The R-2000 Program was created in 1981 as a partnership between the Canadian Home Builders' Association and Natural Resources Canada. The R-2000 research resulted in the "house as a system" concept—a major evolution in building science. "House as a system" thinking recognized that the flow of air, heat and moisture within a home was affected by the interaction of all the components, i.e., everything works together.
The R-2000 Standard
The R-2000 Standard sets out the criteria that a new home must meet in order to be eligible for R-2000 certification. The technical requirements involve three main areas of construction: energy performance, indoor air quality and environmental responsibility.
To get the complete R-2000 Standard, CLICK HERE.
- The R-2000 Standard is a voluntary national standard that is in addition to and beyond building code requirements.
- The R-2000 Standard is a performance-based standard. It sets criteria for how a house must perform rather than specify exactly how it must be constructed. The builder is free to choose the best and most-cost effective approach for each home—construction techniques, building products, mechanical equipment, lighting and appliances. This has proven to encourage innovation, and many new building products and techniques have resulted from this approach.
- One of the most important aspects of the Standard is the energy target for space and water heating. The target is calculated for each house, taking into consideration size, fuel type, lot orientation and location (to account for climate variations across Canada). Typically, R-2000 homes will use approximately 30% less energy than a comparable non-R-2000 home.
- In order to achieve these energy savings, every R-2000 home is designed and built to reduce heat loss and air leakage. Extra insulation, energy-efficient windows and doors, and careful air-sealing are standard features. A blower door is used to measure the airtightness of the building envelope to ensure that air leakage does not exceed the rate set out in the R-2000 Standard. This test is part of the mandatory R-2000 quality assurance process for every R-2000 home.
- The mechanical systems for heating, cooling and ventilation are chosen for efficiency and performance. Natural gas, propane, oil or electrical systems are all permitted under the Standard. This also allows for advanced systems such as integrated space and hot water heating systems, heat pumps or solar-assisted systems.
- R-2000 construction always includes controlled ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality. Every R-2000 home must have a mechanical ventilation system to bring fresh air in from the outside and exhaust stale air to the outside. Most R-2000 builders use a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, to provide continuous balanced ventilation. In winter, HRVs use the heat from the outgoing air to preheat the incoming air; in summer, this process is reversed.
- To further protect the indoor air quality, R-2000 builders use building products specifically aimed at reducing chemicals, dust and other indoor air pollutants. This includes products such as EcoLogo-approved paints, varnishes and floor finishes, low-emission cabinetry or the use of hardwood floors.
- The R-2000 Standard recognizes the importance of resource conservation both during the construction of the home and later during the ongoing operation of the home. R-2000 homes use only water-saving toilets, showers and faucets. Builders are also required to use materials with recycled content.
The R-2000 Standard is updated periodically to reflect the ongoing evolution of the construction technology and development of new materials, products and systems. This ensures that R-2000 continues to represent the leading edge of housing technology, and that homebuyers will continue to benefit from the latest advances in new home construction.