This blog follows the latest trends in high performance housing from an insider's perspective. I am the General Manager of one of Ottawa's leading homebuilders - Urbandale Construction, and it gives me a firsthand view of how the industry is changing. I've seen the barriers that builders face when trying to market new technologies and I've been working directly to overcome these barriers to bring new energy efficient designs into Urbandale homes.
I recently received the following question from a reader: “ Hi there, after watching Holmes on Homes I was wondering when Urbandale will use spray foam insulation on the above garage floor instead of leaving the gap with heat duct. There is a big concern that if any seal is not done right like around electrical [...]Read more
As part of our upgrade to the 2012 ENERGY STAR® standard, we changed our standard water heaters from regular tank water heaters to condensing tank water heaters. In this post I’d like to discuss the main types of residential water heaters, so purchasers will have a better understanding of what system is best for them. [...]Read more
For the last four years, I’ve been using my position as General Manager at Urbandale Construction (a large homebuilder in Ottawa) to do whatever I could to push the industry towards more energy efficient housing. I’ve sat on government steering committees, created partnerships with academia to promote research, and redesigned the homes we sell. But [...]Read more
I’m going to take a break from talking about energy efficiency this post for something more fun instead – playing with Lego! Dwell, an influential architecture magazine, ran a Lego Design Competition with the theme of California mid-century modern architecture. Check out the designs of the five finalists here. It’s a reminder to me that [...]Read more
Urbandale was featured in the Ottawa Citizen again as we announced our recent improvements to our standard specifications for all our homes. Our homes will be built to the updated 2012 ENERGY STAR® levels that use 20% less energy than a house built to code. The improved efficiency comes from some smart upgrades, such as [...]Read more
On June 5th, I attended the ENERGY STAR® Participants Meeting at Chateau Laurier. I had been invited to give a presentation entitled “Leveraging the ENERGY STAR® Label in your Marketing”. I’ve been working with the folks from the Office of Energy Efficiency for years from way back in my consulting days, so the event was [...]Read more
Natural Resources Canada recently announced the launch of the revised 2012 R-2000 Standard. Urbandale played a major role in this launch by hosting the event in our demo home – the first home in Canada built to the new standard. This event was symbolic for me personally because it represented the results of several years [...]Read more
I just finished a very thought provoking book called “The Third Industrial Revolution”, by Jeremy Rifkin. Rifkin’s theory is that the world is on the cusp of a Third Industrial Revolution that will change the world’s economies and societies as dramatically as the First and Second Industrial Revolutions had in the 1800s and 1900s. The [...]Read more
Today I’ll be doing a live chat for the Ottawa Citizen website on energy efficient construction. My guest panelist will be David Foster, the Director of Environmental Affairs for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. Log in here today between noon and 1:00.Read more
2012 promises to be a defining year for energy efficient housing in Ontario as the Ontario Building Code is being updated to include energy efficiency targets for the first time. In conjunction, the ENERGY STAR® program and the R-2000 program are also changing to make their energy efficiency targets significantly more stringent. With all these [...]Read more
ABOUT URBANDALE CONSTRUCTION:
Ottawa's Quality Homebuilder for 30 Years. Building R-2000 and Energy Star Homes in Kanata Lakes, Riverside South, & Bridlewood in Ottawa, and in eQuinelle in Kemptville. For more information on Urbandale Construction, please visit www.urbandale.com.