Skip to content

Code Built Homes vs. High-Performance Homes

What Type of Custom Home Is Right For Your Family?

What comes to mind when you think of a high-performance house?

Luxurious, expensive, custom…beautiful countertops, fancy finishes, and maybe with Siri (or Alexa) in control of every light, sound system, and electronic device.

While we’re huge fans of Smart Home automation that sets the perfect room temperature and opens the blinds to wake you up with natural light, those features aren’t what high-performance homes mean to us at NZ Builders. 

A high-performance custom home is a high-quality, safe and long-lasting structure that pushes the envelope of design and building science. All while offering your family a healthy living environment with personalized and custom touches that fit your lifestyle.

Not all houses are high-performance–you’ll make this decision when planning your design with your family and your home-building team, but all homes must be built “to code.” 

What is a code-built home? What’s the difference between a code-built home and a high-performance home? How do you know which one is right for you? 

Don’t worry, we’re breaking it all down for you right here. 

What Does A Code Built Home In BC Mean?

Building a home to code involves following the minimum standards set by the BC government and your local jurisdiction, in consultation with construction industry experts. 

The BC Building Code outlines how the construction, renovation, and demolition of homes and buildings take place. Its primary purpose is to ensure buildings meet health and safety standards, provide efficient water and electricity access, and do not damage other structures. 

Building codes are regularly updated to meet new safety standards and incorporate new construction technologies. This means older homes undergoing renovations may need to update electrical systems, plumbing, or other home features to meet current safety codes.

Whether you’re purchasing an older home, buying a new development, or building a custom home, the building must be code-compliant. Yet, a house built to code only meets the basic requirements for a safe and efficient home. 

And at NZ Builders, we’re anything but basic. 

We want so much more than ‘minimum standards’ for you, your family, and your custom home. 

We want you to have a home that saves you money, contributes to a healthier planet, and keeps your family healthy. 

What Is a High-Performance Home?

As mentioned earlier, while a high-performance home requires more than basic building standards, it doesn’t demand unattainable luxury or robot servants either. 

So what is a high-performance home?

A high-performance home is a house built with your family’s future in mind. 

By only meeting today’s minimum building codes, your home will fail to meet sustainability standards in 5, 10, or 20 years. This means, you'll waste more money on home expenses and more time worrying about your family’s safety over the years. 

Instead, building a high-performance home means your architect and home build team are not only meeting the basic requirements; they’re also considering the long-term vision, safety, and efficiency of your custom home. Imagine a home where your future grandchildren can happily crowd around a dinner table or safely practice rugby tackles (our NZ Builders team is always recruiting).

A high-performance home based on safety, sustainability, and the future features:

  • Air-tight sealing and insulation to prevent temperature fluctuations, heat loss, or humidity. All of which contribute to high heating bills, greenhouse gas emissions, mold, or discomfort. 

  • High-quality air circulation with filtration systems that remove stale air and bring fresh, clean air to your home. 

  • Durable supplies and innovative building techniques so your home and all its components are long-lasting.

  • Sustainable design that works with the environment and incorporates renewable energy systems to limit your home’s carbon footprint. 

  • Personalized touches and advanced technology so your custom home fits your lifestyle and family needs. 

All these features come together to create a home that saves you money, keeps your family healthy and comfortable, and builds a healthier planet for everyone. 

How To Decide Between a High-Performance Home and a Code-Built Home

Did you read all that and think, ‘there must be a catch? Otherwise, everyone would build a high-performance home.’

Let’s discuss what you need to know before deciding between a high-performance home and a code-built home.  

First, find the right home-build team. 

The truth is, not every custom home builder knows how to design and build a high-performance home. 

If you’re unable to find a team in your area that specializes in high-performance houses (like us!), be sure to still bring up the concepts of efficiency and sustainability with your team so that you’re all on the same page. 

Second, consider your budget. 

Due to more detailed construction and higher-cost building materials, high-performance homes usually require a larger initial investment. However, in the long term, you’ll save on monthly expenses, maintenance costs, and repairs as you’re building an efficient home that lasts for generations.

While a code-built home costs less to build, energy consumption expenses, upkeep, and the likelihood of costly renovations add up over time. 

With these two points in mind, it’s clear that a high-performance home equals a more sustainable, cost-saving, healthier and safer home for you, your family, and future generations. 

Your High-Performance Home Builder In Victoria, BC

If you haven’t been able to tell yet, our team at NZ Builders loves building high-performance homes. 

Here in BC, certain municipalities have gone a step further in pushing the home-build industry to consider sustainability by implementing the BC Energy Step Code. This building code requires new homes to use 20% less energy than code-built homes.

All new builds and renovations in BC will need to meet net-zero-ready energy requirements by 2032–but why wait until then to build a healthier, more sustainable, and energy-efficient home?

This is a step our team is proud to take on and one we push even further when constructing high-performance homes or passive solar houses.

If you’re looking for a home-builder in British Columbia to bring your high-performance house to fruition, then reach out to us now.

We can’t wait to get started with you.