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High Performance Quality Homes

When you build with Quality Homes you are not only choosing the freedom to fully customize your home, but you are also working with one of the industry’s leading experts in energy performance.


Meet Gord Cooke & Building Knowledge Canada


Building Knowledge Canada is a building science firm that helps leading builders, like Quality Homes, build homes that are simultaneously healthier, safer, more comfortable, more durable and more efficient – homes that people love to live in.


Gord Cooke, President of Building Knowledge Canada, is an expert in the field and utilizes his broad knowledge of the inner workings of a house to help builders and HVAC contractors implement innovative technologies and build better homes. Gord is a professional engineer, trainer, author, industry consultant, and passionate advocate for better building practices, improved air quality and energy efficiency.


Gord’s relationship with Quality Homes started when he was a young engineer helping promote the Natural Resources Canada R-2000 Program, a voluntary standard to exceed building code requirements for energy efficiency, indoor air quality and environmental responsibility.


Gord saw the potential that Quality Homes had to be able to reach this achievement with every house built, and he is still here today helping us stay a few steps ahead of Canadian regulations.


FUN FACT: Gord has lived in a Quality Home since 1992! He loves his home and the benefits it has provided him, such as lower utility bills year over year.


The House as a Working System


Building science is a term used frequently by the Building Knowledge Canada team. It refers to the analysis of the physical phenomena affecting buildings, including the study of the indoor thermal, sound and light environment, the indoor air quality as well as building resource use.


The aim of building science is to predict the capability of a building to optimize its performance and sustainability. Canada is a leader in building science and has spent millions to research how a house works, and as Gord simply puts it, “everything impacts everything else”. The overall objective of implementing building science is to achieve higher levels of energy performance thereby reducing utility costs for the homeowner.


Homeowner Benefits of A High Performance Home


The benefits to having a high performance home can be split into two categories – Finances & Quality of Life.


An energy efficient home saves homeowner’s money on their utility bills, as a better insulated building requires less heating.


Gord stated that his annual energy costs generated by his Quality Home were half that of his neighbour’s! Having a high performance ‘label’ or validation on your home can also make it easier to sell when the time comes, and can even increase your resale value as energy efficiency becomes more sought after.


A high performance home also improves certain aspects of your quality of life. While insulation stops the flow of heat energy, it also stops the flow of sound energy, decreasing noise pollution resulting in a more comfortable, healthier environment. Improving the air tightness of a home simultaneously fixes issues that come along with air leaks such as dust, moisture, bugs, rodents etc. This means less maintenance caused by condensation, and a pest free home!


“An energy efficient home is also a quieter, safer, healthier and more comfortable home.”


Testing and Validation


Building Knowledge Canada tests and validates every Quality Home. Included in every build is the Air Test and Energuide Audit, where our Quality Homes perform 25-30% above industry averages. Although Ontario Building Code does not yet require new homes to undergo air tightness tests, Quality Homes chooses to test all of our homes with the blower door test. A large fan is placed in a door of the home and air is exhausted out to create a negative pressure that mimics a 40km/hr wind on all sides of the home. This help indicate any areas of leakage to an inspector, and allows us to ensure that we are building tight and ventilating right.


The Air Test and Energuide Audit is included in every Quality Home. At no cost to the homeowner. Our homes perform 25-30% above industry averages.


Testing the air tightness of a home using a special fan called a blower door can help to ensure that air sealing work is effective. Often, energy efficient incentive programs, such as the DOE/EPA Energy Star Program, require a blower door test (usually performed in less than an hour) to confirm the tightness of the house.



How Quality Homes Stands Out Compared to the Industry Average


Building Knowledge Canada tests between 5000-6000 homes per year across Ontario and they are always on the search for the ‘tightest home’. For our outstanding performance in 2020, Quality Homes was awarded Building Knowledge Canada’s Air Tightness Award! Gord explains the tightness level of a house by comparing it to the size of one hole.


“A typical older house (for example a traditionally built home) after every opening or leak is combined, could have a ‘hole’ about the size of a large open window. In comparison, Quality Homes total ‘hole’ size was about that of an envelope, showing how much precision goes into building and sealing our homes.”


The graph below shows where Quality Homes lies in comparison to the industry average:




Does Air Tightness Impact Freshness?


You might be thinking, “Quality Homes and Building Knowledge Canada insulate and seal their homes so well… does this make the home feel stuffy or impact freshness?” Definitely not!


Quality Homes recognizes that the implementation of a double ventilation system in our homes is essential; one type of ventilation being windows and the other being a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) System, also known as a Whole House Fresh Air System. The HRV system filters air that is coming into the house to make it healthier, as well as transfers stale air out of the home while trapping heat energy, allowing the home to be cooled and heated adequately. Every Quality Home also comes standard with triple glazed windows which adds an extra layer of insulation, making it difficult for heat to escape and allowing you to easily maintain the temperature in your home.


Included in every Quality Home: HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) system to allow for greater control of ventilation and humidity.


The Future of Net Zero & Net Zero Ready Home Building


Building Codes are becoming more and more progressive in terms of energy efficiency, and the next big step is moving towards NET 0 energy construction. NET 0 construction means that a house is built to only use as much energy on average over the course of a year as it is able to produce on site with renewable energy sources such as solar panels. NET 0 also means your utility costs can be reduced to $0 if you take all the right steps to make your home fully self- sufficient. In the summer your home produces more energy than is needed, and that energy is stored and used in winter, when you are generating less energy, therefore making your utility costs potentially negligible! The National Building Code of Canada has put the steps in place to get us to the point where all new buildings will be constructed to be “Ready” for NET 0 by 2032. Quality Homes prides itself on being a step ahead of code, as we are able to do our own testing and research in our facility and implement technology that might be harder for other builders.


Looking Forward


Quality Homes looks forward to being a NET 0 Champion when the time comes, and we are excited to say we are well on the road to that goal! Building with Quality Homes means building a high performance home that is able to provide you with long term planning for changing circumstances and cost efficiency.


For more information on Building Knowledge Canada, visit their website.


To learn more about what makes a Quality Home a High Performance Home, watch our seminar:





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