Northern builder partners with new insulation tech company
SUDBURY -- A new, custom-built home under construction in Sudbury is set to feature new technology that is said to be the answer to a decades-old problem.
Located in the Greater Sudbury community of Hanmer, the home, which is built by SLV Homes, is the first of its kind in northern Ontario. Through a new partnership with AeroBarrier, a company based in southwestern Ontario, it features what it calls its one-of-a-kind insulation technology.
"Well there’s all those little holes throughout your house that are adding up, the equivalent to maybe leaving your window open," said Brian Cook, the sales and marketing manager for AeroBarrier. "So we’re going to seal them off and it’s going to not only provide a lower heating bill at the end of the month and do a little better for the planet."
It works by completing a test to discover where any potential holes in the home may be since many are too small to notice. Technicians set up tripods throughout the structure, which are used to emit a sealant before the space is highly pressurized, which leads to discovering problem areas.
"Traditionally, we’ve approached it by running around chasing holes with foam, caulk and tape, and not necessarily an efficient way. We’ve always struggled to do it in a consistent manner," said Cook. "This is a new way and a new approach of using the test itself to find the leakage areas and we’re bringing that to the Canadian marketplace now."
It is a problem that has faced developers for decades and one that is a particular challenge in northeastern Ontario.
"It’s definitely a good product for northern Ontario due to our climate changes," said Louie Zagordo, president of SLV Homes. "In speaking to the company, they would like to see if we can partner up and be the representative of the north for them."
While Cook and his company argue this is the answer, experts say that there have been other developments in the industry that have improved the quality of homes being built.
"I think there’s a couple of things that we do in our new home construction now that really separates us from even the homes we were building just a decade ago," said John Zulich, president of Zulich Construction Corp.
Zulich, who started his career as a structural engineer, said this is a topic that always piques his interest. While he hasn’t worked with AeroBarrier directly, he has been intrigued by the work they are doing and says his own company has many new tools at its disposal to improve insulation in homes.
"We use extensive use of spray-foam installation, which even 15 to 20 years ago wasn’t readily used and now it’s easily available and so we spray-foam all the headers and all the hard to reach places," said Zulich. "These houses are getting so well sealed, and so well insulated. I swear we’re building the best homes we’ve ever built right now because of...the ability to use those new products."
Zulich’s comments are echoed by Kevin Lee, the president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.
"There’s other approaches that use drywall, there’s other approaches that use rigid insulation on the outside of the building or home and those are sealed as well, so there’s a bunch of different ways to do it and now most recently there’s these aerosol type technologies that are new and innovative," said Lee.
AeroBarrier is hoping to expand their footprint throughout northeastern Ontario.