Nova Scotia homebuilder to build net-zero energy homes under federal ecoENERGY program
Ottawa is funding (to the tune of $4-million) the building of at least 25 net-zero energy homes in four provinces, with contributions from insulation giant Owens Corning Canada
By Steve Payne
Provident Development has been selected as one of five Canadian builders chosen to be part of a national initiative to develop net-zero homes. As a part of this project, Provident Development has agreed to plan and build a minimum of five net-zero energy homes by 2016.
Over $4 million in funding and in-kind contributions from the federal ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) and the building industry will allow for the construction of at least 25 net-zero energy homes in four provinces: Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. 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 uses 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.
Building homes with a focus on energy efficiency is not new to Provident Development. Beginning in 2009, Provident has worked on building homes to the specifications of the federal EnerGuide Program. Since 2010, Provident Development has been the recipient of the Annual Peak award (from the Nova Scotia Home Builders’ Association) for building the most EnerGuide homes in the province. Participation in the net-zero energy housing initiative is a natural extension of this work.
“We are excited about participating in this new initiative and furthering our efforts in acceptable consumer design and the use of cost-effective products and procedures,” says John Greenough, President, Provident Development. “We believe this is the future of the energy efficient housing industry and look forward to providing input to create net-zero housing that will be suitable for production building. This project will hopefully make it possible for more families to share in the benefits of net-zero energy homes.”
Owens Corning Canada is working with five homebuilders to test the feasibility of developing net-zero homes at the community level.
Technical design, planning and training processes are already in progress. Home construction is expected to begin this year. The location for Provident Development homes has not yet been determined.