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New Standards for Building Energy Performance throughout British Columbia

by Bevony on January 1, 2020 No comments

There is a revolution happing in code development in British Columbia. The rest of Canada is also seeing this. As a result, there has been an increase in residences being built with better energy performance. There has been a 70% increase in construction over the past two years. This increase is noted by the British Columbia local government. 

The BC Energy Step Code being developed is set to be fully encompassing all new construction in British Columbia for 2032. The code has measurable performances at its root. It, however, does not prescribe specific approaches and materials. It does, however, indicate the lowest performance outcomes that are expected and each of these is grouped into the different steps of the code. Because of that builders now have this guide to using when designing and building new homes.

There are 5 steps that a home can meet according to the code. A step  5 home is the best at energy efficiency because it is the top of the tier. Due to this, the construction industry in the driver’s seat for creating the homes to meet this step code. Different experts from across the industry and at different stages of the home design to build process can help to create more efficient homes. These include architects, builders, and engineers who must all work together for a common goal. 

These professionals are not left to their own devices. They must demonstrate with an energy model how their project will meet the requirements of each step of the code.

Metrics of the BC Energy Step Code

The Range of Metrics used in the BC Energy Step Code includes TEDI and MEUI. There is also, the percentage lower than EnerGuide Reference House. As well as there is airtightness. The latter is expressed as hour at a 50-Pa (1-psf) pressure differential (ach 50).

In December 2017, the government of British Columbia indicated that by 2032 it would need all newly built buildings to meet the specified energy performance requirements. As a result, the code came into force in December 2017. It is not a mere standalone code, it is instead a part of the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC) To meet the requirements, the government developed a directive that is transforming communities in the province steadily.

The BC Energy Step Code is already being used by several local governments. The number is currently growing. Because the local government as shown so much interest in the code, the province has provided alignment with the regulatory requirements and the steps of the code.

With each edition of the code, there is more stringency. As such there are changes in what is required for 2022, 2027 and 2032. This has triggered an increase in training for persons employed for different roles throughout the industry.

How the BC Energy Step Code Works

Each step of the code represents a higher amount of efficiency. Each step of energy efficiency is defined by a particular metric. It has already been made the standard in the bylaws of several communities. Each proposed new project must demonstrate its ability to meet the requirements of the current standard step.

As a result, an energy model must be submitted for any building project. This along with the necessary drawings are used for the application of a permit. The official will confirm if the project meets the requirement and will issue a permit. After the completion of the building, the builder must show that the building does confirm to and meets the standards as specified by the initial documents used to secure the permit to build. 

This is step 1. Each step has different requirements because the protocol allows time for the industry to get up to the task. The highest is Step 5. It is the top step and denotes a net-zero energy ready single-family home. As a result, one can expect the utmost energy efficiency from a home with step 5 designation. 

Increase in High-Performance Projects

Because of there being a buyer’s market, there is a huge rise in construction in British Columbia. Because of the CleanBC program, there is an added boost for new projects being built to the BC Energy Step Code. The CleanBC incentivized program targets Part 3 buildings. It also targets residences that are targeting Passive House Certification.

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BevonyNew Standards for Building Energy Performance throughout British Columbia

Finding the Right Greater Vancouver Neighborhood

by Bevony on June 19, 2019 No comments

Homebuyers are now looking beyond the value of the housing structure itself and looking into the quality of life as they consider which neighborhood they want to call their home.

Greater Vancouver has the highest prices in real estate when it comes to Canada. As such homebuyers are looking or more than the value that is within their house. A good neighborhood can be just the edge needed when sellers are looking to attract potential buyers. So what are the features that can cause a neighborhood to stand out more than any other for potential homeowners?

What HomeBuyers Want

According to a report from RE/MAX in 2019 Canadians rank easy access to dining, shopping and green spaces at the top of their criteria for what makes a neighborhood more livable. Other important factors are proximity to preferred schools, work, public transit, community centers, and cultural centers. The report shows that Canadians spend in excess of two-thirds of their time within their very own neighborhood. This rate is a lot higher for baby boomers who want to stay in their neighborhood and have direct access to all or most of their needs there.

