In Canada, approximately 30% of all energy is consumed in buildings, with about 16% used in residential buildings and 14% in other buildings (NRCan 2005). Efforts are underway to improve the energy performance of new buildings; however, it is also important to find ways to address energy performance in existing buildings. A large amount of information is available to the public on simple ways to save energy at home: for example, turning off the lights, basic air sealing, purchasing ENERGY STAR or other high efficiency appliances, and so on.

However, less information is available on high energy saving measures, or methods to approach net zero energy consumption in existing houses. This research study focuses on building envelope energy efficiency retrofit measures that can be undertaken as a part of an overall approach to achieving near net zero energy consumption for existing houses. This research evaluates various retrofit alternatives relative to criteria that include energy and cost savings, retrofit costs, thermal performance, hygrothermal performance, and environmental considerations.

Study led by RDH for CMHC.

RDH Building Science