UBC to study energy-efficient Home of Tomorrow in Wilden Living Lab project
April 8, 2016 - Ground has been broken on The Home of Tomorrow, part of an energy-efficiency research project involving FortisBC, the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Okanagan College in Kelowna’s Wilden subdivision.
By Renée Francoeur
Known as the Wilden Living Lab, the project will see two homes constructed on separate building lots. The lots are valued at about $200,000 each and were provided by the Blenk Development Corp., according to UBC.
The school goes on to note one home will be built to current building code standards including the use of a natural gas furnace, standard plumbing fixtures and appliances, double pane windows, incandescent lighting, and insulation levels that include R-22 in the walls and R-40 in the ceilings. The Home of Tomorrow will incorporate a number of additional features, including a geothermal heat pump, water-saving toilets and faucets, triple pane windows, photovoltaic solar panels, net metering, ICF wall construction, LED lighting, and insulation levels that include R-24 in the walls and R-70 in the ceiling.
FortisBC says it will help fund the three-year project as well as assist in selecting energy-efficient appliances and lighting, supply advanced metering for accurate and timely consumption monitoring and provide access to the net metering program to credit the homeowner for any excess electricity produced by the solar panels.
“Utility costs are an important consideration for families; projects like this help move the market towards more energy-efficient homes which will help families reduce energy costs,” says Danielle Wensink with FortisBC.
Once the homes are completed and sold, UBC says its researchers will use sensors built into the homes to monitor the energy use of both dwellings for a period of three years.