CCHT video transcript

The houses you see behind me were built by a local Ottawa Builder to R2000 standards. The house to the right is our Reference House and the house on the left is our Test House. We run them side-by-side to figure out what the small differences between the houses are and then we introduce a new technology in the Test house to see the effect on the whole house.

There are a number of features that make these houses R2000 houses and very energy efficient. One of the features is that the house has a number of south facing windows. These windows help to introduce a lot of heat in the winter and help to heat the home. Another feature in the house is that they're very very airtight. Because they're airtight they don't lose heat easily. However, they do have to have additional ventilation to make sure there is fresh air in the home. One of the features of an R-2000 home and our twin houses is that there are no chimneys. So there is no way for heat to rise up and right out of the home. Here what we have is our furnace and our hot water heater exhausting out the wall of the home.

Opposite our twin houses you'll find our InfoCentre and FlexHouse unit. In the InfoCentre is a display area as well as office space. Beside the InfoCentre and on the end is the FlexHouse. This is an award winning home design which has been designed to be able to adapt to a family's changing needs throughout their lives.

I'm Marianne Armstrong, I'm a research council officer with the National Research Council of Canada, and right now we're inside the CCHT Test House.

This is a thermocouple, it measures temperature. And here is another thermocouple, there are over 300 different thermocouples and sensors in each house, and they take readings up to once every 5 minutes.

There's a family that lives in our house, but it's not your average family. Instead of having humans, we actually have light bulbs. We call our family the Watts. There's 2 adults and 2 children, the adults are 60W light bulbs, the children are 40W light bulbs. These light bulbs give off the same amount of heat as a family would sitting in a room. During the day, the family moves from one room to another. At night they go up to their bedrooms to sleep.

In addition to simulating the heat that is given off by the family, we also simulate all their actions. This includes all the appliances in the house such as the dishwasher and the stove, and it also includes small appliances like toasters and microwaves. But we use lamps to simulate those by turning them on and off. It's a lot easier to turn on and off a lamp than it is to pop up toast. We also simulate all the water loads of the family including the bath, the shower and the sink.

In each house we monitor the electrical, the gas, the water consumption of all the appliances and lighting. There's even one meter that's dedicated to our Watts family.

Across from the twin house facility you'll find our InfoCentre. Inside the InfoCentre is our showcase where we show residential technology to our visitors. The showroom features mock-ups of the construction of the twin houses. These were put together at the time of construction by our builder, and they include details of R-2000 wood frame residential construction. These mock-ups demonstrate the Canadian wood frame construction system to both national and international visitors.

The showroom also showcases a number of difference technologies which were assessed in our twin house facility. These include combined space and water heating, greywater heat recovery, and micro combined heat and power generation. These are just a few of the over 40 different technologies that we have looked at at the centre since its inception. Not only do we look at the technology itself, but we also introduce it into the home. This way we can look at the entire energy performance of the house with this technology and also ensure that the homeownersstill remain comfortable.

I'm Mike Swinton, I'm research manager here at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology. What we do is a stepping stone between the lab and real houses by providing this authoritative performance assessment in a very controlled environment in twin houses in a real climate. The Canadian Centre for Housing Technology is operated by the National Research Council of Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and Natural Resources Canada.

With this authoritative performance information on innovative technologies, we hope to contribute in our own way to greener and more sustainable homes for Canadians.

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