Kelowna, BC is the home of the “Wilden Living Lab,” whereby two homes will be constructed side by side and monitored for the next three years. One will be the Home of Today, being built to minimum current code requirements, while the other Home of Tomorrow will incorporate additional energy efficient features. The homes are being built under the guidance of Authentech Homes, with the majority of the hands on work done by Okanagan College students in the residential construction program. Both homes will incorporate a variety of sensors, so that students from UBC Okanagan can monitor and compare the actual energy consumption between the ‘Today’ and ‘Tomorrow’ homes.
The Home of Tomorrow is taking advantage of Quik-Therm Connect for the exterior walls. This provides excellent continuous insulation, while making it easy to attach the cladding onto the built-in wood inserts of the Connect. The house is also saving space and unnecessary materials by eliminating the plywood sheathing, and going down to a 2×4″ wood stud. Sheer strength will come from the diagonal let-in bracing, as well as the drywall on the interior side. Using a 2×4″ stud is acceptable for nearly all residential construction, and the only reason we changed from this to the now current 2×6″ was to accommodate a thicker insulation batt to meet code. (Some highly energy efficient homes you will see 2×8″ or double stud walls up to 12″ thick, which to me just seems like an inefficient use of structural materials. Efficiency isn’t just have to be about wall performance, but wall materials and thickness.)
Here is a rendered picture of what the Home of Tomorrow Wall will look like:
Similar wall profiles using Quik-Therm for the exterior can be found on the Advanced Wall Assemblies page. Keep in mind this Connect can be interchanged with Solar Dry or Multi-Purpose Insulation and achieve the same results.
Quik-Therm is very happy to be part of a project with such precedent. While homeowners are looking for higher energy efficiency in their homes, projects like the Wilden Living Lab show just how simple and affordable it can be done. This is the way of the future, and while such a wall may seem “advanced” at this point in time, it is only a few years away before this wall will be the new norm.
For more information on the homes, take a look at the Wilden Living Lab page. We will continue to provide updates and pictures here as the project progresses.