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BILD Alberta’s BOWDA Update on the Tiered Energy Code Roadmap, Net Zero Homes and New Construction

BILD Alberta: Championing Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Building Practices

BILD Alberta, short for the Building Industry and Land Development Association, is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of the home building and land development industry in the province of Alberta. BILD Alberta is committed to promoting sustainable and energy-efficient building practices in the province, and has been a key advocate for the adoption of the 2020 National Building and Energy Codes, the Tiered Energy Codes, and the development of a pathway to Net Zero homes.

The 2020 National Building and Energy Codes

The National Building Code of Canada (NBC) is a model code developed by the National Research Council of Canada that outlines the minimum standards for the design and construction of new buildings. The 2020 edition of the NBC includes provisions for energy efficiency and sustainability that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption in new buildings. The 2020 National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) is also included in the NBC, and sets minimum requirements for the energy performance of buildings.

BILD Alberta played a crucial role in the development of the 2020 NBC and NECB, advocating for measures that would improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in new buildings. The new codes require buildings to be more airtight, better insulated, and equipped with more efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. They also mandate the use of energy-efficient lighting and the inclusion of renewable energy sources such as solar panels.

Tiered Energy Codes

The province of Alberta has implemented a tiered energy code system that provides builders with a range of energy efficiency options to choose from. The tiered energy codes offer a flexible approach to energy efficiency, allowing builders to choose the level of energy efficiency that works best for their project and their clients.

The tiered energy code system includes three levels: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Tier 1 is the minimum level of energy efficiency required by the 2020 NECB, while some homes can be built to a Net Zero standard at Tier 4. Builders can choose to comply with any of the three tiers, depending on the energy efficiency goals of their project.

Tier 1: Minimum Code Requirements

Tier 1 is the minimum level of energy efficiency required by the 2020 NECB. Buildings constructed to Tier 1 standards must meet the minimum requirements for insulation, air sealing, heating, cooling, and ventilation outlined in the NECB.

Tier Increase to Construction Costs Cost Impact Per Home Barriers Prior to Implementation Timing
1 0% – 0.34% $0-$1,072 None Mid-2023

Tier 2: Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Tier 2 represents an enhanced level of energy efficiency beyond the minimum requirements of Tier 1 and will become the minimum standard by mid-2025. Buildings constructed to Tier 2 standards must meet more stringent requirements for insulation, air sealing, heating, cooling, and ventilation. Builders may choose Tier 2 for projects with a higher energy efficiency target than Tier 1.

Tier Increase to Construction Costs Cost Impact Per Home Barriers Prior to Implementation Timing
2 0.35% – 1.05% $1,100-$3,300 – Energy Advisors/airtightness testing capacity
– Multi-family airtightness testing requirements
– Managing peak cooling loads
– Education of builders, building officials and homeowners
Mid-2025

Tier 3: Increased Costs

Tier 3 represents an increased cost challenge, with the envelope improvement requirements, more insulation and energy-efficient windows will be required, increasing costs born by home buyers. Buildings constructed to Tier 3 standards must meet the most stringent requirements for insulation, air sealing, heating, cooling, and ventilation. Builders may choose Tier 3 for projects but additional airtightness testing requirements would be required. For more remote communities, the costs could be substantial.

Tier Increase to Construction Costs Cost Impact Per Home Barriers Prior to Implementation Timing
3 1.05% – 1.40% $3,300 – $4,400 – Clarify the prescriptive pathway
– Energy Advisor/airtightness testing capacity
– Building envelop training with trades
TBD

Tier 4: Net Zero Energy Ready – Electrified Homes

Tier 4 represents a Net Zero Energy Ready standard. At Tier 4, electrified home heating will be a requirement for homes. It is unclear if Alberta’s electricity infrastructure can support a broad shift to electrified home heating at this time. Builders may choose Tier 4 for projects with the goal of achieving Net Zero energy consumption, which means the building produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.

Tier Increase to Construction Costs Cost Impact Per Home Barriers Prior to Implementation Timing
4 7% $20,000 – $22,000 – Housing affordability.
– Air source heat pump technology.
– Electric infrastructure to support electrified home
heating.
– Envelope improvements.
– Clarify the prescriptive pathway.
TBD

Tier 5: Go Green

Tier 5 represents an increased cost challenge, and dramatic change to building. Tier 5 currently goes beyond what even current Code requires. Solar panels and off site renewable energy sources are required; heat pumps, electrical heaters and so much more, make the Tier 5 a challenge. Lastly, given Alberta’s electrical grid is and remains largely fuelled by fossil fuels (natural gas) we’d be at a distinct disadvantage to provinces with abundant hydro-electricity generation.

