Green is 50: Builder Challenge

The goal of the Green is 50: Builder Challenge is to assist builders to find efficiencies in the production process and to affordably achieve higher levels of energy efficiency.


The green is 50 / Builders’ Challenge (G50/BC) is an action initiative sponsored by CRESNET, the Canadian Residential Energy Services Network, Power Stream, Roxul, Renewability, Uponor, Enerworks, Lifebreath, Icynene, Vanee, Tempmizer, Green Home TV and spearheaded by John Godden of Clearsphere.

Designed as a pilot project, its main goal is to engage and support leading builders to construct 50 homes that are 50% more efficient in total household energy use, than homes constructed to meet the 2006 Ontario Building Code. ie. reduction in natural gas and electricity. The “challenge” aims to take a pro-active role, by offering a stable and effective, market-based program for energy efficiency in Canadian new home construction.


  • The challenges uses RESNET’s technical standards and energy scale, HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index, which produces a zero-based rating system for the energy performance of a building
  • The United States Green Building Council utilizes the HERS index in rating LEED new homes, and offers builders the opportunity to earn extra LEED points when HERS is used


What will these homes feature?

These super-efficient, hybrid “(super-EH)” homes will use dramatically less natural gas, electricity and water, and will exhibit these features:

  • A hi-performance building envelope, to reduce total energy demand, lower home operating costs, and increase comfort
  • Use of hi-performance, hybrid, mechanical systems that provide heating, cooling, and hot water
  • Use of renewable, clean-energy technologies
  • Use of a hi-performance ventilation system to achieve an elevated level of indoor air quality
  • Use of processes and fixtures that reduce overall water consumption
  • Use of hi-performance, low demand lighting
  • Use of Energy Star-rated appliances
  • Use of “green” materials in cabinetry and flooring. ie. they originate from sustainable sources and reduce VOC’s.

Testing and Certification

  • All homes built as part of the challenge, will be tested by John Godden, Technical Director of the program and HERS rater
  • All homes built will be receive a rating on the HERScan scale
  • All homes built will be certified as “green is 50” and receive a label detailing the reductions in total efficiency

Participating Pilot Builders

  • Archetype Houses, Kortright Centre – TRCA, BILD
  • Barbini Developments
  • Baywood Homes
  • Bershire New Homes
  • Cadorin Homes
  • Empire Communities
  • Faymark Homes
  • Garden Homes
  • Greenpark Homes
  • Gregor Homes
  • Grune Construction
  • Hybrid Green
  • Marshall Homes
  • Minto Communities
  • Rodeo Fine Homes
  • Royal Park Homes
  • Saugeen First Nations
  • Starlane Homes
  • Townwood Homes
  • Treehouse Developments

Presentation: Green is 50 Builder Challenge


Green Realtor Challenge


Lynn Dapra, now a current Director of the Sustainable Housing Foundation decided to try an experiment with John Godden to see what would happen ifthree realtor teams of agents are challenged to find innovative ways of selling three of Lynn’s Canada LEEDfor Homes Gold level infill homes in Toronto.

Feature of the LEED Gold Houses included:

  • Drain Water Heat Recovery – Power Pipe
  • Clay Brick sand Stone Exterior
  • Solar Photovoltaic Panels
  • RV System
  • Rain Barrels
  • High Performance Wall Assembly
  • Spray Foam Insulation
  • Reclaimed Hardwood Flooring
  • Low E-squared, Triple-pane, Argon-filled Windows
  • Quartz Countertops
  • Low Water Consumption Toilets and Faucets
  • Marble Flooring
  • Insulated Garage Door
  • Landscape Design
  • Insulated Garage Ceiling
  • 50-year Fiberglass® Shingles
  • Low or No VOC Interior Wall Paint
  • Attic Insulation
  • Radon Mitigation System
  • Air Sealing

Read the following articles to find out whether Realtors know to to sell green.