Alberta Home Scores Big in EnerGuide Ratings

Insulspan combines with other energy efficient solutions for a win in Calgary

When Stephen Lefebvre and his wife Johane started planning their new, custom home, they soon agreed upon three important things. First, their house needed to embrace colonial style architecture, including timber framing. Next, the home had to attain a high EnerGuide rating. Finally, its construction process needed to remain on-schedule and as smooth as possible. Lefebvre was a first-time general contractor. By choosing to incorporate the Insulspan® Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) system, he found a perfect solution, and a perfect partner.

“Insulspan has years of experience incorporating SIPs with timber framing,” says Stephen Munn, Insulspan’s general manager. “SIPs complement timber frame structures by strengthening and supporting them while also providing the home’s insulation requirements.” Munn explains that structural insulated panels (SIPs) are comprised of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam sandwiched between two laminated oriented strand boards (OSB). The panels can be manufactured as large as 8’ x 24’. Further, the structural characteristics of the panels reduce the need for wood studs which create thermal breaks. “With less thermal breaks to allow conditioned air to escape from the home, there is a large increase in energy conservation,” says Munn, “SIPs are also easy to incorporate into any construction method.”

“It proved to be a very wise decision, and everything just fit like a glove.” – Stephen Lefebvre, homeowner, on building his timber frame home using SIPs and ICFs

The home’s building process also included Advantage Insulating Concrete Forming (ICF) System® for the foundation. Homeowner, Lefebvre says the ICFs, timber, and SIPs had to fit together perfectly, explaining, “Being my own general contractor, I had to minimize the finger pointing. It proved to be a very wise decision, and everything just fit like a glove.”

Because the home’s location is near Calgary, the Lefebvre’s knew energy efficiency was more than just a matter of being earth-friendly. It was also common-sense. With winter temperatures that regularly plunge into the negatives, a highly energy efficient home would decrease the couple’s heating and cooling costs. Additionally, the consistent temperatures inside the home would certainly increase their comfort. At completion, Insulspan SIPs and ICFs combined with a passive solar design and radiant heating. This meant the 6,100- square-foot home would require less than $200 per month to heat–even in the Calgary cold.

Munn, says Canada’s EnerGuide evaluation system rates any score over 80 as “excellent.” This home earned an 86. [i] By merging Insulspan panels and Advantage ICF products while also taking advantage of solar opportunities, the Lefebvre home was able to achieve one of the highest ratings possible.

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[i] EnerGuide score system updated after the completion of this home. The new EnerGuide rating system demonstrates a home’s energy performance, rather than its energy efficiency. Learn about your province here.


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