What are green homes?

Green homes are healthy, energy-saving, affordable, accessible and sustainable homes1.

There are many benefits to green homes: they provide a healthy and comfortable environment for occupants and they leave a smaller environmental footprint on the planet. Since they're more energy-efficient, they also save homeowners money year after year.

Use the Green Homes Program savings calculator to find out how much you can save.

There are 4 main differences between green homes and standard homes:

Energy consumption

Homes use a lot of energy for regular amenities like heating, water heaters, appliances, as well as for extracting, manufacturing and transportation of construction and renovation materials.

Green homes use less energy and provide substantial savings in heating and electricity.

For maximum energy efficiency, green homes have:

Healthy life

People spend almost 90% of their time indoors, where the air is on average 3 times more polluted indoors than outdoors2. Poor ventilation, smoke, construction materials like paint, and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emitted from particleboard are frequently the reason for it.

Green homes have health benefits for their occupants: they provide a safe environment built with non-toxic materials. The use of lumber, ceramics, natural finishes and good ventilation help avoid humidity and dust-related problems.

Buying local

Think global and buy local: there is no better way to foster the economic vitality of a community. For example, use locally sourced materials and regional service providers. Buying locally guarantees that workers are treated well and that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are kept to a minimum.

Natural resources

Every time a natural resource is extracted, processed and transported, the environment changes. Green homes make efficient use of materials that are less destructive to the environment, which produces less waste during building and renovation.

The following items are strongly recommended:

  • recycled material
  • eco-certified lumber
  • fixtures that use less water like faucets, showerheads and low-flow toilets
  • To learn more about green homes, read Ecohome's Green Home Guide.

    1. Source: Ecohome, About section
    2. Source: Canadian Mortgage and House Corporation (CMHC), Beyond Universal Design: Additional Imperatives in Designing Housing for Older Canadians.