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Quebec’s Le Belvédère targets Passive House certification

January 10, 2013 - Le Belvédère special events centre in Wakefield, Que., is targeting Passive House certification—and once certified, it would be the largest certified Passive House in North America, it claims. The Certified Passive House consultant on this project is Homesol, an energy design company and energy evaluator.


January 10, 2013
By Alyssa Dalton

The Passive House design boasts the world’s highest energy standard for residential and commercial construction, saying it delivers energy cost reductions of up to 90% with construction costs that are usually no more than 10% higher than conventional building.

With an interior volume of 150,000 cf., the event facility’s annual electric heating bill is expected to be less than $600.

“For about 10% more in building costs, I’ll recoup my money in 10 to 12 years. If energy prices go up, my return on investment is quicker. On this project everything was negotiable, except Passive House certification,” said Brian Fewster, owner of Le Belvédère.

Homesol president Ross Elliott, said he is working to provoke building industry policy makers across North America to aim higher, like Le Belvédère, for achievable cold-climate efficiency. Le Belvédère achieved a Canadian standard EnerGuide Rating of 95, which is approximately 90% better than current Canadian standard building code, he added.

“Le Belvédère is located about a half-hour outside Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, which features winter temperatures colder than Moscow, Russia. And yet we’re very confident we’re going to meet or exceed the Passive House standard,” he said. “I challenge CHBA [Canadian Home Builders’ Association] and any other North American homebuilder’s association to tell its members why we’re still building houses to lowest common denominator standards while ecosystems are being decimated, wars are being fought and lives lost over energy security.”

Le Belvédère has the following energy-saving features:
• R100 cellulose attic insulation
• 18-in. thick R71 walls
• European Passive House triple glazed wood windows
• Cold weather Mitsubishi air source heat pump for heating and cooling
• Less than 0.5 ACH50 air-tightness
• Custom built 2,200 cfm enthalpy recovery ventilator (ERV) with 90%+ heat recovery
• Recovered heat from cooling systems recycled for hot water
• LED lighting