Energy efficiency & renewable energy
While state-of-the-art building certifications like Passive House can help deliver a 90% reduction in heating cooling energy, most clients just want a comfortable, pretty good home. Our standard designs are capable of a 50% (or higher) reduction in energy costs compared to construction built to current code levels in most areas. You may decide, however, that you’d like to get your home modeled and/or certified to the Passive House Low Energy Standard, the International Passive House Standard, Net Zero Energy Ready, BC Building Code Step Code 5, or another method of verification for your home’s energy efficiency. Reach out to us to ask how we can either help your energy modeler or directly provide energy modeling services in order to achieve the building standard of your choice. Depending on your goals, some changes may need to be made to window glazing, insulation thickness, heating and electrical systems, shading, renewable energy systems, or other elements that will increase the energy performance of your home.
Heat recovery ventilation is a relatively new addition to a North American home, although it’s been used in European homes for several decades. These systems act like the lungs of the home, providing fresh filtered air at controlled locations as opposed to relying on leaks in the building envelope. Some North American HVAC contractors may be less familiar with these systems.
Depending on where you live and who lives in your home, you may be interested in upgrades to the fresh air systems, including an ERV upgrade, dehumidification, HEPA filter upgrade, or an earth tube ventilation system. We can help guide you on what’s necessary in your location so that you know the right questions to ask when working with your HVAC or general contractor.
Plumbing, electric, heating & cooling, and hot water
Our home designs come with recommendations for standard plumbing systems, a mini-split heat pump for heating and cooling, and an electric resistance water heater. As most homes in the future will be, this home is designed to be an all-electric home. The very small heating system is a testament to the energy efficiency of the design. It is useful to be able to understand this when communicating with your HVAC contractor, who may lean towards oversizing your heating system and recommending a conventional heating system.
If you require upgrades to these systems, from a greywater system to septic systems, drainwater heat recovery, electric vehicle and solar hookups, in-floor radiant heat, geothermal systems, a ducted mini-split heat pump, a heat pump water heater, solar thermal water heating, etc., help us understand these needs so that we may help guide you in – similar to the above – in being armed with the right questions and information when discussing these with your local contractor.
Apart from windows and doors, finishes are mostly chosen by you depending on what’s locally available in your region. It certainly doesn’t help to choose finishes that local trades aren’t familiar with! Whether you are an owner-builder comfortable making your own choices, or whether you are collaborating with your General Contractor and/or a local architect or designer, you can make use of our architectural and building envelope 3D models and drawings to get take-offs for your finish needs.
Ready to proceed with developing your own unique Collective Home? Try our non-binding pre-order process to generate a preliminary cost for your Collective Home base costs as well as your estimated total build costs. Once you submit, an advisor will get in touch to help you continue to develop your ideas.