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Research Homes

Tangible Research in Home Construction

The History of the Wilden Living Lab

In 2017, two different homes were built! One featured standard technologies according to the current building code in 2017. The other exceeded code requirements using the latest technologies to enhance energy efficiency.

Once families moved in, sensors throughout the homes started documenting energy consumption and cost efficiency. Currently, both homes are being monitored and compared by a research team at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering.

In 2022 the third research home was completed: the Next Generation Home. This new home is net zero, which means it is built to Step Code 5 – it generates as much or more energy than it uses.

Next Generation Home


This home is the latest of three research homes in Wilden. The Next Generation Home is built to BC Step Code 5 and net-zero standards. It is a continuation of the UBC Okanagan research on the best construction practices, innovative materials and energy efficient systems.  


Home of Tomorrow

Built to raise the bar in energy efficiency in and demonstrate possibilities of minimizing carbon emissions and electricity consumption within an affordable budget in 2017.

  • HVAC: 5 series – ground source heat pump c/w ECM variable speed blower
  • Zoned ducting (1 @basement/1 @ main)
  • Solar panels: CSUN Quasar 260 – connected to a Fortis net meter
  • Life Breath RNC155 dedicated HRV system
  • GE Geospring Pro heat pump water heater
  • Fireplace: Marquis 46 Skyline 2 ZRB46NE gas direct vent
  • Plumbing: water saving toilets and faucets
  • Windows: vinyl triple glazed windows c/w double 366 low E
  • 12 inch Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) foundation walls at entire basement level
  • QuikTherm 2″ styrofoam wall system, c/w R14 batt insulation on the main floor
  • R-20 batted and R-50 blown in ceilings (total R-70), 2lb Urethane Spray at joist ends
  • Lighting – LED
  • Appliances: induction range, double ovens (clients can use the smaller oven the majority of the time and save power), 5 door fridge (allowing the client to access smaller cavities resulting in less temperature fluctuations due to cold air loss), heat pump dryer (brand new technology resulting in significant gains in efficiency. These dryers are also condensing units and do not require outside vent)
  • Energy Star rated hood fan with LED lighting and ultra-quiet blower
  • Energy efficient dishwasher
  • Energy management and climate control system by Honeywell
Wilden Living Lab Home of Today from image

Home of Today

Built using equipment and construction of a standard nature in 2017 in BC, in order to serve as a baseline comparison to the Home of Tomorrow.

This home was built to minimum code requirements in BC, Canada in 2017.

  • HVAC: 92 % efficient 60,000 btu natural gas furnace c/w single stage psc blower c/w 14.5 seer 3 ton AC.
  • Nu Air non dedicated HRV system.
  • Fireplace: heat & glo DV3732SBI direct vent gas fireplace
  • Plumbing: standard fixtures. 60 gal elect HWT.
  • Windows: vinyl double glazed windows c/w 180 low E.
  • Insulation: R-22 batt walls, R-40 blown in ceilings, 2 lb Sprayed joist ends.
  • Lighting: Incandescent
  • Appliances: Standard