Built Green BC is a program offered to builders by the BC division of the Canadian Home Builders Association which has been in existence for nearly 2 years. In order to build a ‘built green home', you have to be a registered and trained contractor. On Vancouver Island there is only but a handful. The fundamentally sound program will cost the home owner a bit more initially but will result in savings for them down the road. To register a home under the program an independent energy auditor comes out to evaluate the home and puts an EnerGuide label on the house. The actual results of the test will determine the final EnerGuide rating and the subsequent level of achievement in ‘built green'. Builders and consumers can choose from three "built green" achievement levels: Bronze represents the minimum level, silver the intermediate level, and gold is the maximum achievement level. An energy auditor estimates that a family home of four members with a rating of 82 will emit 7.8 tones less green house gas emissions compared to an average home. The average house in Nanaimo today would have an EnerGuide rating of 68. There are currently more then 800 Built Green homes in BC and more than 80 certified Built Green home builders in the province.
The idea is to build a home with four objectives in mind:
- Better energy efficiency, meaning more comfort and long term savings for the home owner.
- Healthier indoor air which brings better health for the family.
- More durable, reducing maintenance materials meaning a longer life for the home and long term savings.
- Preserving natural resources means leaving more for future generations to enjoy.
Encouraging reasons to build an energy efficient home:
- Home may increase in value by being more sought after by future buyers who want to live ‘green'.
- Use of non-toxic materials in the building of the home. For example, paint made with an organic compound that doesn't have an odor.
- Better long term effect on the environment.