Saturday, November 10, 2012

Net Zero Adds Up For Homebuilder

Here's an article pertaining to Holmes Approved Homes and Avalon Master Builder, whom according to the article, reposted from the Calgary Herald, will be the most likely candidate to build the up and coming Wind Walk community.

Net zero adds up for homebuilder

 By Claire Young, Calgary HeraldNovember 9, 2012

 From left, TV celebrity renovator Mike Holmes of the Holmes Approved Homes program talks with Chris Williams and Ryan Scott of Avalon Master Builder during a visit to the company's Discovery 5 home in 2010. Avalon Master Builder is a member of the program and Williams and his wife are currently living in the house (click on the photo for our 11-picture tour).

Photograph by: Calgary Herald, Files

The Discovery 5 is Avalon Master Builder’s fifth green research home and third completely net-zero home.
These houses are designed to produce as much energy as they consume in a year from the traditional electrical grid.
About seven years ago, Avalon set its vision to work toward building only net-zero homes with no extra cost to the homebuyers.
Discovery 1, 2 and 3 were built in Red Deer. The first home was an R-2000 home, which is a voluntary federal standard for energy efficiency and environmental responsibility in home construction.
Discovery 2 was a net-zero electricity house that used solar photovoltaic and solar thermal panels and added more insulation.
The next house in the series, Discovery 3, featured much more insulation. A standard house has insulation at a value of R-20, while in Discovery 3, the walls were insulated to R-60 and the ceiling to R-100.
Discovery 4 and 5 were built at SAIT, then moved to their permanent locations in McKenzie Towne and Altadore, respectively.
In Discovery 4, Avalon took a standard home that it was already selling and looked at fitting environmental technology into that plan.
“It’s got to work in a normal community,” says Ryan Scott, CEO and president of Avalon Master Builder.
“The neighbours have got to like it. It can’t be something weird. That became the goal for Discovery 4: trying to put all this stuff on it, but now make it look normal.”
Discovery 5 represents an unusual opportunity that presented itself.
General manager Chris Williams of Avalon Master Builder was looking to construct an infill on family land that once was the location of his grandfather’s house in Altadore.
The Discovery 5 is a Holmes Approved Home, which is a program under the wing of celebrity TV renovator Mike Holmes as part of the Holmes Group. Constructing the Discovery 5 under this program meant things such as changing the walls and using more spray foam.
The house has a complex system for recycling rainwater and it is testing a new heating system.
It involves a combination of slab in-floor heating on the main and basement floors, with electric baseboard heating on the second level.
Looking forward, Avalon Master Builder is seeking the right owner to partner on Discovery 6, along with SAIT and the Holmes Group. “The right person is somebody who’s interested in what we’re doing, has the same vision for the home that we do and really is passionate about the same things we are,” says Scott.
Avalon Master Builder will likely build the house in Wind Walk, a proposed community by Holmes near Okotoks.
For more information, visit, or see a description of the Discovery 3 home at CMHC's website.

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