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CMHC Now Accepting Expressions of Interest for the Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing* Initiative

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 15, 2006 — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is now accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from builder and developer teams to participate in the Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing initiative (NZEHH), a national residential design-build demonstration project.

The NZEHH initiative will build capacity for leading builders and developers across Canada to deliver affordable, energy- and resource-efficient housing that produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis.

"How communities are planned and how homes are built can affect our quality of life, through impacts on land use, energy use, resources and water conservation, and housing related pollution," said CMHC President Karen Kinsley.

"Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing will improve the energy and resource efficiency of Canadian housing, support renewable energy and sustainable communities, help Canadians reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and maintain a clean environment and healthy cities for generations to come."

Performance of these homes will be evaluated in five categories: health, energy, resources, environment and affordability. Builders and developers participating in the NZEHH initiative will establish themselves as environmental leaders in the marketplace, enabling them to access opportunities for business growth within Canada and internationally.

The initiative is supported by the Government of Canada to foster the residential building industry's capacity for long-term delivery of quality sustainable housing into communities in all regions of Canada.

Based on the goals and objectives of the NZEHH initiative, teams are invited to submit proposals. Up to twenty teams will be selected from these EOI responses to proceed with the detailed design development of their projects. Based on the quality of design projects submitted, six to twelve winning designs will be selected to advance to the construction and demonstration phase for NZEHH projects across Canada.

Successful demonstration teams will be recognized nationally as a competition winner, and receive a financial contribution between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on the incremental costs associated with the project. Teams will also receive technical, marketing, research and communications support.

The NZEHH Request for Expressions of Interest is available via CMHC's website at: The deadline for submitting an expression of interest is June 30, 2006.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada's national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information call
1 800 668-2642.

*Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing is a mark of CMHC.

For Media Inquiries:

Christine Choury
Chief, Media Relations
(613) 742-5344


The key reason for creating a national Net Zero Energy Healthy Housing (NZEHH) demonstration initiative is to advance new Canadian housing towards a net zero environmental impact goal.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) launched today is designed for builder and developer teams to apply to be part of the NZEHH demonstration initiative. Ultimately, the initiative aims to reduce energy use in the Canadian housing sector, to ensure quality housing with low energy household costs, and to contribute to a clean environment and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

NZEHH will also foster growth of the renewable energy and sustainable housing industries in Canada, and develop Canada's next generation of value-added exports for competitive international markets.

To be eligible, builder and developer-led teams must have housing expertise in the following areas:

Net zero energy healthy housing follows CMHC's five healthy housing principles: occupant comfort, energy efficiency, resource conservation, environmental impact, and affordability. It combines passive solar, energy efficient design, construction and appliances with commercially available renewable energy systems. The demonstration projects will involve the integration of renewable energy technologies such as photovoltaics, solar thermal, ground source heat etc.

Key stakeholders (Net Zero Energy Home Coalition, Canadian solar and renewable energy industries, developers, manufacturers, homebuilders, architects, engineers, integrated design experts, researchers and federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government departments) will contribute to the project's creation, development, and deployment. The initiative will include all housing types (single detached to multi-units) and ultimately address the existing housing stock.

Successful demonstration teams will be recognized nationally as a competition winner, and receive a financial contribution between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on the incremental costs associated with the project.