Homesol on The Building Science Podcast

Homesol on The Building Science Podcast

Featuring Our Ontario Manager, Stephen Magneron

Recently, our Ontario Manager, Stephen Magneron was featured on the This Must Be The Place: The Building Science Podcast by Shawna Henderson. Shawna and Stephen spoke at great lengths about the current challenges the industry faces and what we need to do to overcome those challenges to be environmentally friendly and more energy efficient. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts or Spotify!

Listen Here!

mid construction air tightness (1)

Mid-Construction Air-Tightness Testing

Mid-Construction Air-Tightness Testing

Homesol Building Solutions offers mid-construction air-tightness tests to builders looking to make more energy-efficient homes. Our mid-construction air-tests show builders where the air leaks are in their builds, so they can be properly sealed before the work covers them up leading to less energy waste.

The Importance of a Mid-Construction Air-Test

The first requirement in conducting a mid-construction air-test, the house needs to be prepared. For a house to be prepared, the air barrier needs to be complete. Whatever the primary air barrier is, there could be multiple air barriers, but as long as one is complete, then we can come in to do a mid-construction test that will include the windows and doors needing to be installed prior to our test.

The mid-construction air-test is a great marker to make sure that the air barrier is as complete as possible at that point so that they can continue on in the process of construction, knowing that they’re already achieving the air tightness target. And if they happen to not be, then we can go around looking for air leaks before they get covered up.

How the Test Works

So the process that happens with the mid-construction air-test is that we come in and we have to have power, that’s a big one, which is not always the case in the during construction, in which case sometimes they’ll bring over a portable generator. But as long as we have power, then we can run our fan and run our laptops. Then we set up the blower door. We make sure that all the windows and doors are closed. We spot check for other areas where the air barrier may not be complete, and then we run the test.

And when we finish the test, we can get a result to see if we need to look around for air leaks. And when we look around for air leaks at this time, the best method is to feel with our hands and use special infrared cameras in typical areas where we find air leaks, and then inform the builder on where they are so they can be sealed before construction can continue.

Interested in a mid-construction air-tightness test for your construction operation? Contact Homesol Building Solutions to get started!

Contact Us!

Homesol Is Expanding Across Ontario

Homesol Is Expanding Across Ontario

Homesol is Expanding

As the demand for Registered Energy Advisors across Canada increases to build better and more energy-efficient homes & buildings, Homesol Building Solutions continues to grow across Canada. We now have Energy Advisors in the Greater Toronto Area, Sudbury Ontario, and North Bay Ontario. Contact Homesol Building Solutions today to book an Energy Assessment for your home to see if you qualify for home energy upgrades.

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being an energy advisor

What is it Like Being an Energy Advisor?

Written by David Hope, Energy Advisor and Ontario Assistant Regional Manager at Homesol Building Solutions

Over the last 3+ years, I have had the good fortune of being a Registered Energy Advisor (REA) with Homesol Building Solutions Inc.

Starting this new career was not the easiest transition for me, but it has yielded tremendous opportunities. My previous career as a Certified Carpenter provided a lot of transferable skills to assist in the EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) on-site residential home energy evaluations. It was the computer modelling and report writing, aka desk work, that challenged me. After finding a new balance and realizing the potential flexibility in my work and personal schedule, I found a great appreciation for my new position as an REA.

Attaining your Natural Resources Canada licence to become an REA can be just the beginning. Beyond the Federal Greener Homes Grant Initiative there are opportunities to pursue continuing education as a Multi-unit Residential Building (MURB) Energy Advisor; Quality Assurance Specialist in both Residential and MURB’s; EnergyStar, NetZero, LEED, and Passive House Third Party Verifier; and Building Science Consultant on both existing and new residential home construction.

Homesol Building Solutions Inc. has conducted itself as a group of professional Energy Conservation Consultants since 1999. Founded in Perth, Ontario, we now serve Canadians from coast to coast!

Homesol’s Energy Advisors and green building consultants work with builders, renovators, designers and homeowners in Ontario, Atlantic Canada and throughout North America, to deliver energy-efficient green building solutions for residential new construction or retrofit projects, from energy modelling, thermography and “blower door” air leakage testing, to ENERGY STAR Certified homes and third-party verified EnerGuide Ratings, and high-performance R-2000, Net Zero, Passive House and beyond.