Tier Increase to Construction Costs Cost Impact Per Home Barriers Prior to Implementation Timing
5 25% $70,000 – $77,000 – Revisions to Tier 5 requirements to reflect actual Net Zero construction.
– Impact on housing affordability.
– Diminishing returns on insulation.
– Designing for solar panels.
– Embodied carbons analysis.
– Electric infrastructure to support electrified home
heating.
– Clarify the prescriptive pathway.
TBD

A Pathway to Net Zero Homes

BILD Alberta is committed to promoting the adoption of Net Zero building practices in the province. Net Zero homes are designed to produce as much energy as they consume, and can be achieved through a combination of energy efficiency measures, renewable energy sources, and energy storage systems.

The tiered energy code system is a pathway to achieving Net Zero homes in Alberta. By gradually increasing the energy efficiency requirements for new buildings, the province is creating a market for Net Zero homes and encouraging the development of new technologies and practices to achieve this goal.

But challenges remain. Between our colder climate and fossil-fuel driven electrical generation, any pathway to a full Tier 4 or Tier 5 will likely be years away. Progress can and will be made, but affordability, competitiveness and overall home construction remains a long-term challenge.

BILD Alberta is also working with industry partners and government officials.

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2023 Annual State of Cochrane Address
The advertising banner from the Cochrane Chamber of Commerce for the 2023 State of Cochrane Address.

The Cochrane Chamber of Commerce recently held its 2023 Annual State of Cochrane Address, where Mayor Jeff Genung gave a compelling speech on the current state of the town and its future prospects. The event was well-attended and received significant interest from the local community.

In his address, Mayor Genung touched on several key points critical to Cochrane’s future growth and development. He spoke about the town’s solid economic foundations, including its low unemployment rate and strong business sector, which he attributed to the hard work and determination of the town’s residents and business owners.

The mayor also spoke about the town’s ongoing commitment to infrastructure development, which includes plans for new transportation networks and public amenities that will make Cochrane an even more desirable place to live and work. He highlighted the importance of attracting new businesses and residents to the town and emphasized the Chamber of Commerce’s role in this effort.

Mayor Genung delivers his 2023 State of Cochrane address.

Another key theme of the mayor’s speech was the importance of sustainable development. He emphasized the town’s commitment that “growth must pay for growth” and spoke about the various initiatives implemented to achieve these goals.

Mayor Genung spoke about the town’s plans for future growth, which include developing new residential and commercial developments that will help further diversify the local economy. He also emphasized the importance of continuing to invest in education and training programs to help the city’s residents thrive in a rapidly-changing world.

Some key takeaways:

  • Garmin announces 200 new jobs coming to Cochrane
  • Cochrane’s the 11th fastest-growing municipality in Canada
  • Cochrane’s the fastest-growing municipality in Alberta
  • In 2022, 1141 homes were sold. 
    • 540 were single-family
    • The average price for a single-family dwelling was $561,200.00 (a 21.99% increase over 2021) versus $460,300.00 in 2021.
  • Cochrane’s welcomed 81 new businesses adding to the overall 2113 active business registrations locally. 
  • Cochrane’s a proud member of the mid-city mayor’s caucus, joining 24 other municipalities working together to represent over a million Albertans collectively.

Past readers of this blog, will have read my previous blog on why, “Cochrane is the Best of Both Worlds.” As we’ve seen Cochrane continues to see exponential growth, in both the business sector and in families choosing to call this thriving community home. So not only is our entrepreneurial spirit strong, but so too is the Cochrane real estate market.

Overall, the 2023 Annual State of Cochrane Address was a positive and inspiring event that gave the local community a glimpse into the future of their city. With Mayor Jeff Genung’s vision and leadership, Cochrane is poised for a bright future, and the Chamber of Commerce is proud to play a role in making that vision a reality.

Please visit its website today if you’re interested in learning more about the Cochrane Chamber of Commerce, its activities and events, or how you can support the local business community.

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Top 100!

Thank you!

Real estate has never just been about transactions.

It’s a relationship business. Where trust, professionalism, and knowledge are all important factors in providing outstanding service to clients, both past and present.

Whether clients are selling their family home, looking to buy their first home as a married couple, or that long-time investment property. It’s an honour. Thank you to all my clients, past, present, and future for entrusting me with their real estate needs.

Thank you RE/MAX Canada, I’m humbled to be amongst my hardworking colleagues where we are “Your Unfair Advantage”.

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Doom and Gloom?

Yes I said it. I’m also not just talking about the weather but of countless media reports about the market cooling, big challenges to buyers and sellers. But is this the case? Here’s the real deal.

Banff is not your typical community, it’s in a national park. Different rules apply.

