April 5, 2016 - Some of Canada’s Net Zero Energy (NZE) homebuilders gathered recently in Ottawa to celebrate and accept awards for their contribution to what is being hailed as the largest Canadian NZE housing demonstration project.
By Renée Francoeur
A total of 26 homes were built in four provinces as part of the NZE Housing Demonstration initiative with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and Owens Corning Canada.
The five builders are: Construction Voyer (Laval, Que.); Mattamy Homes (Calgary, Alta.), Minto Communities (Ottawa, Ont.); Provident Developments (Halifax, N. S.); and Reid’s Heritage Homes (Guelph, Ont.).
“With support from NRCan’s ecoEnergy Innovation Initiative (ecoEII), five home builders and suppliers, we have proven that NZE housing can be built using existing technology, at prices that are accessible to the average homebuyer,” stated Salvatore Ciarlo, technical services manager with Owens Corning Canada. “Building entire net zero communities is a viable, short-term goal—one that we are much closer to as a result of this project’s success.”
Measured over a year, a NZE home can potentially produce as much energy as the home consumes, NRCan says.
“A net-zero energy home loves you back,” explained Kevin Lee, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA). “It shelters you from rising utility costs, it delivers exceptional comfort, it works better, and it lasts.”
Working with NRCan and the CHBA, the outcomes of the home designs and the learnings from the five builders will be shared and disseminated to the industry.
All the NZE homes will eventually be sold to the public, according to NRCan. Beyond this project, these builders will offer NZE-ready homes as a standard or an upgrade on a production scale for their next subdivisions. NRCan adds that preliminary simulations show that these NZE-ready homes have a 70% reduction in energy costs compared to comparable houses built to code. Solar panels to make them full NZE will be offered as an option.
For a profile of each net-zero Energy community and more information about the project visit www.zeroenergy.ca.