Article No: 122

2006-05-02 09:45:50
Green News
By: Concrete Homes

It feels very, very good
to be the tightest of the tight

If you're driving down Pine Court in Port Perry, Ontario, the home located at 31 Pine Court is officially the tightest home in the exclusive R-2000 subdivision.

Steve Snider Construction won the 2003 EnerQuality R-2000 Excellence Award for Tightest Home Construction at the Ontario Building and Renovation Forum 2004 in Markham. The award was sponsored by NUDURA Corp.

This is the second consecutive year that Steve Snider has won the award.

Peter Love, president of EnerQuality Corp., which is responsible for the R-2000 program in Ontario (, said the house is more than eight times tighter than the minimum R-2000 requirements — and that's more than double the tightness of the average new home.

"This level of air tightness is achieved by using high quality construction methods and materials in conjunction with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV)," Love said. "The HRV functions as the 'lungs of the house.' It uses a combined pipe to exhaust stale air from the house that preheats fresh incoming air and distributes it throughout the home. This ensures a steady supply of fresh air continuously enters the house."

Snider said that winning the award twice comes down to attention to detail and highly skilled trades-people and exacting standards.

"This home's air tightness was made easier by using innovative joint sealing methods such as 'sprayed-in-place foam' in the rim joints and a high degree of attention to detail in air sealing," Snider said. "Also, we used NUDURA insulating concrete forms (ICF) to build our basement walls. The NUDURA system is quick and easy to install while reducing the number of joints and eliminating taping and caulking, greatly adding to our insulation value."

Love said that like all R-2000 homes, this home goes beyond the requirements of the building code. "R-2000 homes are more energy efficient, offer better indoor air quality and are constructed with more environmentally responsible products than ordinary homes," Love said.

An independent, third-party expert inspects each house to make sure that it meets these requirements before being certified as an R-2000 home. Only licensed R-2000 builders trained by the government of Canada can build R-2000 homes. Steve Snider Construction is one of 72 licensed R-2000 builders in Ontario.

REHAU, AMVIC partner to meet
growing sustainability demand

REHAU, a global polymer processing company, and AMVIC, a supplier of insulating concrete forms (ICFs), have partnered to provide customers with integrated building systems. AMVIC's ( polymer ICFs, combined with REHAU's ( polymer radiant heating, plumbing, fire protection, and window and door systems, provide the consumer with comfort and energy efficiencies.

Michael Maher, a manager for REHAU's construction strategic business unit, said consumers are demanding a house that lasts. "With sustainable building methods, consumers save money over the long term because their home is a high quality structure that requires minimal maintenance and conserves energy. The goal of this alliance is to provide building professionals with an integrated package of innovative solutions that meets the consumer's desire for a sustainable building environment."

This announcement follows the success and positive market response from a recent joint project in Washington State, known as the Peterson home (See Concrete Homes, June/July issue). Paul Camozzi, senior accounts manager for AMVIC, said that home demonstrates the core principle of this alliance. "While each product used in the home yields sustainable benefits on its own, the home is a successful model of sustainable design because the products are integrated into a single optimized system. The REHAU/AMVIC partnership gives building professionals immediate access to all of the necessary components and techniques."

The Peterson home enjoys the distinction of being one of the first few homes in America to achieve The Freedom Seal of Approval — an industry-supported, consumer focused certification program for rating homes that are healthier, environmentally friendly and super energy efficient. The shell is constructed with ICF technology from AMVIC, which uses expanded polystyrene foam to increase the energy effiency.

The Freedom Seal minimum energy-efficiency standards are based on the Residential Energy Model (REM) software for the EPA's Energy Star Home requirements. The Peterson home earned a 90.2 Home Energy Rating Score (HERS), exceeding the minimum Energy Star HERS score of 86.0.

Tectonic gives specifiers free
access to green product info

One of the biggest obstacles to specifying green building systems and processes has been finding accurate, credible product environmental information.

Tectonic Network ( a division of ROI Corp., has added industry-standard environmental information aligned with leading green building systems and practices to its Tectonic Studio online library of more than 100,000 interior finish products, and is making it available free to the industry.

The new "green search" feature, sponsored by ANTRON (www. carpet fiber, enables specifiers to quickly find interior materials and finishes that meet their environmental specifications.

These attributes include product performance against LEED indoor environmental quality and materials and resources credits, environmentally preferable product certifications, and other industry-accepted standards.