The R-2000 Program and Standard
The R-2000 Program
R-2000 is not only a way of building homes, it is also a way of industry and government working together to bring Canadians the most advanced, most environmentally responsible homes available in the marketplace.
The R-2000 Program is a collaboration between the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). For close to three decades, the two partners have worked together on the components that make up the R-2000 Program, including:
- The R-2000 Standard
- The R-2000 quality assurance process
- R-2000 home certification
- Training and licensing for builders and R-2000 service providers involved in quality assurance
- Consumer information —e.g. home shows, publications, websites
The program is managed on a day-to-day basis at the provincial level by R-2000 Regional Delivery Agents. Provincial program partners may include utilities or power companies, building suppliers, media and others with an interest in and commitment to energy efficiency and environmental responsibility.
Finally, the R-2000 Program includes all the people involved in the construction of the homes: builders, plans evaluators, inspectors, airtightness testers and so on. Over the years, thousands of industry members have taken the training required to be part of the Program.
Thanks to the commitment of R-2000 Builders to quality and excellence, homeowners across Canada are enjoying the benefits of R-2000 every day—homes that are better to live in and better for the environment.
The R-2000 Standard
The R-2000 Standard sets out the criteria that a new home must meet in order to be eligible for R-2000 certification. The technical requirements involve three main areas of construction: energy performance, indoor air quality and environmental responsibility.
To get the complete R-2000 Standard, CLICK HERE.
- The R-2000 Standard is a voluntary national standard that is in addition to and beyond building code requirements.
- The R-2000 Standard is a performance-based standard. It sets criteria for how a house must perform rather than specify exactly how it must be constructed. The builder is free to choose the best and most-cost effective approach for each home—construction techniques, building products, mechanical equipment, lighting and appliances. This has proven to encourage innovation, and many new building products and techniques have resulted from this approach.
- One of the most important aspects of the Standard is the energy target for space and water heating. The target is calculated for each house, taking into consideration size, fuel type, lot orientation and location (to account for climate variations across Canada). Typically, R-2000 homes will use approximately 30% less energy than a comparable non-R-2000 home.
- In order to achieve these energy savings, every R-2000 home is designed and built to reduce heat loss and air leakage. Extra insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, and careful air-sealing are standard features. A blower door is used to measure the airtightness of the building envelope to ensure that air leakage does not exceed the rate set out in the R-2000 Standard. This test is part of the mandatory R-2000 quality assurance process for every R-2000 home.
- The mechanical systems for heating, cooling and ventilation are chosen for efficiency and performance. Natural gas, propane, oil or electrical systems are all permitted under the Standard. This also allows for advanced systems such as integrated space and hot water heating systems, heat pumps or solar-assisted systems.
- R-2000 construction always includes controlled ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality. Every R-2000 home must have a mechanical ventilation system to bring fresh air in from the outside and exhaust stale air to the outside. Most R-2000 builders use a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, to provide continuous balanced ventilation. In winter, HRVs use the heat from the outgoing air to preheat the incoming air; in summer, this process is reversed.
- To further protect the indoor air quality, R-2000 builders use building products specifically aimed at reducing chemicals, dust and other indoor air pollutants. This includes products such as EcoLogo-approved paints, varnishes and floor finishes, low-emission cabinetry or the use of hardwood floors.
- The R-2000 Standard recognizes the importance of resource conservation both during the construction of the home and later during the ongoing operation of the home. R-2000 homes use only water-saving toilets, showers and faucets. Builders are also required to use materials with recycled content.
The R-2000 Standard is updated periodically to reflect the ongoing evolution of the construction technology and development of new materials, products and systems. This ensures that R-2000 continues to represent the leading edge of housing technology, and that homebuyers will continue to benefit from the latest advances in new home construction.
Contact your regional R-2000 Office for more information on R-2000 in your area, or use the "Find A Member" module to the right. Select "R2000 Builder" under Category with your province or local HBA to find R-2000 Builders in your area.