• 12 Feb 2016 10:11 AM | Anonymous

    One of the most common misconceptions that we deal with at Vereco is people believing that a “green home” comes with a long list of compromises, especially in regard to cost and aesthetics.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Since our conception, Vereco has set out to bring smart green homes to the masses through a combination of efficient technologies, thoughtful design and economic rational, all while keeping aesthetics in mind. We like to think we have achieved that, and here is our list of reasons why it doesn’t make sense to build anything but smart green:

    Comfort & Safety: When you think of comfort in your home, many of the main factors are hard to put your finger on.  We like to think that a comfortable home is made up of the following components: air, light, sound, heat and safety. It just so happens that Vereco’s design philosophy lends itself favourably to each of these factors.  Passive solar design, which is at the center of our design mandate, centers on focusing building orientation toward the sun, allowing sunlight in as a major light and heat provider for the home.  Bright and warm?  Sounds comfortable to us.  Another major component to efficient design is insulation, and Vereco uses a double stud wall to allow for a higher R value.  Uninterested in insulation?  That is alright, because these larger walls also make for a quieter and more peaceful home. With low VOC paints, vehicle emissions protection along with smart locks, we also believe our homes offer unparalleled safety. Lastly, a high quality air ventilation system is key to make a Vereco home breathe properly, but this also means better and less polluted air for you. . Breathe deep, as you may be in the most comfortable home on the market.

    Efficiency: At our core, we believe that building better has the potential to make a huge difference on our impact on the earth.  This is due the fact that homes are on of the biggest contributors to GHG emissions.  Through Passive Solar Design, additional insulation and modern green technologies, your Vereco home will use approximately 75% less energy than a traditional home. Pretty neat, but that isn’t all.  We take a critical look at our design process and aim to reduce waste by designing homes that can be built with less throw away compared to a traditional build. On top of this, we aim to source sustainable materials to complete what we think is an efficiency trifecta.  Less energy, less waste, less harm.

    Cost Effectiveness: Wow. A more comfortable home that is better for the planet. This all seems too good to be true. The price tag must be through that R-80 roof. Wrong! While it is quite easy to get caught up chasing one of the various green building standards or going crazy with green technology, the goal at Vereco has always been to design homes that make rational economic sense. Though it all depends on your wants/needs, we believe that we can get you in a home at minimal additional cost to a comparable traditional home.  Once you look at the potential energy savings over the life of that home, that additional cost really becomes a non-factor. 

    A Smart Investment: By this point, you are probably convinced that it really doesn’t make sense to consider building any other way.  One more point, as we believe building a Vereco home is an ingenious investment. Not only will the home pay for its minimal additional cost and end up putting cash back in your pocket, but in the long term it will be a more desirable piece of real estate. Recent studies are showing that green homes are beginning to be appraised at higher values in the United States, a trend that has been happening in Europe for some time.  We have no doubt that this will soon be reflected in our real estate market, because who wouldn’t want a more comfortable home that saves them money?

    So there you have it.  Building smart green is not just about saving the environment, but also about saving you money, smart investing and living more comfortably in your home.  All that considered, why wouldn’t you build a Vereco home?

  • 11 Jan 2016 11:25 AM | Anonymous

    Efficiency, Generation, and the Frivolous use of Energy

    Generate it and they will come.  This has seemed to be the rallying cry coming from governments on all levels over the last few weeks as discussion on global efforts to curb climate change have heated up (no pun intended). There has been abundant chatter about aggressive new renewable goals and the economic factors of environmental and sustainable policy. Yet, while renewables are vital in dealing with supply side factors, it is important to recognize the ability to also address energy use through efficiency. Focusing our efforts solely on solving supply issues is like trying to sail across the ocean with only half a boat. Less energy used = less supply needed (regardless of the source). Simple math.

    Canadians use a lot of energy. While there are certain factors that influence this (industry, climate, level of development), it is still important to examine the statistics. Canada uses roughly 16,000 kwh/capita annually, putting us in the top ten globally for electricity use. We also rank in the top 5 for energy use/year. This paints a concerning picture about not only how we are using our resources, but also how we are building our infrastructure.  There are challenges associated with living comfortably in a northern climate, but why has so little been done to address our efficiency problems? Furthermore, why have solutions that have been found been swept into a corner and forgotten by most

    Perhaps more telling of the importance of addressing efficiency is exploring energy use from a macro scale and its relevance to global development.  An International Energy Agency study titled “Energy for All” explores the role of energy in enabling developing nations. Yet, with recent climate talks, it raises the important question; how do we increase energy supply to provide opportunities for developing nations, while subsequently reducing emissions?  The IEA bases their predictions on countries coming out of poverty using around 500 kwh annually, which ignores the fact that no country with a per capita income of over $10,000 uses less than 3,880 kwh/capita annually.

