The Zero House project was a showcase of innovative design, materials, and cordless technology
October 10, 2017 by John Bleasby
As building techniques evolve around the world towards a Net Zero Energy future, more and more expositions around the world are becoming showcases for design, construction and product innovation that are shaping a more sustainable world. As an example, at the recent Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology (EDIT) held in Toronto from September 28 to October 8, over 100,000 visitors experienced a diverse array of exhibits and lectures across the City pointing specifically towards that future.
To learn more about EDIT, CLICK HERE
Zero House; a showcase for innovative materials and tools
Innovation leading toward a NZE future is by no means restricted to building materials alone. Power tool giant DeWalt saw EDIT as way to highlight their cordless job site innovations. Specifically, the company wished to demonstrate the role their FlexVolt battery technology plays in this evolution, using the Zero House project as a striking example. Built in collaboration between the Endeavor Centre based in Peterborough, ON and Ryerson University in Toronto, Zero House is a pre-fabricated 1,000 square foot, two story NZE home constructed exclusively with DeWalt’s FlexVolt tools this past summer at the Centre’s campus, then reassembled at EDIT in Toronto last month.
To learn more about the Endeavor Centre, CLICK HERE
DeWalt partners with trade schools across Canada
“We partner with a number of trade schools,” Stanley Black & Decker Product Manager Debby Batalha told Canadian Contractor. “That’s why you’ll see us in partnership with Skills Canada, and the development and growth of trades training. We want to see DeWalt tools used as students work through their training and apprenticeships.”
The Endeavor Centre is notable for offering fulltime training courses for men and women in high-performance building using natural and low-carbon building materials. That makes the relationship between DeWalt and the Endeavor Centre particularly unique, one that reflects Stanley Black & Decker’s objective to help develop tradespeople skilled in sustainable, energy-efficient construction processes.
The Zero House opportunity
The Zero House project gave both the Endeavor Centre and DeWalt an opportunity to put their respective energy-efficient, sustainable philosophies in front of thousands of EDIT attendees. Zero House claims to consume no more electricity than it produces in a year using no fossil fuels, all at “a realistic market cost.” It features a number of innovative building materials including wood, straw, mycelium, and recycled paper, an active ventilation system that provides high indoor air quality for the occupants and solar modules that are a part of the standing seam metal roof on the south side of the building — not an add-on PV array fastened over or onto the building. (After EDIT, the house will be reassembled yet again, this time in Collingwood ON, and occupied full-time by the final owners.)
To learn more about the Zero House, CLICK HERE
The Eco-Smart construction site
Linking DeWalt’s FlexVolt cordless technology with the Endeavor Centre’s training programs in sustainable construction techniques makes perfect sense for Batalha . “As a company, it demonstrates how we are making a shift into products made from materials that are more sustainable and which will over time have less impact on the environment. It helps develop an Eco-Smart construction industry,” she said.
On the construction site itself, DeWalt’s FlexVolt technology demonstrates the additional advantages of cordless tools in the construction process. Obviously there is the elimination of gas emissions and fatigue-inducing noise from generators, but Batalha suggests there is more. “DeWalt’s brushless motors allow users to use the tools longer with the freedom of being cordless,” she points out. “The 40 volt and 60 volt FlexVolt batteries are dual voltage and are backwards compatible with our 20 volt MAX line. Therefore, users can use those batteries on their existing 20 volt MAX tools and get up to four times the run time. As a result, we’re giving users the ability to use less energy on their construction sites, allowing their tools to run longer.” To make the point even clearer, Batalha says that the entire Zero House display at EDIT and the building itself was, in fact, powered by DeWalt FlexVolt batteries in conjunction with the DeWalt Charging Station.
Committed to the future
Going forward, DeWalt has committed to being the Endeavor Centre’s exclusive tool provider. A very comprehensive range of over a dozen hand and stationary FlexVolt tools has already been supplied to the Peterborough campus. “Going forward, we will top them up with anything that they need,” says Batalha .