Residential buildings, done right, can easily enjoy fresh, clean air and comfortable temperatures year-round, with a substantial reduction in energy use over standard construction, while addressing water use, indoor air quality and environmentally-preferable materials.

Better Homes Ottawa - Loan Program

Better Homes Ottawa – Loan Program

Ottawa, Ontario

The City of Ottawa is piloting a loan program for up to three years for home energy efficiency retrofits, to support local residents to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Zero-interest loan rates are expected to be available for 1-2 years while resources are available.

The program offers zero-interest, 20-year loans of up to $125,000 (or 10 percent of the current value assessment of the home, whichever is less) to cover the cost of home energy improvements like thermal envelope upgrades (basement/attic/exterior wall insulation, window/door replacements), mechanical systems (thermostats and controllers, air/ground source heat pumps, solar hot water systems), renewable energy (solar photovoltaic systems), EV chargers (Level 2), and the addition of rental suites (up to a maximum of 30% of the value of the loan).

With zero-interest, 20-year loans that are tied to the property, not the individual, the Better Homes Ottawa – Loan Program makes it easier and more affordable for homeowners to pay for these home improvements over time.

Application Process

  • Complete a pre-retrofit EnerGuide assessment. This assessment provides an NRCan EnerGuide rating for the home and recommends improvements that are customized for the home. Apply here.
  • Complete the Better Homes Loan Program Application Form.
  • If the homeowner’s Better Homes Loan Program Application Form meets all requirements of the program, the homeowner is issued a Notice to Proceed. Here, the homeowner receives a Better Homes Loan Program File Reference Number.
  • The homeowner can apply to any rebate programs they may be eligible for and get estimates from the contractor(s). Eligible costs are those that are incurred after the Notice to Proceed is issued.
  • Submit your Funding Request Form. At this stage of the process, a homeowner can choose to request 30% of funds upfront to cover deposits.
  • Complete a post-retrofit EnerGuide assessment after the retrofit projects. This assessment provides an updated EnerGuide rating for the home. Apply here.
  • Sign the Property Owner Agreement and submit a Project Completion Report.
  • The City of Ottawa provides the balance of the loan to the homeowner that they can use to pay the contractor(s).
  • The homeowner repays the loan over time via their property tax bill. A homeowner can choose to pay off the loan in a lump sum at any point without penalty.

Apply Today!


Homesol now Services Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador

Homesol Building Solutions now has Energy Advisors in Newfoundland and Labrador! Newfoundland is the latest province Homesol has expanded to, and now our services cover all the Atlantic provinces.

Homesol’s Canada Expansion

Starting in Ottawa in 1999, since then we have expanded to cover all of Ontario, then New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and now Newfoundland and Labrador. As the demand for Energy Advisors surges across the country, Homesol will soon be a coast-to-coast proud Canadian business!

If you are interested in having an Energy Assessment completed for your home to make energy-efficient and environmentally upgrades, contact us today!

watercolor westport

Homesol at Watercolour Westport

Watercolour Westport

Over the Labour Day Weekend in 2021, the Homesol Building Solutions team was at the grand unveiling of Canada’s first Net-Zero community in Westport, Ontario. The community is called Watercolour Westport being built by Landark Homes. We have been working closely with Landark since even before ground broke on this first-of-its-kind community in Canada.

Homesol’s Contribution

Homesol is Landark’s net-zero energy advisor. We’ve been helping Landark since the inception of this community. We’ve been consulting with them on the performance aspects and the building science aspects of designing the house from insulation levels to airtightness details to mechanical specs.

We also performed the airtightness testing of the homes, and we do that in a couple of stages. We do that first at mid-construction, and when the house is being built and the air barriers complete. We’ll come in and do an air test just to make sure that the airtightness target is being met before it gets covered up. If it’s not being met, then we help find the leaks and suggest ways of sealing them.

Then we come back in at the final stage to do the final inspection to verify that all the mechanicals that were supposed to be installed are installed. And then we do another final air test. And that’s what we put into the energy model for the label.