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Braebury Homes achieves top standard

Wednesday, March 15th 2006 11:40:02am

Kingston homes join “best of class” for energy efficiency

(Kingston, March 15, 2006)  Braebury Homes, Kingston’s largest residential home builder, is the first builder in the city to have its homes tested and qualified under Natural Resources Canada’s ENERGY STAR® for New Homes initiative.  These new ENERGY STAR homes are among the most energy efficient in North America.  They will save their owners hundreds of dollars in heating and cooling costs, while significantly helping to reduce air pollution.  

Under the federal government pilot project for new homes, ENERGY STAR qualified homes are approximately 30 to 40 percent more energy efficient than those built to minimum Ontario Building Code standards.

Braebury’s Custom Capri home in Greenwood Park was tested in January by an independent, federally-licensed inspector. The results indicated that the home met and exceeded the ENERGY STAR performance levels under various tests and guidelines required by the program. One of the tests, for example―a blower door test―involved connecting a fan to the front door and depressurizing the house to determine how much air would escape.

At current energy prices, that home will save its owner more than $850 annually compared to an average home built to code, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 4 tonnes. The company has now tested and certified 10 homes, and expects to build 200 more “best of class” homes over the next year.

“As the largest builder, we know Braebury is expected to lead the way, and it’s taken an effort by our whole team, including our sub-trades,” says Braebury President Peter Splinter. “We’ve been close to achieving these superior levels of quality and energy efficiency with our building practices for some time, so it’s great to have independent confirmation of our results under this new program.”

ENERGY STAR qualified products meet or exceed strict technical standards for energy efficiency. Typical energy efficiency measures for these new homes, which reduce energy consumption by 40% compared to average homes, include:

o insulation upgrades,
o higher-performance windows,
o tighter construction,
o better draft-proofing,
o more efficient heating, hot water and air conditioning systems,
o sealed ducts for better air distribution, and
o ENERGY STAR qualified appliances (if supplied by the builder).

The standard is also recognized by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which offers a 10 percent refund on its mortgage loan insurance premium when a borrower buys or builds an energy efficient home. Mr. Splinter notes the one-time refund can save qualified homeowners as much as $500 or more.

Many consumers are familiar with the ENERGY STAR symbol. It has been used for some time now in more than 40 other product categories, including appliances, residential heating and cooling equipment, office equipment (such as computers and monitors), consumer electronics, lighting and signage. In Ontario, ENERGY STAR for New Homes has now been added to this growing list.

Rising energy costs and growing evidence of climate change and other environmental problems associated with the combustion of fossil fuels have many Kingstonians thinking hard about their energy choices. ENERGY STAR qualified new homes contribute significantly to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain and smog pollution.

Today, 17 percent of the energy consumed in Canada is used in running homes. Energy from fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change―a concern that led to the Government of Canada’s popular One-Tonne Challenge program to reduce emissions.

One metric tonne (1,000 kilograms) of greenhouse gas emissions would fill an average two-storey, three-bedroom house. An ENERGY STAR qualified home reduces these emissions far more―by approximately three tonnes per year.

“Not only is it a smart move to protect the environment, but it also creates a healthier environment for the homeowner, reduces maintenance, leads to higher resale value and greater customer satisfaction overall,” says Mr. Splinter. “That’s important when people trust us with the biggest purchase of their lives.”


For more information, photos, or for interviews, please contact Brent Kulba, ECO,
(416) 972-7401.

Or, contact:

Peter Splinter, President, Braebury Homes -- (613) 546-3400

Douglas Curran, Site Manager, Braebury Homes -- (613) 546-3400

Jordan Van Leuken, Designer/Planning Dept., Braebury Homes -- (613) 546-3400

Kristen Marshall, Marshall Consulting -- (613) 969-0680  (Kristen is both Director of Program Development and the federally licensed energy certification inspector for the Toronto-to-Ottawa region.)

ENERGY STAR® for New Homes is a label given to homes that meet balanced, whole-house, energy-efficiency standards, guaranteeing their owners significant energy savings.  New homes that receive the ENERGY STAR label are 40 percent more energy efficient than those built to the minimum Ontario building code standards. The ENERGY STAR mark is administered and promoted in Canada by Natural Resources Canada.