New level of energy efficient homes revealed in southwest Edmonton

EDMONTON- The way new homes are developed and constructed is ever evolving. Not only are home’s structures changing, the way they’re heated and powered is too.

New technology has allowed homes to become more and more energy efficient, and it’s reached the point where houses are actually producing as much energy as they’re consuming. These types of homes are called “net-zero” homes.

“Technology is wonderful, we need to embrace it,” said Curt Beyer, VP of Manufacturing Operations with Landmark Group of Builders.

Construction on Landmark’s new energy efficient townhouse community, which includes 14 net-zero energy homes, was revealed in southwest Edmonton Saturday afternoon.

Net zero energy homes use enhanced energy efficiency design strategies and renewable energy technologies to reduce energy needs. It results in a home that produces as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.

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“The net-zero homes, of course, produce their own energy, so you’re not going to have an electric bill,” Beyer explained.

The homes are all constructed in Landmark’s manufacturing facility in southwest Edmonton. It’s the first-of-its-kind facility in North America and produces three to four homes everyday.

“What we do here, it’s not modular building, we build components here,” Beyer explained. “We build components to exact specifications, take it out to site and erect it in roughly four to five hours. So you have a roof on it, windows in it, insulated and a lock on the door before you come home for dinner.”

Beyer says both the facility and the homes designed inside of it are energy efficient and sustainable.

“We take 6.2 carbon tonnes of emissions out of the process just in the framing portion. That may not sound like much, but if every house was built this way, we’d make Kyoto look like it’s standing still.

“We use polyurethane spray foam insulation, so whatever that touches it’s there for life, it sticks to it and it’s very solid. Fibre glass insulation … loses R-value after minus 20 (degrees celsius). So you know how many minus 20 days we have in Alberta right? So that’s a big component of the net zero home is the polyurethane.”

The townhouse community, located at 7804 May Link NW, is currently under construction and is expected to be completed this summer. The townhomes aren’t on sale yet, but Landmark estimates they’ll cost in the mid $400, 000s.

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Landmark is working toward main stream adoption of net zero homes and has a goal to build all of its homes net zero by 2015.

With files from Shannon Greer, Global News. 

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