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CRD greens up building requirements

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) is one of 36 British Columbia communities that have agreed to adopt a new building regulation requiring all new single-family homes to be built solar hot water ready.

In order to promote the use of alternative energy, as of June 21, 2011, new houses in the CRD’s coverage area must be built to facilitate future installation of a renewable energy system.

Area L Director Bruce Rattray says this includes having a designated area for a solar collector, typically on the roof, with adequate support structures incorporated.

The home design also needs to include an easy way to run the collection pipes into the home, he adds.

A government press release states that buildings will not be required to have the solar components installed, and notes that making a new house solar ready will add between $200 and $500 to the construction costs.

Rattray adds the directors decided it makes sense to put the initial costs in during construction phase, rather than leaving it potentially difficult and expensive to add on solar components later, and it also sets the stage for future environmental benefits.

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The typical household uses 10,000 to 15,000 BTUs of hot water per person per day. A 20 vacuum tube solar collector can produce 30,000 BTUs on a summer day with a footprint on a roof of only 36 square feet. The system can provide 100% of summer hot water ... 
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