FarSight Homes – It’s All about the Building Science

Performance Path SB12 Success at Beeton Creek

Beeton Creek Project Details:

  1. Project Name: Beeton Creek
  2. Project Location: Beeton, ON
  3. Product Type: 47 single detached homes
  4. Home Performance Targets:
    1. All homes meet OBC SB12 Performance and aggressive air tightness targets
    2. All homes qualified to Energy Star® for New Homes
    3. All Homes meet and exceed ENBRIDGE Savings By Design efficiency targets
    4. One Discovery Home built to CHBA Net Zero specifications

Net Zero Discovery Home Project: Beeton Creek

The Beeton Creek community sold out very quickly. FarSight has reserved one lot within the current project for a full Net Zero Energy discovery home. Applying technologies and concepts from the EnerQuality / BuildAbility LEEP TAP project, FarSight intends to evaluate the practical application of various technologies and allow homeowners to tour the discovery home.

The home will exceed proposed future energy code targets (NBC Tiered Energy Code 2020 tier 5 - Net Zero). They estimate the energy use will be reduced by nearly 60% compared to new homes built today. More significantly, the home will enable ideal control of interior indoor air quality, providing occupants with a healthy, easy to control, comfortable indoor environment.

Some technologies proposed for the discovery project include:

  • Continuous layer of exterior thermal insulation around enclosure of the home
  • Cold Climate Air source heat pumps: HSPF 10+ /SEER 20+
  • Aerosolized Air Barrier Technologies: 0.5 to 1.0 ACH @ 50pascals
  • Tri-pane super insulated windows: 0.8 to 1.2 U-value or lower / SHGC .35 or lower
  • Balanced Ventilation with heat recovery and highly efficiency ECM fans/blowers
  • Continuous, below grade insulation layer along walls and under slab
  • Photovoltaic for renewable energy production: Designed to generate as much energy as the home may use over the course of one year
  • Highly efficient household appliances
  • Home energy monitoring dash board

FarSight Homes logo

About the FarSight team:

  • Established in 2000 by 2nd generation (Bob and Richard Schickedanz) and 3rd generation (Johnathan and David Schickedanz) family builders - Originally founded in 1951 by the Schickedanz Brothers
  • Product Type: Part 9 residential low rise
  • Location: North GTA /Surrounding GTA
  • farsight.ca

What is the FarSight team's ultimate goal with high performance construction?

To ensure the solid structural and operational integrity of every home. Beyond beautiful designs and architectural appeal, FarSight homes are highly durable, incredibly efficient, exceptionally comfortable and healthy. Homeowners receive a product from FarSight that is prepared for future challenges related to healthy indoor living environments, rising energy cost and consumption, the far reaching effects of climate change, and so much more.

What is the FarSight Team's top 3 go-to building science solutions?

  1. Durable water management construction and detailing. The FarSight team uses the complete Tyvek exterior house wrap and flashing materials to achieve a durable Water Resistant Barrier (WRB). This WRB also provides additional protection against air leakage.
  2. Application of higher quality roofing materials and additional synthetic underlay. This provides added resiliency and durability to the home.
  3. Superior wall structure performance using IsoBrace. This exterior sheathing product combines structural reinforcement and a nailing base along with exceptional insulation performance (R5 continuous insulation).

What are some of the challenges faced by homebuilders today?

  1. Owner expectations are always increasing. Consumers now have access to thousands of design ideas, technologies and home features. Most production built homes are now highly customized. FarSight sees the opportunity in balancing client expectations with the reality of the homebuilding experience.
  2. Municipal development approvals are particularly challenging. As a 3rd generation family builder, it has been challenging to keep home building production schedules steady due to the long, unexpected approvals process. The result is increased home prices and a shortage of available, affordable housing.
  3. Availability of skilled trades is of great concern for homebuilders. Significant numbers of skilled residential trade professionals and building inspection service professionals are entering retirement age. There is a growing need for highly skilled construction professionals who apply their craft with a fundamental knowledge of building science (i.e. house as a system thinking).

Johnathan and Richard Schickedanz flashing windows
Johnathan and Richard Schickedanz flashing windows

When looking at the road to 2032 and Net Zero Ready homes, Johnathan Schickedanz shared these thoughts. "Our industry will have to navigate through the retirement of numerous skilled tradespeople and train a new generation of homebuilder's all while we test new products and implement new construction methods in the quest to creating efficient homes. These new efficient, low load homes will require the trades to pay closer attention to the small details and will place the spotlight on the need for more frequent training to ensure that all trades know what is expected of them." He continued, "As homes become more efficient the possibility for unintended consequences will grow and builders will have to work collectively to find solutions to these issues as they arise."

On the land development front, he shared these thoughts, "I see a continued struggle to bring new lots to market. The provincial government through Bill 108, More Homes More Choice Act, was designed to help streamline this process but I find that municipalities are creating the largest delay in this process. As the province removes a piece of "red tape" the local municipalities are adding two to three more. On top of this, there seems to be a new "need" for municipalities to mandate better than code items as part of the site plan or subdivision agreement process. This municipal overreach, I find, is counterproductive and is slowing the process to bring new lots to market and directly impacting affordability."

In conclusion, he shared FarSight's goals, "to continue to collaborate with members within our sector, test new products and find a balanced approach on creating Net Zero Ready homes that meet the 2032 mandate while keeping a close eye on the cost/s and overall affordability of homes in our communities."

Written By: Andy Oding, Vice President & Director of Building Science, Building Knowledge Canada