National net-zero energy home project underway

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reid Heritage Homes recently broke ground in Guelph, ON, on five net-zero energy (NZE) houses designed to generate as much energy as they consume annually.

A ceremony on Monday marked the beginning of a national project involving 25 homebuilders across Ontario, Alberta, Quebec and Nova Scotia, each constructing five NZE homes as part of the federal ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII).

The project, which aims to show consumers how accessible NZE homes can be, despite longstanding beliefs that such dwellings use pricey, custom-built, elaborate designs, complements the vision of the ecoEII—to reduce C02 emissions, eliminate pollutants and lower energy bills.

Homebuilders will use existing, high-performance equipment, insulation and building materials, along with contributions from Owens Corning Canada, a home-insulation producer, which will provide advanced air barrier systems to each team.

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

Reid Heritage Homes, the first homebuilder in Canada to construct a LEED platinum-level home, expects the houses to be completed by 2016, with a demonstration model open to the public.

‘We have taken on this challenge so that we can provide Canadians with homes that will improve their lives,” said Blake Seeberger, senior vice-president of residential at Reid’s Heritage Homes. “These homes will be healthy, safe, comfortable and durable, and will hedge against increasing energy costs.”