2000 training and updating seminars to keep on top of technical developments.  EnviroHome builders are also members of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), and are committed to upholding the CHBA’s Code of Ethics.  This Code calls on members to treat customers fairly and honestly, and to maintain the highest standards of professional conduct in all aspects of their businesses.

The Technology Behind EnviroHome: Energy Performance

Over the last two decades, Canadian homes have become much more energy efficient. EnviroHome projects, built to the R-2000 Standard, goes a step further and use far less energy than a conventional house built today.  

Energy-efficient homes deliver benefits that go beyond low heating bills—benefits like increased comfort, better control over indoor air quality and reduced impact on the natural environment.  

EnviroHome builders achieve high levels of energy efficiency in the most cost-effective way.  This involves careful balancing of all aspects of the house using HOT-2000, a computer simulation program that predicts the overall thermal performance of the house design.  Some of the more important products that the builder can use in order to meet energy efficiency targets are described below.

Windows - Window technology has changed rapidly during the last few years.  Today, the most advanced windows are more energy efficient than a well-insulated wall, if located where they will receive adequate sunlight.  Some of the features that reduce heat loss in windows include:

  • special heat reflective coatings
  • inert gasses, such as argon, in the space between the layers of glass
  • insulating spacers between glass layers
  • triple glazing in colder areas of the country
  • improved frame design and framing materials

Heating Systems - Space heating accounts for almost three quarters of the energy use in a typical Canadian home, so it is important to produce that heat as efficiently as possible.  Both natural gas and oil furnaces can now deliver efficiencies above 90%; this is a 50% improvement on equipment typically used 10 to 15 years ago.  Electric heating offers heat pump systems that can actually deliver more energy than they consume.  

Insulation - Today’s energy-efficient homes are insulated from top to bottom.  In each area of the house, specific insulation products with the right performance characteristics are used.  There are many types of insulation on the market ranging from rigid-board types and batts, to loose fills and blown-in products.  All work well, and the builder will often choose a number of different products for particular applications in each home.  

Air Sealing - In older homes, air leakage through small cracks and seams in the house exterior can account for up to half of all heat loss.  EnviroHomes are carefully sealed to prevent such uncontrolled air leakage.

Heat Recovery Ventilation - Once air leakage has been stopped, a whole-house ventilation system is added to ensure clean, fresh indoor air.  To control energy costs, a heat recovery device “scavenges” the heat in the exhaust air to preheat the incoming fresh air.

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