Scroll down below picture gallery for this week's article on  how every energy standard has been surpassed with the new renovation!


      Last week I ended my column advising that we were having our final energy audit completed and that, this week, I would announce the results. Time to face the music….and here it is!

     Energy Auditor Marty Verk had this to say after he did the final blower door test, “When I first saw the church, I realized that this is one reason beautiful buildings like this continue to be sold because the community can no longer pay for the energy costs to keep it warm. I initially tested this building according to the EnerGuide rating system. This is the same software used to evaluate Energy Star New Homes and R-2000 Homes. While a modern home built to “CODE” today is required to rate an 80 on this scale, the church at Concession 3 and Dalhousie came in at 18 and had the equivalent of a hole of 3.8 square FEET.” (in the exterior walls)

    He went on to say, “Well, nearly 8 months later and this newly renovated building rates an 84 on the EnerGuide rating scale and has a hole of merely 21 square INCHES. When testing buildings, we test the house under negative pressure by placing a door fan at an exterior door and blowing the air out of the home and measuring the air change rate. The initial ACH (air exchange rate) was 9.65 while the new rating is the tightest I have ever measured at 0.57 ACH@50. Energy Star homes must meet a maximum ACH@50 of <=2.50.  This house exceeds anything both old and new that I have tested in 10 years.”

    The final sentence from Marty’s report speaks volumes to everyone who has bought into this project. A number of readers have asked who worked on the project and this week I wish to say “Thanks” to everyone who helped with efforts, large and small. 90% of the construction materials came from Atkinson’s Home Lumber in Kingston, thanks to Greg and Mike.  Gerard and his family at Ostroskie Lumber, in Killalloe, supplied all the pine panelling and loft timber frame lumber; truly beautiful material.

     The wiring was done by Phase One Electric, from Kingston. Special thanks to Shaun and his crew, Matt, Matt and Joe. The spray foam that lines the entire foundation was done by Jeff and his crew at Kingston Spray Foam; unquestionably one of the best foam installations I have ever seen. The mechanical system was installed by Brad Skaggs from Dr. Comfort in Lanark, yet another quality tradesman.  Energy Star Windows were supplied by Al at Aauben Windows, also in Kingston. Al recommended that the custom inserts for the angled church windows come from Kingston Plate Glass. They did and they fit beautifully. Plumbing was done by local plumber, Mike at Highland Plumbing. The iron work for the stair case restoration, railings and building support bar were done by Jim & Paul at Cameron Mechanical, in Perth, and they are spectacular.  Steve at Frontenac Roofing in Kingston supplied the Sun Dome.  Parade of Paints in Kingston supplied almost all of the wall and ceiling coatings.

     There is one other supplier, the sustainable and reclaimed materials and my lady, Donna, gets all the credit here. When we started this project, we wanted to use recycled and/or restored appliances and fixtures as much as possible and Donna tackled the large list. The spiral staircase came from a cottage in Wiarton, the master bathtub from a new home in Peterborough and the shower from a contractor in Rockland, who had ordered the wrong item for his project. The kitchen cupboards and dishwasher came from Kanata, where the former owners were doing a complete kitchen makeover. The porcelain and stainless, Heartland Stove that now graces our kitchen had its former home in Cannington. The washer and propane dryer was brought back from Orilllia. Those are the major items; the smaller items would fill a column all its own. As well, our new home contains numerous reclaimed such as the organ and wainscoting, which originated here. Donna has also created a brochure on the home that will be handed out at the open house and it can be viewed at our web site.

    No building project, be it new or renovation, is completed without some bumps and valleys and this one was no different. We set a budget and in a few weeks we will show where we spent the money, where we added to it for our own taste and use or when unforeseen costs arose. In regard to that last, as examples, we ran into some unforeseen costs when it became clear that underpinning was necessary under one corner of the church, which we had known to be marginal. When we got into the project, it became clear it had to be done. We had hoped to use some of the wiring and existing electrical panel, but, again, once into the job, they had to go. As well, we ran into considerable problems with the mechanical design and system. This caused Brad some headaches and we are still working on it.

     On the other hand, the biggest thrill for me was building the timber frame loft. It seemed to give the project a “soul” and it changed the look so dramatically. For her part, Donna was excited when the Heartland was finally situated in front of the new tile wall in the kitchen.