CDH wants to build you the best, most beautiful home possible. We also want to construct buildings in a responsible manner that takes on board the trifecta of maximum energy efficiency, true lifetime durability and real environmental awareness.
For CDH, high performance means marrying our high expectations with your high aspirations to create the ideal home for you for a lifetime.
When we build a healthy, energy efficient home we reduce its carbon footprint by minimizing heating and cooling requirements; and we do this by using high quality, long lasting products and materials that will stand the test of time, not ending up in the landfill – we build efficiently, durable, and environmentally consciously.
To do this, we have embarked upon a journey that promotes high performance construction and a promise to always seek the absolute best solution to every design and build challenge. This ideology and its three guiding tenets might seem daunting but we have found that in striving to achieve just one goal we often reach all three.
Below are helpful descriptions of few terms that we will use frequently when discussing your build. If there is anything else that we mention that is not immediately understandable please don't be afraid to ask.
When building to, or near to, Passive House standards, the air tightness of the building is critical to ensure no air or moisture leaks and best performance of the super insulation. To achieve this we completely wrap the house in an airtight barrier and pay special attention to sealing it everywhere. Then, we test to ensure there are no leaks and the optimal future performance of your energy efficient home.
The R-value is the difference in temperature between the warmer and colder surfaces of a barrier, such as a window or insulation, divided by the heat flux through that barrier. It is the measure of how well a barrier will resist the flow of heat through it. The Ontario Building Code specifies minimum R-values for walls, ceilings etc but we always say a higher R-value is better.
Now that we can fully seal and insulate our homes, we require a heat recovery ventilation system (HRV). This removes stale air and pumps in healthy fresh air, and, while doing so, it transfers heat from the stale warm internal air to the incoming fresh air, so reducing the energy required to heat the indoor environment.
This is the positioning of your home in relation to the sun's path across the sky. Here in
Canada the northern elevation of your home will always be colder than the southern facing wall. Therefore, adjusting your home's orientation in accordance helps minimize heat loss and maximize passive solar gain. This means it is best that north walls feature fewer windows and maximum insulation, while large windows and patio doors should be concentrated on the south wall.
A thermal bridge, or cold bridge, is an area or element of the building's construction that has significantly higher heat transfer than surrounding materials. Thermal bridging causes heat loss in a building as heat is conducted from the interior to the exterior, or cold is transferred in the opposite direction. Ensuring a continuous envelope of insulation is important to reduce heat loss and minimize energy use.
Energy recovery ventilation systems (ERV) are similar to HRVs but they also recuperate energy trapped in moisture, which improves energy efficiency. In winter, when external air is dry, an ERV will limit the moisture expelled from the home; while, in summer, when outdoor humidity is high it will reduce moisture coming into the house, keeping the internal environment at optimum levels.