Trish Dehnel, senior energy specialist at the RDCK, opened the presentation at the Green Home Show in Castlegar on Thursday, April 5. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

Green Home Show teaches energy efficiency

Castlegar hosted one of two Green Home Shows put on by the regional district last week.

Castlegar hosted one of two Green Home Shows put on by the regional district last week, where homeowners, builders and those considering building a new home were able to learn more about home energy efficiency.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Castlegar Green Home Show took place on Thursday, April 5 and residents had the chance to visit a number of booths set up by businesses offering products or services to improve home energy efficiency.

“We were really gearing to people that are interested in building a new home or renovating their home to be more energy efficient,” said Trish Dehnel, senior energy specialist at the RDCK and facilitator for the Green Home Shows. “So we had some vendors there that were able to provide information on insulation, on air source heat pumps, on solar installations and other sorts of renewable energy products.”

Hamid Heidarali, founder of Hamid Design Build — which offers building envelop consultation, passive house consultation and construction management services — also attended the event. He brought with him some model wall assembly units.

“Which are just models of the proper way to build a wall, using some of the cladding and the membranes and the insulation, etc.,” said Dehnel.

The event was sponsored by FortisBC and representatives from the company provided information on the rebates available to homeowners doing energy upgrades or building new homes.

“Everybody that was there was really, really engaged and very interested in speaking to the vendors and yes, there’s lots of interest in the rebates,” said Dehnel. “Another program that FortisBC has is the ECAP, which is the Energy Conservation Assistance Program, and for people that have a lower income, Fortis actually will provide a free energy assessment of their home. If things need to be upgraded, like a furnace or a very old fridge that’s taking a lot of energy, these products will actually be installed and replaced for free.”

Dehnel said three people who attended were looking at building a new home, while most were either considering renovating or just looking for ways to save money by saving energy.

On Friday, Heidarali and Gerry Sawkins, energy advisor, led a professional builders’ workshop, attended by contractors, carpenters, building officials, architects and designers.

“One point that we’re trying to draw out when you’re working to build more energy efficient homes, it really is a collaborative process. You’ve got to start at the design,” said Dehnel. “So the designers, the building inspectors, the energy advisors, the construction workers, all kind of need to be working together to build a home that is airtight and energy efficient.”

Dehnel said the workshop was six hours of very intensive training, talking about the building envelope as the primary focus. The workshop also discussed the new BC Energy Step Code.

“And that’s moving the building code toward requiring people to build to net zero, which is high energy efficient homes,” she said.


One of the wall assembly units from Hamid Design Build. (Chelsea Novak/Castlegar News)

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