Canmore is not Banff, it’s not in the national park, but between zoning, limited land* and a mix of things (higher interest rates, higher costs to renovate/access to trades, buyer fatigue and some newer inventory) we are seeing some changes.

Cochrane is not Banff, it’s also not Canmore. But it too is seeing some shifts, supply remains tight. Alberta’s jobless rates continues to improve and the demand continues to outpace supply. Overall pricing remains 18% higher year over year at $521,000.00.


What’s Really Happening?

Everything. The Bank of Canada raised its key overnight lending rateThe war in Ukraine continues to cause challenges – everywhere. WCS (Western Canadian Select) and WTI (West Texas Intermediate) otherwise known as crude oil prices continue to drive higher gas prices.

Canada’s also on track to welcome a record number of new Canadians to this country. After all we are a country of immigrants (we also wish to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (including the Siksika, Piikuni, Kainai  First Nations), the Tsuut’ina, and the Stoney Nakoda (including the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations).  This region is also also home to Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III).

So demand remains robust, but the costs involved with housing continue to increase (so too for, well everything in life).

Cost of Living

Generally, the cost of living continues to increase (thanks inflation and, well everything). Housing becomes more expensive, in order to carry a mortgage, qualifying becomes more challenging, and so on, so forth.

Canmore

The seller’s market remains, but we’ve seen some “balance” added to the equation.

Cochrane

Generally more affordable, market conditions remains tight.

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Why Cochrane is the Best of Both Worlds

Location – from the City

The number one rule in real estate has often been, “location, location, location”. Cochrane’s less than 20 minutes from NW Calgary, via Highway 1A.

Location – from the Mountains

If you’re needing your, “mountain fix”, Canmore is less than an hour away, and your mountain escape begins! Whether you’re choosing to go the more scenic route through the Stoney Nakota First Nation, or via the Trans Canada, Cochrane has it all.

Nature

Did we mention the location? How about your closeness to nature, that is Mother Nature, the Great Outdoors, and the boundless adventures that await, literally just outside your doorstep. Cochrane’s got an amazing trail systemparks, and other great outdoor spaces. Whether you’re choosing to walk, run, drive or take COLT. Don’t forget to check out the Cochrane Ranche Historic Site, it’s an amazing “getaway” without leaving Town!

Looking for a slight drive, wanting to “get out of town?”. Head to Big Hill Springs Provincial ParkGlenbow Ranch Provincial Park and if you really love Glenbow, consider supporting Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation. If you’re up for a bit more adventure, or a bit more out of the way trip, check out Bragg Creek Provincial ParkKananaskis Country, and the most famous of them all, Banff National Park.

Quality of Life

The Town of Cochrane proudly calls itself, “How the West is Now”. They couldn’t be more right. Cochrane’s a thriving, bedroom community just outside of the City of Calgary and it really does offer it all. We’ve got the location, we’ve got nature at our doorsteps, and we’ve got the perfect place for you to call home, raise a family and even start a business. We’ve also seen significant growth in the past 20 years, where the population has more than tripled. Situated along the Bow Valley, if you’re looking for a community that has it all, and where you can afford to live, work and play, we’d better talk.

Cost of Living

Cochrane continues to see increases in the cost of living. That’s a reality borne by many communities. Low-interest rates, increases in immigration, a shortage of housing, and demand for housing have all contributed. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB), the average cost of residential real estate in Cochrane is now $491,200.00.


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Your February 2022 Canmore Market Update

Going, going, gone.

Trend’s haven’t changed and Canmore’s strong seller’s market continues to tighten with continual low levels of inventory. Hotel condos, that is properties zoned for short-term rentals continue to see the strongest price appreciation year over year. Where the average sale price has now climbed 40 percent from a year earlier to $692,900.00. Apartments and townhomes follow closely behind with 36 and 37 percent increases year-over-year. Continued low inventory, strong demand, and a desire to own in Canmore create a perfect storm.

I’ve highlighted some of the most important statistics below, for I’ve long believed that knowledge is power, and given the complexity of Canmore’s real estate market, you need and deserve access to timely data.

Average Days on the Market

With tight inventory, the average DOM (Days on the Market) has also dropped.

Average Sold/Asked Ratio

A Market in Prospective

What to Expect Going Forward

Does the biggest question remain what to expect going forward? Absolutely. The easiest answer? More of the same, at least for now. Low-interest rates may not last forever, but at least for the Bow Valley, the other challenge remains land. We only have so much space by which to develop, build and inhabit. The rest, don’t forget, is protected space.

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Canmore’s Million Dollar Market

Setting the Stage

It likely (hopefully) isn’t a shock to someone reading these blogs, that Canmore real estate is not your average real estate. We’ve got it all. Remember that famous saying, “location, location, location”. Well, we’ve got that in spades.

