How LEEP works

NRCan’s LEEP is designed to reduce builder time and risk in finding and trying innovations for building higher performance homes better, faster and more affordably.  Builder groups use the LEEP process to work together to consider their opportunities and find innovations they believe are most feasible for the homes they build in their markets.  See below for an overview of LEEP’s streamlined approach,

OVERVIEW OF THE LEEP PROCESS:

Figure 1 –Step 1 – Builder planning workshop; Step 2 - Technology Forum; Step 3 - Field Trials, Step 4 – Technology publications resulting from builder experiences.

Figure 1 –Step 1 – Builder planning workshop; Step 2 - Technology Forum; Step 3 - Field Trials, Step 4 – Technology publications resulting from builder experiences.

 
  • Step 1: Builder Planning Workshop
    Figure 2 - Builders work together to compare new energy efficient technologies and select those that they believe are the most suitable in their region.

    Figure 2 - Builders work together to compare new energy efficient technologies and select those that they believe are the most suitable in their region.

     

    A group of leading builders compare dozens of new energy efficient technologies and select the 4-6 they believe are potentially most suitable for their region’s builders to explore more deeply. The builder group pools their expertise to define the deeper technical, cost, and supply questions that must be answered before decisions are made on use of the new technology.

    The builder planning group wraps up the day by deciding on the:  

    • 4-6 technologies that will become the focus for the upcoming LEEP Technology Forums where responses from competing manufacturers will be provided for builder questions such as:
      • Builder key challenges they anticipate for the use of each technology
      • specifications for detailed costing
      • supply, construction and post-construction support
    • Who they want to receive the information from.  This is how manufacturers and technical experts get selected and how their content requirements are defined for the upcoming Technology Forums.
  • Step 2: LEEP Technology Forum

    The LEEP Technology Forum responds to the Builder Planning group’s questions by bringing together the industry experts who have been requested by the builders.  It’s the venue where the hard questions posed by the builders are answered by the manufacturers who they want to hear from, and, in some cases, from additional technical experts.

    The Forum provides a time saving way for industry to analyze a focussed range of new energy efficient technologies in order to be able to move more confidently towards building higher performance homes better, faster, and more affordably. The LEEP Technology Forum is open to all the region’s builders and their trades.

    Figure 3 – The LEEP Technology Forum responds to the Builder Group’s requirements for their market.  It matches presentation content with builder interest, and provides opportunities for post-presentation Q&A’s with manufacturers and technical experts.

    Figure 3 – The LEEP Technology Forum responds to the Builder Group’s requirements for their market. It matches presentation content with builder interest, and provides opportunities for post-presentation Q&A’s with manufacturers and technical experts.

     

    Q. Who can attend the LEEP Technology Forums? 

    A. Builders, building officials, trades, design professionals, energy advisors, and students.

    Q. How you can register?

    A. Typically, registration is offered through the hosting HBA for a nominal cost to offset HBA event coordination.

    Q. Who will present? 

    A. Typically, builder-selected manufacturers present on builder selected topics. At times, additional technical experts may be invited.

    Q. What type of information is included in the Technology Forum's technical presentations? 

    A. The content varies as the requirement is established by the local builder group.  Past forums have included information on feasibility, installation best practices, costs, energy performance and marketability.  Typically they focus on a specific home building application.

    Figure 4- LEEP Technology Forum agenda for the Interior of British Columbia.

    Figure 4- LEEP Technology Forum agenda for the Interior of British Columbia.

    Q. How is information quality ensured? 

    A. NRCan ensures manufacturers cover the technical content requested by builders, and advance reviews presentations and provides technical feedback based on the builder request.  A final quality assurance review with NRCan and a local builder ensures content is in alignment with local market expectations.

    Q. Can I ask questions at the event? 

    A. Yes, there is always time built in for builder questions on every topic.

    Q. Where are LEEP Technology Forums held?  

    A. Locations are chosen by regional funding partners.  They are aligned with areas where there is strong HBA and builder interest.

    Q. Do you have any feedback from other builders who have attended the LEEP Technology Forums? 

    A. Yes.  Here is what a few have written to us:  “This …has opened my eyes to many new ways of getting more energy efficient.”

    Nick Braam, Keva Contracting Ltd.

    “Once again I’d like to say how informative the LEEP Forum was, probably the best seminar I’ve ever attended! Great job done by all who organized and presented.”

    Glenn Spence, 5200 Investments

    “I think the forum was a huge success and I can confidently say it was the most practical and educational event I’ve attended as a builder. Keep up the good work.”

    Mike Chatham, Chatham Homes

    You can see more feedback here.

    Q.  Which energy performance targets are addressed through the presentations?

    A.  Presenters provide solutions that can address the range of builder energy performance targets, starting from at least 20% better than code, and to higher levels requested by the  builders (in some case it may be up to Net Zero Energy).

    Q:  Where is LEEP available?

    A. LEEP is made available in markets where local partners agree to cost share in its delivery, and where local HBA logistical support is available.  Cost-sharing partners have included Provincial and Municipal Governments and Utilities.

    Q:  How can we arrange a LEEP delivery in our region?

    A. HBAs can contact nrcan.LEEP.rncan@canada.ca to explore LEEP delivery options. 

  • Step 3 - Field Trials
    Figure 5 - Examples of LEEP Field Trial homes in BC's lower mainland and Manitoba

    Figure 5 - Examples of LEEP Field Trial homes in BC's lower mainland and Manitoba

    Photo credits: left – Sonbuilt Custom Homes Ltd., centre – Qualico Homes, Right – Arlt Homes

     

    Builders can choose to build a higher performance home using some of the new technologies that they learned about through LEEP, and to share their experiences with the LEEP team to help the industry progress.  

    Examples of LEEP builder experiences can be found at www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/efficiency/housing/leep/case-studies/17346.