As a building owner or homeowner in and around Red Deer, you’ve probably already caught on to the importance of conserving energy and keeping the heat in as a way to reduce your heating costs.
You’ve probably experienced the discomfort of a cold winter combined with drafty windows and doorways in your home – not to mention received hefty heating bills – and taken steps to alleviate the problem.
But there’s a good chance your commercial building space, industrial workplace or office still has energy efficiency issues. That’s a trend John Campbell and his team at Finishing Touch Builders are looking to help reverse, in conjunction with provincial incentives for businesses that tackle energy efficiency, as it relates to climate change.
Renovations for the long term
“We’ve been focusing the last couple of years on creating energy-conservative buildings,” says Campbell, whose firm has done projects across multiple industries. Retrofitting buildings to create higher ‘R values’ (the effectiveness of insulation) during the renovation stage makes sense in the long term, even if it adds to your project cost, he says.
“Working together with architects and engineers, there are opportunities to put into practice the knowledge that is out there about energy efficiency.” Buildings that conserve energy better are often more durable and long-lasting, which helps you recoup the improvement costs in the lifespan of the building, Campbell adds.
Northern experiences can benefit you
Having spent several years working in the North with general contractor Clark Builders, Campbell saw the effect of extreme weather on structures and the people living and working inside. Energy conservation was critical in small, remote communities given the high cost of fuel, he says.
“But it’s a lot more than just energy savings. There are comfort levels and reduced noise coming in from the outside, and with triple-glazed windows, you don’t get the frost buildup on the windows.”
Early example showing good results
Finishing Touch Builders worked with the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation in Grande Cache on a trio of upgrades: their administration building, a multipurpose environmental structure and a garage. Each building involved walls, doors and windows being replaced to help boost the overall energy efficiency and resistance to the harsh weather.
“The environmental building was taken down to the foundations and rebuilt to allow solar panels to be placed on the gently sloping south side roof,” Campbell says. “They’ve said they feel much more comfortable inside. After this winter we’ll find out how much money they saved on energy costs.”