Builders lead­ers in en­ergy-ef­fi­cient technology

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mike Moore

THERE’S been tremen­dous progress and in­no­va­tion in mak­ing Man­i­toba new homes more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly over the years.

Since 1990, Canada’s to­tal green­house-gas emis­sions have in­creased by 21.7 per cent and, at the end of 2006, stood 29 per cent above the Ky­oto tar­get. Canada is ob­li­gated to cut green­house-gas emis­sions to six per cent be­low 1990 lev­els by 2012.

Dur­ing the same pe­riod, to­tal GHG emis­sions from Canada’s res­i­den­tial sec­tor de­creased by 8.5 per cent, de­spite a 28-per-cent growth in hous­ing stock. Canada’s res­i­den­tial hous­ing sec­tor is a GWG-re­duc­tion leader over this 16-year pe­riod, per­form­ing at a rate 40-per-cent bet­ter than most other in­dus­try sec­tors.

Since 1990, the num­ber of house­holds in Man­i­toba has in­creased by 13.2 per cent, yet the to­tal amount of en­ergy used in these homes is 11.2-per-cent less than in 1990. Al­though con­sid­er­able credit must go to switch­ing from nat­u­ral gas and fuel oil to elec­tric­ity, we must also ac­knowl­edge in­creased aware­ness of the con­sumer and more en­ergy-ef­fi­cient new homes. Man­i­toba’s new home builders have long been in the fore­front of en­ergy-ef­fi­cient technology, prod­ucts and build­ing prac­tices.

Over­all, the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency of Man­i­toba homes in­creased by 21.6 per cent be­tween 1990 and 2006. Green­house gas emis­sions from Man­i­toba homes were re­duced by 31.3 per cent over this same time pe­riod rep­re­sent­ing an av­er­age de­crease in GHG per house­hold of 40 per cent.

Al­most all of these im­prove­ments came about be­cause in­dus­try an­tic­i­pated and re­sponded to a need. These did not oc­cur af­ter the fact due to govern­ment leg­is­la­tion. If any­thing, leg­is­la­tion tends to fol­low the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances of in­dus­try be­ing on the cut- ting edge and en­sur­ing that all par­tic­i­pants fol­low the same pro­gres­sive proac­tive prac­tices of the pro­fes­sional builders.

These sus­tain­able prac­tices will help Win­nipeg main­tain a lead­er­ship role for the length of the Our Win­nipeg plan and be­yond.

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