New Residential Construction and Airtightness Testing

Published on August 28, 2018

Proposed changes to the Ontario Building Code and SB-12 regarding mandatory airtightness testing for new residential construction are slated for 2020 and 2022. It is really no longer a question of “if” but more of a “when”. 

  1. During the first phase, the results of the testing must be provided to the homebuyer.
  2. During the second phase, mandatory airtightness targets will be set.

As a builder, you may be wondering what air tightness testing is, and how these changes will affect your business, your homebuyers and your subcontractors. Straight to the point, it proves build quality, increases house value, improves energy efficiency, and lowers call backs from clients.

What home builders need to know about airtightness testing

Airtightness home construction energy professional testing residential changes, Ontraio

Airtightness testing is a measurement and verification of the level of air leakage in a building. The tool that we use for measurement is known as a blower door test, and works by depressurizing the house to find any air leakage pathways. Knowing that all other aspects of constructing a new home are carefully measured to produce a quality build, it only makes sense that the inevitable air leakage be accounted for as well.

Consumers are also quite familiar with the concept that a tighter home is more energy efficient . A custom home builder that can actually show this aspect of their build to potential buyers is also a builder that can differentiate the true quality of their home from the house across the street. The measurement makes proving the house’s value beyond simple creature comforts possible.

Another advantage to having new homes measured is the ability for contractors to become aware of, and then repair, any unintentional locations of air leakage that may have occurred during the building process. This then becomes a great practice for contractors to avoid possible call backs from clients down the road. Clients will also be thrilled at their low utility bills and high house appraisal, which means more positive referrals for the builder.

For progressive contractors, being able to control all aspects of the homes they build is of the utmost importance. Providing a comfortable new home at an affordable rate is the key to the success of their business. Airtightness testing is just another way for these contractors to ensure better quality on every build.

Barrier Sciences Group is a licensed, third party testing company that employs Registered Energy Advisors. We currently work with many residential contractors throughout Ontario. The professionals at BSG not only measure the homes, but also provide a clear and concise report that can then be used to demonstrate the quality of their work over the competition. We can also help builders achieve ENERGY STAR and Net Zero Energy certification by making sure they are installing the right appliances, mechanical systems and building materials to meet the requirements.

Airtightness home construction energy professional testing residential changes, Ontario

For more information, call the experts at BSG to let us show you how we can help. We can be reached at 1-866-333-3920. 

Rick Miller, Service Organization Manager

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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