Why Insulate Above Code
Why is it important?
Building energy codes are driving the momentum on making homes in Canada more energy efficient. This means that homes built today are generally tighter and better insulated. But a building built just to code is only meeting the legal minimum, not delivering customer value beyond the baseline. Designing and constructing beyond code, including quality residential insulation, delivers buildings that are more energy efficient, quieter, and healthier, which can give you a competitive advantage.
5 Great Reasons to Insulate Above Code
- Greater energy efficiency, lower energy bills
The value of energy efficiency is obvious: it saves homeowners money on energy bills and reduces CO2 emissions to lower carbon footprints. The benefits continue to grow in importance as energy prices rise and the public becomes more conscious of carbon impact. Energy efficiency labels on homes, such as ENERGY STAR®, are becoming more recognizable, and have helped to open up the demand for “green” homes that are said to be more energy efficient than those built to code.
- Higher demand for more efficient homes
Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important to homeowners. However, there’s generally a disconnect between the energy efficient features most frequently being offered and those that matter most to home buyers.
In research by the National Association of Realtors:
Features that homeowners consider “very important” in environmentally friendly homes:
- home heating and cooling costs (36% of respondents)
- energy efficient appliances (23% of respondents)
- Better ability to meet customers’ needs
Offering home buyers an energy efficient home that can save them money on their heating and cooling costs can give you the competitive advantage. Customers are interested in lower heating and cooling costs, and this is met with airtight and well-insulated buildings. Insulation is a simple, cost-effective feature to include that appeals to today’s buyer, and in the case of a power outage, will help keep a home’s heat longer.
- Quieter homes
No one wants a noisy home, and part of delivering a better home is ensuring it’s built with sound insulation in mind. Noise can come from outside (i.e., sirens, traffic, neighbours) or inside (i.e., children, TVs, music), and preferences for open concept living areas and homes located in urban settings are making sound control more of a desirable feature. Nose is complex and very situation specific, and noise control will include several actions in addition to adding insulation.
- Healthier homes
The health consciousness of homeowners continues to grow in lockstep with an increasing public focus on promoting general well-being beyond simple health. Asthma rates have increased, allergies are a bigger problem than before, and homeowners are aware that their home can contribute to their health and wellness—or detract from it. In the residential building space, this means prospective buyers want to be given confidence that their new home was built with products that are safe for their families, and minimize airbourne harmful pollutants, allergens, and chemicals. While no insulation product alone can ensure a healthy home, insulation, air sealing, and ventilation are critical components of a whole building strategy to deliver healthy homes.
2 Considerations for Insulating a Healthy Home
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): mineral fiber (fiberglass, rock wool, and slag wool) insulation manufacturers offer formaldehyde-free or low formaldehyde products.
- Mould prevention: insulation is part of a whole home approach to managing moisture and preventing mould.