Energy efficient renovations in Red Deer.
Ardent is proud to offer an energy efficient option for renovations and additions in Red Deer. We are passionate about doing more with less, and building to last. These two principles drive the ideals we pursue. Read on to learn more about our perspective on energy efficiency and the economic case we make for it.
Energy efficiency renovation services we offer in Red Deer.
Deep energy retrofits.
Exterior home insulation.
Completing NRCan V.15 energy audit recommended upgrades.
Building envelope air sealing,
Double stud wall fabrication.
Concrete or brick wall insulation.
Project managment for large, energy efficient renovations.
Why focus on home Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency is at the core of our existence as human beings.
Let's unpack this statement a bit.
First, we need to define the terms Energy and Efficiency.
According to the Oxford English dictionary, Energy is "Power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources, especially to provide light and heat or to work machines."
Using the Oxford English dictionary again, Efficiency is "The ratio of the useful work performed by a machine or in a process to the total energy expended or heat taken in."
In simple terms, energy efficiency is the ratio at which the energy source is converted into useful work. An easy to understand example is a furnace in a home. A high-efficiency furnace with an efficiency rating (AFUE) of 95% will convert 95% of its fuel source into heat for your home while wasting 5%. Anything around the home that converts energy into a useful service will have an energy efficiency rating.
So how is energy efficiency at the core of our being?
As a human race, many of our technological advancements have focused on doing more (work) with less (energy). The invention of the wheel significantly reduced friction and allowed for a more efficient transfer of energy into motion. Advancements from wood to coal to fossil fuels as fuel sources allowed us increased our efficiency at the extraction of energy.
Essentially we are lazy but creative.
This type of laziness is not a bad thing. It is our drive for increased energy efficiency that conserves our resources and enhances our quality of life.
What does energy efficiency look like in the construction industry today?
Worldwide, the construction and energy use of buildings consumes vast amounts of resources. See this paper by the OECD for more. To reduce overall environmental impact, home builders and designers have started using life cycle assessments (LCAs) to critique home design choices. An LCA done on a home looks at the total energy cost of the house by analyzing the following aspects: the production and transportation of building materials using raw resources, the operation of the home, expected lifespan of the home, home repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling. Today's conventional homes perform poorly compared to an energy efficient, green home.
While highly energy efficient homes make economic sense, we are not building or renovating to create them in any meaningful way. Inadequate education on energy efficiency, housing prices in correlation to wages, energy efficiency not factored in housing prices, and neglect to look at the long term are all reasons for this slow progress. See research on passive houses from the Pembina Institute for more information.
We see this as a serious problem.
There is a common misconception that energy efficient home design is tied to uneconomical home costs. On the contrary, techniques and construction materials are available today that result in lower home operating costs. The premium cost of building or renovating green is offset by lowering the home's energy bills. This reduced dependence on energy translates into a lower cost of ownership over the home's lifespan and insulates you from potential energy cost spikes.
Think about it.
If we built a passive (well insulated) house that cost 10% more and used 80% less energy to operate, this is a better long term investment. A passive house is also expected to last longer with less maintenance, although this is hard to quantify due to lack of data. This expectation is because a passive house is built from higher quality components. The passive house design isn't only for new homes, existing homes can be renovated to meet passive house standards. See info on EnerPHit.
We are passionate about being part of the solution.
We see home insulation as the area with the most room for improvement within the systems of a home. Energy loss due to thermal flow through insulation from heating and cooling is one of the primary drivers for energy use in homes. In spite of modern, high-efficiency HVAC systems converting a high percentage of the energy they use, the thermal resistance or R-value of our homes insulation systems remains comparatively low. Although energy efficiency is generally referred to in new building, the biggest challenge remains in existing structures. Our existing housing stock still has significant life in it but is energy inefficient.
Energy efficient renovating is where Ardent is focused.
We are passionate about increasing the efficiency of your home during major renovations. Done right, a deep energy retrofit will increase your home's efficiency and has the potential to increase the longevity of your home. This is achieved by using advanced building techniques and robust building materials.
The most efficient way to do something is to do it once.
We look forward to building the future with you!