    So where does our ability to address efficiency fit into this equation?  I will call upon the old environmentalist adage: reduce, reuse, recycle.  Reduce comes first for a reason, and rightfully so. The opportunity to reduce energy usage should be forefront in talks to reduce emissions and curb climate change.   The least environmentally damaging kilowatt hour is the one not used. It is also the cheapest.  By saving money and protecting the environment, it only makes sense to build smarter and design with efficiency in mind.  When the Oil Embargo struck in the 70’s there was no real supply answer; therefore, it became pertinent to address demand.  Government support and funding spawned the Saskatchewan Conservation House, a home on the very forefront of efficient design that would go on to inform the Passive House movement. This time around renewables offer the potential to create a clean energy supply, and it is hard to ignore the rhetoric around job creation and clean generation. Yet, moving into an era where we are increasingly dependant on technology, it is pivotal to create solutions for efficiency.

    This isn’t to say that there isn’t action happening to support energy efficient efforts. The US recently released a plan to reduce commercial energy use by over 10% supposedly saving businesses in excess of $167 billion dollars. In Saskatchewan there is being pressure put on civic and provincial governments to adopt energy efficient building codes to ensure new buildings are all built to a given standard. Studies have been done documenting the beneficial economic results of government programs to support renovations for efficiency and have seemingly caught the ear of the federal government seems to realize the message and private sector. At Vereco, we are working to design homes that are as efficient as possible while still being attractive economically.  Will insulation and passive solar design ever be as sexy as a shiny new Tesla powered by solar panels? Depends who you talk to, but regardless of the mass appeal, efficiency is a vital component of creating a sustainable society and should be given the attention it deserves.  

  • 11 Jun 2015 3:32 PM | Ronn Lepage (Administrator)

    When designing green homes, the challenge is trying to decide how much you should spend on green technologies. 

    At Vereco, we design smart green homes that balance the smart (economics) with the green (sustainability). We treat each green technology as an investment. We only implement technologies that provide a positive return on investment.

    We always try to optimize your investment in green tecnologies.

    A good example is an LED light bulb. Today, you can purchase a 60w incandescent light bulb with a life expectancy of 1,000 hours for about $1 or you can buy the equivalent 12w LED bulb with a life expectancy of 40,000 hours for $12. Which is the better investment?

    Lets assume that you are using the lightbulb 4 hours per day. 

    At 4 hours a day, the LED will last 10,000 days or just over 27 years. During that same time period, you would have to change the incandescent light bulb approximately every 9 months or 40 times in the 27 years. So, at today’s prices, the incandescent light bulb would actually cost $40 over the 27 years while the LED will cost $12 once. Total savings of $28 on the cost of the LED vs the incandescent bulbs.

    The LED uses 12 watts per hour or 48 watt-hours per day. In 27 years the LED bulb will burn 473,000 watt hours (473kWh) of electricity. The incandescent bulb burns 60 watts per hour or 240 watt-hours per day. In the same 27 years, the incandescent will burn 2,365,000 watt hours (2,365kWh) of electricity. In Saskatchewan, electricity currently costs nearly $.13/kWh so at today's prices, the LED with use $61.49 of electricity and the incandescent will use $307.45. Total energy savings are $245.96.

    Although the LED bulb costs more at first, it actually saves you $274:
                                             Incandescent     LED        Savings
    Cost of bulb(s)                    $ 40                 $12          $28
    Cost of energy                    $307                 $61         $246   
    Total Cost                           $347                $73          $274

    We use the same approach to decide on other green technologies like the amount of insulation to put in your walls, how much you should spend on upgrading windows, etc.

    For more information on how on smart green homes check out www.vereco.ca.                                    

Contact Ronn

Ronn Lepage
(306) 261-4542
Box 908, Langham, SK S0K 2L0

Contact Ian

Ian Loughran
(306) 713-0795

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