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Building for high performance requires looking at the house as a system

Whether you’ve been following Kemp Construction for any length of time, or just heard about us recently, you’ll know that we’re committed to high performance homes. As part of this, we get excited about things like new policy commitments from the government and energy companies to help fund home energy performance improvements. Two things in particular on our radar are the new home energy performance targets and energy rebates.

Where do you start when improving home energy performance?

As a homeowner, improving the performance of your own home can save you money, make it more comfortable for you and your family and improve its resale value. In initial consultations, we are often asked - "Where should we start - a new furnace, a new water heater, new insulation?” The answer can be inclusive of all of these areas because as a renovation contractor, we look at the "bigger picture".

The House-As-A-System Approach

Have you ever thought about your home as a system (HAAS)  where the elements are interrelated? We take the “whole home approach” to home performance. There are four main components which need to function optimally for the other elements to work well:

  • the building envelope
  • the mechanical systems and inner workings
  • the environment
  • the home's occupants

House As a System (HAAS) Concept
Photo Credit: Conservation Services Group

Home energy performance starts with an energy assessment

To really dial in energy performance, you need a baseline. Kemp often begins the process by inviting an energy advisor to do an energy assessment of your home which provides us with that baseline. The energy advisor can identify where your home is losing energy – which may confirm what you may already know. Using that information, you can make informed decisions on how best to invest in your home.

In our process, Kemp will offer recommendations and guide you in these decisions. We will discuss the level of energy performance you want to achieve in consideration of your budget and available energy rebates. Working together, we’ll help you determine priorities and create a plan that works for you.

Not quite ready to jump in? Why not give us a call to hear more about our process or follow project updates on  Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Got a project in mind?

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Kemp Construction to participate in Fortis Deep Energy Retrofit Pilot Project

Fortis BC’s Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) Project has invited a handful of renovators across the province to manage and deliver a Deep Energy Retrofit for an assigned homeowner this year. Kemp Construction is one of the contractors invited to participate in this project.

Fortis and the Future of Energy Efficiency

A Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) is a retrofit of an existing home in which the building envelope and energy systems are improved such that there is a reduction in overall energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions by at least 50%. These lucky homeowners will have their energy improvements completely (100%) paid for by Fortis.

We are motivated to discover “how low can you go”

While the project location is outside of our typical geographical area, we have partnered with our colleagues at Clay Construction of Langley. Together, our challenge is to uncover “how low can you go” towards net zero emissions with natural gas as a primary space and hot water heating source. Over the coming months, we’ll provide updates on our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages as well as our website on this exciting project.

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Further Reading
How does Kemp integrate Step Code Solutions?

In this blogpost, we refer to past and upcoming projects, and highlight techniques we use to achieve energy efficiency. It speaks of some of the areas we’ve learned to focus on when building to the upper levels of the Step Code. LEARN MORE

What is an energy-efficient home?

From the Natural Resources of Canada website - Any home, no matter when it was built, can be energy-efficient. Modern construction standards demand greater energy efficiency in new homes, but older homes can be upgraded to improve their energy performance. LEARN MORE

Home Energy Retrofits: Why Use the House-as-a-System (HAAS) Approach?

This Guide from Home Performance Stakeholder Council (HPSC) is a great resource for the Home As A System Concept. LEARN MORE

What is the House as a System concept?

From CleanBC - Helping British Columbians find rebates to save energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions in their homes. LEARN MORE

Understanding Your Home as a System

BC Hydro highlights how there are two main aspects to consider when looking at your home as a system: the home’s building envelope and its mechanical systems. LEARN MORE