November 19, 2007

EcoTerra house officially opened as model for sustainable homebuilding

EASTMAN, QUE-The official opening of the EcoTerra(TM) house on November 9 marks an important step in the development of energy-efficient, environmentally sustainable housing in Canada. The project, built in Eastman, Quebec by Alouette Homes, is part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's EQuilibrium initiative. The EcoTerra single-family home incorporates renewable energy techniques and technologies and other environmentally friendly features such as pre-engineered modular construction, advanced air sealing, passive solar heating, heat recovery and renewable energy systems, and geothermal space conditioning. Through a series of sustainable housing demonstration projects, CMHC's EQuilibrium initiative encourages builders and developers to build healthy housing for a healthy environment. In seeking a balance between housing needs and environmental sustainability, it brings together, under one roof, the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource and water conservation, and reduced environmental impact and pollutant emissions. Earlier this year, 12 project teams won the national EQuilibrium competition, including the Alouette design team. These teams are now turning their design concepts into real, functioning homes, which will serve as a blueprint for the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada. Once occupied, their performance will be monitored for one year, supported by CMHC.

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