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 four provinces. 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 to fund the construction of the homes. The idea of a Net Zero Energy (NZE) home is that it employs 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.
Project funding allows for the focus on affordability and market acceptability of NZE housing while moving away from one-off research and development projects.
Owens Corning Canada is working with five homebuilders to test the feasibility of developing net-zero homes at the community scale. The five builders are: Construction Voyer (Laval, Quebec); Mattamy Homes Limited (Calgary, Alberta); Minto Communities (Ottawa, Ontario); Provident Development Inc. (Halifax, Nova Scotia); and Reid’s Heritage Homes (Guelph, Ontario).
This project will address the challenges of NZE in a production housing context. To date in Canada, there have been very few demonstrations of NZE housing on a community scale that are market-ready for production builder adoption.
“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, Technical Solutions Architectural Specifications and Codes and Standards Manager at Owens Corning Canada. “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, Market Development Manager at Owens Corning Canada.
“Through the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative, our Government is investing in innovative clean energy technologies that create jobs, generate new economic opportunities and protect the environment,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “This program demonstrates our tangible support for energy projects that drive energy innovation.”
Technical design, planning and training processes are already in progress. Construction of the homes are expected to be completed by 2016.