Don’t forget, Canmore was the host community for the 1988 Winter Olympic Nordic events, with many arguing, that little event put us on the map.

Canmore’s also surrounded by protected spaces. Banff National Park directly to the west and Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park immediately surrounding the community. So there really is only so much dirt available to build on and develop with. This brings us to Canmore’s Million Dollar Market.

What’s a Million Dollars?

While a side from the obvious answer of a six zeros, increasingly, it’s the cost of real estate in Canmore. Here’s a look at the volume of sales, by price, of over a million dollars going back to 2019. Our market, our destination as a resort community, and the allure of the lifestyle here in the Canadian Rockies, well that’s clearly not dampening or cooling down.

The Breakdown

Here are the stats about sales over $1M comparing 2019, 2020 and 2021:

2019 we had 86 sales over $1M

  • 77 sales $1M to $2M
  • 7 sales $2M to $3M
  • 2 sales $3M Plus

2020 we had 109 sales over $1M

  • 98 sales $1M to $2M
  • 8 sales $2M to $3M
  • 3 sales $3M plus

2021 we had 193 sales over $1M

  • 165 sales $1M to $2M
  • 20 sales $2M to $3M
  • 8 sales $3M Plus

So we had a 44% increase in sales over $1M from 2020 to 2021.  Sales over $3M we’re up 63% year over year. 

Sales between $2M and $3M were up 60% and sales between $1M and $2M were up 40%.

Thinking Canmore real estate? It’s never too late to have a conversation.

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I have sold a property at 116 173 Kananaskis WAY in Canmore

I have sold a property at 116 173 Kananaskis WAY in Canmore. See details here

Experience luxurious mountain living in this stunning two-bedroom, two-bathroom alpine-styled resort condominium in the heart of Canmore, Alberta. This highly-rated unit in Solara is a must-see, offering unparalleled comfort and style. Recently upgraded with all-new electrical fixtures, freshly painted walls, new wall art, and a brand new washer and dryer, this condo is move-in ready and perfect for those seeking a modern and inviting retreat. Dog lovers will appreciate that this pet-friendly unit allows you to bring your furry friends on your mountain adventure. Enjoy the convenience of on-site amenities such as the Wellness Spa, Take a Hike Market, indoor pool and hot tub, and a conference/theatre room, providing endless entertainment options for you and your guests. The unit's southwestern-facing position allows plenty of natural light, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere. The open-concept living and dining areas complete with a warm electric fireplace are perfect for entertaining, while the fully equipped kitchen features high-end stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, making cooking a delight. Retreat to the spacious bedrooms, each with its luxurious bathroom, electric fireplaces, and high-quality finishes. Step out onto the balcony and take in the stunning mountain views. This Solara resort condominium is a rare find with a highly sought-after location and exceptional amenities. Take your chance to own a piece of paradise in Canmore, Alberta. Book your showing today and prepare to fall in love with this breathtaking mountain retreat. Prospective buyers, please enquire with your tax professional on how you could defer the GST. List price is $824,900 + GST.

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I have sold a property at 155 Willow PLACE in Cochrane

I have sold a property at 155 Willow PLACE in Cochrane. See details here

Welcome to this BRAND NEW house listed in "The Willows" community of Cochrane, right in the middle of nature. This beautiful semi-detached house comes with a single front garage. At the main floor this house comes up with a large living area, a separate dining area and a large Kitchen which comes with stainless steel appliances. Upstairs, this house comes up with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large bonus area, with the primary bedroom having its own 3pc ensuite and the other 2 bedrooms comes with another 4pc bathroom to share. Basement is unfinished. This house comes up with a large deck as well.

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I have sold a property at 4 810 4th STREET in Canmore

I have sold a property at 4 810 4th STREET in Canmore. See details here

Looking for that perfect Canmore property? Want to be close to downtown? Walking distance to everything (parks, shopping, restaurants, the Bow River?) Quiet? Spacious? A garage for all your gear? Room for your friends and family - you know they'll visit! This property might just check YOUR boxes. Here's YOUR opportunity to call South Canmore home! This 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, townhouse offers it all including pride of ownership immediately noticeable in this immaculate residence. The main floor offers prospective buyers a spacious main living area complete with a three-sided gas fireplace, beautiful french doors and a kitchen just ready to entertain. Your laundry and 2 pc bathroom are just around the corner. Upstairs you'll find a tastefully appointed master bedroom and ensuite and 2 equally good sized bedrooms with their own shared bathroom. The lower level adds to the generous space with additional storage, a den/guest bedroom, your utility room and even more storage; all within reach of the garage for those grocery runs. Don't miss out on your opportunity to call this property home! Properties in South Canmore with onsite parking and a garage aren't always easily found! Contact your Associate for a viewing.

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