BCIT's travelling Zero Energy Building exhibit shows what it takes to live in a green house

BCIT shows what it takes to make an energy-efficient building

BCIT’s Learning Centre for Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB) offers short, hands-on courses so construction industry professionals can upgrade their skills to meet new energy-efficient building codes. Its Burnaby-campus High Performance Building Lab, developed with BC Housing and BC Hydro, has a house inside a warehouse to practise on indoors, plus portable lab boxes for off-site training in communities across the province. Now the centre is reaching out to the general public with the interactive Zero Energy Building exhibit. At Science World at Telus World of Science until December 3 and then another Vancouver site before it tours B.C., the mini-house demonstrates six basic principles.

Put on a sweater: Superior insulation with a high R-value reduces the need for heating systems.

Manage the pane: High-performance windows lose less heat when it’s cold and gain less when it’s warm.

Block the bridge: An additional layer of continuous insulation over the wall studs interrupts thermal bridges that allow heat to flow from a warmer to a colder area.

Stop the leaks: Sealed connections between windows and walls create an airtight barrier that controls air, heat and moisture.

Keep it fresh: Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) provides clean air without letting heat escape.

Choose mindful machines: Energy-efficient appliances should be neither too big nor too small for the job, and heat pumps move warmth where it’s needed.