Kerrisdale, West End, and Main are the top three neighborhoods as ranked by RE/MAX in Vancouver when it comes to access to parks, green spaces, retail and restaurants, ease of getting around, walkability and access to public transit.

When it comes down to affordability and a good available housing inventory the neighborhoods mentioned include Renfrew-Collingwood, Downtown-Vancouver and Mount Pleasant. As a matter of fact, if you are considering the Renfrew-Collingwood area, we’re here at SilverBeam Homes have houses for you.

It is important to note that these livability factors are often the ones that cannot be changed whereas price and value can change over time either up or down. The livability factors are what makes a home a great place to live.

Top 10 Vancouver Neighborhoods

A fourth-quarter analysis of Greater Vancouver in 2018 showed the top 10 neighborhoods of the time were:

  • Marpole
  • Vancouver West
  • Saunders
  • Lackner in Richmond
  • West Cambie
  • Steveston North
  • Hastings East
  • Collingwood
  • Queensborough
  • Fort Langley

Queensborough has been rated the best neighborhoods for condo and townhouses on a list with other neighborhoods such as Renfrew, South Cambie, Saunders, Pemberton, and Central.

What are your must-haves for a neighborhood before choosing to purchase a home there? Let us help you find the right home, in the right neighborhood. Contact us today and let us start working towards getting you the keys to your dream home.

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BevonyFinding the Right Greater Vancouver Neighborhood

New Home – What Now?

by Bevony on May 15, 2019 No comments

So you bought your first home! Congratulations, we are super happy for you to have reached this milestone in your life. But what do you do now? We know you are tempted to purchase all the home goods at all the home goods and furniture stores but wait, let’s hold off on all of that for right now. Yes, we understand that your new home is a new start and filling it with a bunch of new things feels like the right thing to do. But let’s face it, there are monetary constraints and it makes no sense to put yourself into debt with a house full of brand new items. So what do we suggest should be the new purchases for your home? Keep reading to find out.

1. Lighting

Lighting is a very important factor in every home. In most cases, each room will require different levels of lighting based on how it will be used. Your office may require more lighting than your TV room for instance as well as your bathroom may require more lighting than your bedroom. The fact of the matter is you will need lighting before you attempt to move anything into your new house so let’s start here.

2. Window Treatments

Window Treatments – the jury is still out whether you should take care of lighting before you take care of the window treatments. These window treatments can really add some happiness to an empty room and they can also keep outside eyes from seeing what’s going on in your house while you are unpacking, moving in, sorting out your space. They can also keep the wandering eyes from knowing that your living room is still empty even though you moved into your new home three months ago. I hear you though, you haven’t got the color scheme and design all figured out yet. You can start off with basic window treatments that are only for allowing privacy. Get some drab drapes or some basic blinds until you have your full design figured out.

3. Side/End Tables

Side/End Tables – you never realize just how important these little pieces of furniture are until you have nowhere to place stuff. The great thing about these is even if you haven’t decided on your design theme or color story you can find neutral tables that can later fit into your chosen theme or story. These tables are very versatile and as such provide you with an exceptional bang for your buck since they can be placed in every room in your home.

4. The Necessities

The Necessities – now we cant list these out for you as these are different for each family. You will need to take stock of all home items you already own and first get those into space. Remember you can always change out into new things later, but for right away we want you to take all functional items that are still working and move them into your new space. Its all about making responsible fiscal decisions. Choose necessities that you don’t currently own and start with those purchases first.

While we understand that each homewoners needs are different going into their first home this list is a great place to start. It wont be a complete list for many and there may even be unnecessary things on there for some but it gives you a good idea to start off your new home purcashing or wish list with.

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BevonyNew Home – What Now?