Reliance Home Comfort – Blog

Building a Smarter Home5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutesBuilding a Smarter Home

In this age, there is a lot of talk about building codes. What does it take to get a home built according to the appropriate codes, particularly as codes are changing what seems like every day.

If you’re a homebuyer, and especially if you’re a homebuilder, it helps to be aware of the latest trends, codes, costs, and methods available to you. The internet is a confusing place, simply because it’s so crowded and there is so much information.

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For homebuyers especially. But, unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of places for the homebuilders to go to get the information that they need.

Which is where John Godden and his team at Clearsphere come into play. John was our guest on this episode of Business Optimization, and we talked all about:

  • The Smart Builder program
  • Renewable strategies and why so many people are trying to “go green”
  • Saving money when securing permits
  • “Smart” Thermostats
  • And so much more.

What is the Smart Builder Program?

Your home is more than just a box where you live. There is thought and care that go into the building of every aspect of it.

The Smart Builder program breaks the home down into 6 parts. Everything from walls to heating systems to basements gets a part, and then the team at ClearSphere is able to do performance modeling based on the building codes, allowing the builders to choose the way they want to build in order to secure the lowest cost permits.

But don’t assume that just because the builder is wanting to secure lower cost permits that it means they’re cutting corners, or somehow that your new custom home isn’t as safe as it should be.

Far from it.

John Godden Quote

Lowering Permit Costs

While nearly everything about a home requires a permit, there are certainly ways to save money on the acquisition of those permits.

In Ontario, Canada, for instance, where John and his team are located, the building codes are far ahead of other provinces. One of the features that’s mandatory in the energy performance part of the code is including a drain water heat recovery unit.

Basically, a unit that saves the heat from hot water when homeowners take showers, and uses that heat to preheat a hot water heater.

But with the advent of higher performing water heaters, the drain water heat recovery unit has lost some of its efficiency gains, meaning that builders can save money by getting a permit without using the hot water drain recovery.

“Smart” Thermostats Aren’t That Smart

Smart thermostats are incredibly popular. The ability to set your heat on the go, set intervals for your heat and cooling, and in a lot of cases, heat certain parts of your home without heating others, are incredible things.

But smart thermostats are only smart if you tell them what to do.

Just because you set a thermostat to a desired temperature, doesn’t mean that your whole house is going to maintain that temperature. Just think of a home with a room above the garage, or a basement. How often are those rooms ten or twenty degrees cooler than the rest of the house?

All a thermostat is doing is sensing the temperature in one small space where it is located. It’s only when you take advantage of some of the newer technologies like wireless sensors, that you are able to really begin to customize and take advantage of all your home has to offer.

Renewable Strategies

All of the energy on the planet, all of the life on the planet, depends on two things: water and sunlight.

John Godden Quote

So, it makes sense that there is a lot of interest right now in figuring out how to generate our energy needs from sources other than fossil fuels. Other than finite resources pulled from the ground.

Take solar energy. Solar panels on the roof, depending on where you live, make a ton of sense. If it’s a particularly sunny part of the world, the sun is capable of generating an immense amount of energy.

But it only makes sense if you have a place to store that energy. Like a battery storage system that will enable you to store all the energy produced during the day, and use it at night to power things like your fridge, air conditioner, or heater.

Hydroelectric is another source of energy that has immense power, but unless you know how to harness it, it’s useless.

That’s where a team like ClearSphere can come in handy.

Getting Some Help

If you’re looking for more information about the Smart Builder program, or just want to figure out how to make your home work for you, Reliance Home Comfort™ has some resources for builders, including upcoming workshops.

John and his team also publish a magazine called Better Builder which can be found at There is so much information out there, that it can be hard to know what to trust and who to put your faith in.

It’s like baking a cake. You want to make sure you’ve got the right recipe, and that you’ve got all the right ingredients, and John and his team at ClearSphere can make sure that you do.

This podcast is sponsored by Reliance Home Comfort and may feature references to the products and services Reliance™ offers. The views and opinions expressed during these episodes are solely those of the guests involved and do not necessarily represent those of Reliance Home Comfort.