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Indoor Air Quality and Environmental Features

Combining R-2000 objectives with freedom of design, the R-2000 Standard offers home builders a number of building material and design-measure "pick lists."

The Indoor Air Quality "Pick List"

Every R-2000 home is required to have a mechanical ventilation system to provide continuous whole-house ventilation, plus a tight house envelope to keep out dust and other outdoor air pollutants. In addition, the R-2000 Standard requires builders to incorporate at least three of the following indoor air quality features:

  • carpets labeled under the Canadian Carpet Institute's Green Label Program or reduced carpeting
  • no vinyl sheet flooring (vinyl tile is acceptable)
  • paints and wood-flooring finishes approved by EcoLogoM
  • water-based, low-toxicity finished flooring adhesives
  • kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities that meet international standards for chemical off-gassing
  • particleboard underlayment that meets international standards
  • a sub-slab depressurization system to prevent entry of radon and other soil gases
  • indoor moisture control options
  • air filtration options

These products have been selected because they either emit less volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or help reduce the amount of particulate (such as dust) in the air. VOCs and particulates have been shown to aggravate respiratory problems.

The Environmental Features "Pick List"

Resource conservation (reduce, reuse and recycle) is an important feature in an R-2000 home, so the R-2000 Standard also includes the following environmental "pick lists."

Building Materials

  • fibreglass insulation, meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Environmental ChoiceM Program for recycled glass content
  • cellulose insulation manufactured from paper with a minimum of 75 percent recycled content
  • mineral fibre insulation, with at least 35 percent recycled raw materials
  • insulation made from plastic, meeting or exceeding the requirements of the Environmental ChoiceM Program for recycled content
  • fibreboard sheathing, made from recycled newsprint or wood fibres
  • siding manufactured from factory or sawmill waste
  • drywall containing recycled gypsum or newsprint
  • steel studs in which at least 23 percent of the raw material is recycled steel
  • studs and trim manufactured from sawmill cut-off and waste, free of urea formaldehyde
  • foundation or under-slab drainage mixture of post-consumer glass and crushed rock or stone

Measures to Reduce Energy Use

  • installing energy-efficient appliances that meet ENERGY STAR® specifications, or – where no ENERGY STAR rating is available for that category – achieve an EnerGuide rating in the top 33 percent for that appliance category
  • increasing the energy efficiency of the house by reducing its energy consumption by a further 15 percent beyond the R-2000 energy target
  • installing a cooling system that meets or exceeds minimum energy performance requirements

R-2000 is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada.