- JOLENE RUDISUELA
- May. 29, 2019 9:00 a.m.
The Comox Valley is now home to Vancouver Island’s second Net Zero certified house.
Built by J. Zsiros Contracting Ltd., the 1,474 square foot, three bedroom home is built to be self-sustaining and significantly more environmentally friendly than the vast majority of new builds coming to the Island. The first Net Zero home was built in Victoria.
Equipped with an array of 9 KW solar panels mounted to the ground, energy and water efficient appliances and fixtures, the Lake Trail Road home was built with a low carbon footprint in mind.
As defined by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Net Zero homes produce as much clean energy as they consume through the use of clean energy sources. They are also up to 80 per cent more efficient than typical new homes thanks to triple glazed windows, added insulation, heat recovery ventilation systems and heat pumps. Net Zero Ready homes have all the same elements minus the installation of a solar system. These houses are certified through the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program.
With their first completely sustainable build done, J. Zsiros Contracting is officially the Comox Valley’s first Net Zero certified builder.
Jim Zsiros, the company’s owner and president, said the home cost under $400,000 to build, while most self-sustaining homes cost close to or upwards of $1 million. On top of that, with solar panels producing all of the building’s energy needs, in eight years, the new homeowners will have saved enough to have completely covered the costs of the solar array – not to mention qualify for rebates from the Comox Valley Regional District and BC Hydro.
“We wanted to see how affordably we could build a home to be where the Government of B.C. wants to be by 2032,” said Zsiros, referring to the provincial government’s goal of all new builds being at least net-zero ready by 2032. “People today want to be more conservative [with energy consumption]. Plus, why would you want any utility bills?”
Jeffery Robinson, licensed energy advisor with EnerTech Solutions, says the trend towards energy efficiency in new homes is increasing, and while the upfront costs of a build like this are higher, the homeowners quickly see huge savings.
Water conservation was also a big consideration while building the home. Low flow shower heads and faucets were installed, as well as an imperial gallon water system that is filled with rainwater from the gutters. That water can be used for the homeowner’s garden and lawn, leaving well water for uses inside the house.