On Wednesday, May 24th, we had members of GOHBA’s Building Innovation Committee out to tour one of our major renovation projects. With hopes of this job being Lagois’ first Net Zero Ready Reno labeled project, we opened the doors to the committee to come in and see our progress, discuss our goals for reaching this milestone and some of the challenges we have had.

The Building Innovation Committee is a group of builders, renovators, trades and suppliers who meet monthly with the goal of improving building practices, enhancing quality, and increasing sustainability. The monthly meetings feature guest speakers who provide information on various innovative products and technologies, as well as private tours of Ottawa’s most innovative and sustainable housing projects.

After moving into the home in the 80’s, the homeowners had not invested much in upgrading their home, rather focusing on their careers and family. Now both retired and family well established, it was time to invest in themselves and modernize their home into something they could enjoy for as long as possible.

The goal of this project was to create a home that is spacious, easy and with safe flow, with an abundance of natural light and comfortable throughout. 

Overall, the homeowners were happy with the layout, but each area in the home had specific design goals to allow them to live in the home as long as possible. Opening up interior walls and removing 2 dropped sections of floor is going to create better and safer flow, while allowing more natural light throughout the home. A more spacious and efficient kitchen and ensuite layout, wider interior doors and lighting design are just a few of the design elements that were incorporated to ensure living-in-place can be achieved for these homeowners.

While the existing home was very well built for its time, the insulation, windows, and mechanical systems were due for an upgrade to help create a more comfortable space throughout the home. In order for us to achieve a Net Zero Ready Reno label, we have specific upgrade minimums we have to achieve. Insulation, windows, mechanical systems and ventilation upgrades are for the most part simple to accomplish, the biggest challenge is creating an air tight build with the existing envelope. 

A Net Zero home is a home that can generate as much energy as it is going to consume, typically meaning little to no expenses for utilities for the homeowner. While this is fantastic, the true value to the homeowner is the comfort created in the home.