Home construction is an innovative industry with annual improvements in products and applications.

For example, seven years ago Energuide80 homes were a challenge in terms of affordability.

Today, Built Green builders are able to build these energy efficient homes affordably. This was accomplished in the marketplace, without govt intervention.

Technology offers solutions to housing challenges while govt is stuck in old and costly ways of thinking.

For example, while regulators advocate mandatory fire sprinklers in new homes, costing thousands of dollars, a new product suppresses flames for only $249 per unit.

According to the supplier, the Haven is easily installed in the ceiling, the powder is non-toxic, and consumers and insurance companies don’t have to deal with water damage.

On the energy front, research on solar-collecting paint has been in the news for several years.

Tesla has developed solar roof shingles with a “Powerwall” battery. The product is far more appealing than old style panels.

Batteries are improving significantly. Researchers at the University of Texas report a breakthrough claiming to store sufficient renewable energy to power homes.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates believes technology will provide the solutions to energy storage and Climate Change and so established the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to fund the advances.

As a result of all of this technical innovation, the BC govt’s super-insulated Step Code homes may become costly irrelevancies in the not-too-distant future.

Like continuing to pay for an expensive fax machine in today’s smartphone world.

Particularly if the sun becomes an unlimited source of energy for our homes, collected by solar paint and shingles, stored in a battery.

Today, a reasonably energy efficient and affordable Built Green home offers the best bang for the buck in our fast-changing world.

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This column appears Wednesdays in the Times Colonist.