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Homebuilders commit $4M to net-zero energy homes in five Canadian communities

July 31, 2013 - Over $4 million in funding and in-kind contributions from the ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) and the building industry will allow for the construction of at least 25 net-zero energy homes in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.


July 31, 2013
By Alyssa Dalton

EcoEII will be providing $1.96 million in funding for professional services required for the planning, design and construction of the houses. The remaining funds will come from Owens Corning Canada, builders and the building industry in the form of in-kind contributions.

These net-zero energy homes will strive to employ enhanced energy efficiency design strategies to cost effectively reduce energy needs, while supplementing with renewable energy technologies, with the result that the building consumes equal to or less energy than it produces on an annual basis, said Owens.

“We are very excited to be working with Natural Resources Canada and these leading-edge builders to demonstrate what is feasibly possible for the future of the housing industry using current technologies,” said Sal Ciarlo, Owen’s technical solutions architectural specifications and codes and standards manager.

The company is currently working with five homebuilders to test the feasibility of developing net-zero homes at the community scale: Mattamy Homes Ltd. (Alberta); Provident Development Inc. (Nova Scotia); Minto Communities (Ontario); Reid’s Heritage Homes (Ontario); and Construction Voyer (Quebec). To date in Canada, there have been very few demonstrations of net-zero energy housing on a community scale that are market-ready for production builder adoption, it said.

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“We know building net-zero homes is technically feasible by optimizing the envelope performance by using effective and durable Owens Corning products and systems. Our demonstration project on a community scale will increase the market readiness of these technologies, while at the same time lower the up-front cost for consumers,” said Andy Goyda, Owen’s market development manager.

“This program demonstrates our tangible support for energy projects that drive energy innovation,” added Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources.

Construction of the homes is expected to be completed by 2016.