Green Building: The Next Generation
Net Zero Energy B.C. Home Super Sustainable
Daylight floods the home’s interior spaces with natural light, showcasing the beauty of the wood floors, staircase and amazing feature wall made of reclaimed Western Hemlock lumber.
The new B.C. home is appealing and attractive – in more ways than one. It has a flexible design that enables three complementary functions: providing two housing units (a first and second floor unit and the basement suite) and ensuring the capability for an in-home office.
With two storeys, 4,714 square feet of space and an attached garage, the brand-new home is a winner. But it’s not for sale.
This is the Harmony House EQuilibrium project, a winning entry in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Development Initiative, meant to prompt green, sustainable homebuilding throughout Canada.
Led by Chris Mattock of Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and built by Insightful Healthy Homes Inc., the Net Zero Energy home was built with sustainability, the environment and energy efficiency in mind; it is a Net Zero Energy home.
“The idea of a Net Zero Energy home is that, on an annual basis, the house produces as much energy as it uses from clean, renewable, on-site energy,” Mattock says.
Other sustainable features that enable Mattock and the Harmony House team to say it is built to the “next generation green building standards” include low-toxicity interior finishes, materials with recycled content, foam insulations using non-ozone depleting expanding agents, water conservation and rain water harvesting.
A healthy home
These measures will lower the home’s environmental impact, conserve resources and create a healthy indoor environment for the occupant, Mattock says.
Finished in December, Harmony House is the only EQuilibrium home to be constructed on the West Coast and will be the first building in British Columbia that will be a zero carbon building, meaning it will emit no greenhouse gases from heating, cooling, hot water and the use of electrical appliances, Mattock says.
He also notes that many of the products, technologies and processes used in Harmony House can be individually incorporated into most new-home construction and renovations resulting in a reduced carbon footprint.
Aside from rooftop solar panels, the band-new home doesn’t look all that different compared to new, non-Net Zero homes.
Thousands toured the home before the homeowners moved in on Feb. 1, Mattock says.
So far, they love the energy efficient home.
“They say it’s the most comfortable, evenly heated house,” says Mattock.
“Their allergies have gone away and they love the day lighting.”
Much of that is due to the products supplied by the many people involved with building Harmony House, says Mattock.
Read the full story in the BC Homes print edition.