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Developer Breaks Ground on First EQuilibrium Demonstration House in Ontario

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 03, 2007 — The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced the groundbreaking of an EQuilibrium demonstration home today.

Inspiration — The Minto EcoHome will be built in Manotick, Ontario as part of CMHC’s EQuilibrium sustainable housing initiative.

“Canada’s New Government is proud to partner with the private sector to develop energy-efficient homes and congratulates Minto Developments on the start of their construction,” said Minister Solberg. “EQuilibrium aims to reduce the impact of housing on the environment by conserving energy and other resources, and reducing pollutant emissions. These houses will be healthy to live in, will be designed to produce as much energy as they consume on an annual basis, and will be a blueprint for the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.”

Inspiration — The Minto EcoHome features a building envelope with a high level of insulation, and strategically located triple-pane windows. A solar ventilation system will maintain humidity and temperature levels, and will ensure that each room is comfortable at all times. The house is designed to draw on solar thermal and photovoltaic energy sources to produce as much energy as it consumes each year. In addition, the house includes many innovations, including an “all-off” switch that home owners can use whenever they leave the house to turn off not only the lights, but all computers, cable boxes, amplifiers and other sources of unnecessary energy consumption.

“This is the latest example of Minto’s commitment to the environment and sustainability,” said Andrew Pride, Minto’s Vice President responsible for Minto’s energy and environment initiatives. Minto has been involved in energy-efficient design since the early 1970’s and continued in the 1990’s with the Innova House, a demonstration home built by Minto under Natural Resources Canada’s Advanced House program. “Minto’s commitment to build energy-efficient homes and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)-rated high-rise condominiums and commercial buildings resonates throughout the organization. We have developed an internal culture that will reduce our impact on the environment. Inspiration – the Minto EcoHome will pave the way for changes in today’s standard construction practices toward a healthier environment for future generations.”

CMHC’s EQuilibrium housing initiative demonstrates a new approach to housing in Canada. It brings together the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource and water conservation, and reduced environmental impact under one roof.

The 12 project teams who won CMHC’s national EQuilibrium competition earlier this year are now turning their design concepts into real homes. Each EQuilibrium team will receive $60,000 from CMHC to offset eligible costs, including those related to documenting the projects, testing, and demonstrating the homes publicly.

In addition, CMHC will work with the winning teams to provide technical and promotional support, including market research. CMHC will also support performance monitoring of the EQuilibrium homes under actual living conditions. The demonstration homes will be open to Canadians to view by 2008, after which CMHC will explore opportunities to advance EQuilibrium housing principles more broadly across the housing industry.

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

Contact:

Lesley Harmer
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg
Minister of Human Resources and
Social Development
819-994-2482

Andrew Pride
Vice President
Minto Energy Management
416-596-3445
apride@minto.com

Beth Bailey
Consultant
Communications and Marketing
CMHC
416-218-3355

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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