“Net-Zero homes no longer need to be one-off projects”

Anthony Capkun
September 30, 2014
By
(UPDATED Sept 30 with photo) September 29, 2014 - Reid’s Heritage Homes today hosted what it calls the first ground-breaking ceremony for a national Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes demonstration project.
The project involves five Canadian homebuilders constructing a total of 25 NZE homes, reports Reid’s, adding the project—which is funded in part by the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) with contributions from each participating builder, industry suppliers and Owens Corning Canada—will be active in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

“Reid’s Heritage Homes has accepted this exciting building challenge with the goal of advancing the awareness and science behind sustainable building practices, by determining optimal innovative systems that will work in the ultra-efficient Net Zero homes,” said Blake Seeberger, senior vice-president of residential, Reid’s.

PHOTO (left to right): Salvatore Ciarlo, technical services manager, Owens Corning Canada; Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes, dean of the College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph; Dr. Tony Vanelli, dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Science, University of Guelph; Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener-Conestoga (Ontario); Scott Reid, vice-president, Reid’s Heritage Homes; Karen Farbridge, mayor, City of Guelph; Tim Blevins, president, Reid’s Heritage Homes; Blake Seeberger, senior vice-president, Residential, Reid’s Heritage Homes; Andy Goyda, Canadian builder lead and market development manager, Owens Corning Canada. Photo courtesy Reid’s Heritage Homes.

NZE homes are designed to consume less energy than they generate onsite from renewable sources.

Present to mark the groundbreaking occasion was Harold Albrecht, MP for Kitchener (Conestoga, Ont.), on behalf of Greg Rickford, Canada’s minister of natural resources. He was joined at the podium by City of Guelph Mayor, Karen Farbridge, executives from Reid’s Heritage Homes and representatives from Owens Corning Canada and The University of Guelph.

“We remain committed to supporting companies that are finding solutions to protect the environment and lower energy bills for all Canadians,” said Albrecht.

A barrier to many current NZE homes, says Reid’s, are that they are custom-built projects, using elaborate designs, with complex and expensive heating, cooling and generating technology. “This project aims to make NZE homes accessible to more consumers than ever before, using existing, often off-the-shelf high-performance equipment, insulation and building materials”.

The project’s 25 homes, five from each builder, will increase the total number of NZE houses in Canada.

“Net-Zero homes no longer need to be one-off projects; they can be built by production builders. This groundbreaking is an important milestone in our quest to prove this,” said Andy Goyda, Canadian builder lead and marketing development manager for Owens Corning Canada.

Reid’s Heritage Homes expects all five homes to be fully constructed by 2016.

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