The Most Energy Efficient Office In Edmonton

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Home Safety & Maintenance

Friday, March 29th, 2019 @ 4:05pm

This is a great story. I’ve been working with Effect Home Builders in Edmonton for a few years now, and a couple of years ago they decided to take an old, 1940’s energy guzzling office building in Edmonton, renovating it to become one of the most energy efficient offices in the city. This is a great example of forward-thinking companies, coming together to build an off the grid office, reducing the original building’s CO2 emissions by 80%. This office building is now the most efficient, Net Zero commercial space in Edmonton. So how did they do it?

High Performance Building Envelope

This project Effect Home Builders sprayed 2.5” of foam to act as a vapour barrier. Then there’s 4.5” of Neopor graphite insulation installed around the building’s exterior. An extra 2.5” of batt insulation was also added to increase the R-value (insulation effectiveness). With an R-value of 40, the exterior assembly uses spray foam and Neopor® graphite-enhanced exterior insulation system.

Building Inspections are Important

This is the another part I love-Effect Home Builders invited 3rd party building inspectors (my Mike Holmes Inspectors) to inspect and document the office building at SIX construction stages. That means any deficiencies were caught and resolved before the job went on. I always tell homeowners to not look at the fancy finishes, at the “lipstick and mascara”. It’s about how the house (or in this case the office) is built, and that is exactly what Effect Home Builders in Edmonton set out to do-VERIFY THE QUALITY BEHIND THE WALLS.

“This project is very exciting as it is much more than a renovation. It is considered a deep energy retrofit because we are incorporating clean technologies and systems into the building to achieve maximum impact and results.”
Les Wold, Managing Partner, Effect Home Builders


Solar Power Is The Future

I love solar energy for the home because it is a long-term solution. You are going to consistently save money on the monthly output of electricity for years. The cost of energy keeps going up so if you can minimize that cost it’s a smart investment. On my garage that I built for Mike’s Ultimate Garage, I have forty solar panels on the roof, which have a peak power production of about 10 kW. When the sun (photons) hits the panels, the panels have electrons in them that start to move, producing DC electricity.


Effect Home Builders has 16 solar modules on the new office’s roof. This makes a 4.88kW solar electric system. The energy produced can be actively used and any excess energy will be stored in a lithium ion battery bank  for later use. Working with the mCHP (micro Combined Heat Power co-gen) unit, these panels allow them to disconnect from the electrical grid.


Some other slick features:

  • Custom rolled steel shelf with a copper-tina finish. This shelf is water tight so we’ll plant office greenery in it and also use it to hang potted flowers
  • High performing Innotech Windows + Doors triple glazed windows. They have an R-8 value with an effective seal which is extremely high if you compare that to a double paned window with an R-2 or 3 value.
  • Faux-wood looking steel panels were installed. These are made from a durable, low maintenance alternative made from recycled materials.
  • A Micro Combined Heat Power (mCHP) unit provides the heat for the building.  Whenever it runs to produce heat, it generates electricity at the same time.  The electricity produced by the mCHP and the PV solar system will be stored in a battery bank for surge loads and for off-production times.


Effect Home Builders won’t be paying any electrical utility fees anymore. Now that’s MAKING IT RIGHT!

Read the full press release here.

Make It Right®