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Official Opening of Alouette Homes’ ÉcoTerra™ House — A CMHC EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Home

EASTMAN, Quebec, November 09, 2007 — The Government of Canada today welcomed a significant step forward in energy-efficient and environmentally responsible housing with the official opening of the ÉcoTerra™ house. The project was built by Alouette Homes and is located in Eastman, Québec.

“The Government of Canada is proud to work with forward-looking private-sector partners to develop energy-efficient homes, and congratulates Alouette Homes on the successful completion of this project,” said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Secretary of State, who attended the opening on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and Minister responsible for CMHC. “Alouette’s ÉcoTerra™ house gives people in this community an opportunity to see first-hand how we can conserve energy and other resources, and ultimately reduce pollutant emissions.”

This project is part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC’s) EQuilibrium sustainable housing demonstration initiative, which encourages builders and developers to build healthy housing for a healthy environment.

EQuilibrium demonstration homes are designed to be healthy to live in and to produce as much energy as they consume on an annual basis. These homes will be a blueprint for the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.

The ÉcoTerra™ project uses renewable energy techniques and technologies to create a single family home that is energy-efficient to operate. Situated in a new rural development in Eastman, Quebec, the project features include pre-engineered modular construction, advanced air sealing, passive solar heating, heat recovery and renewable energy systems, and geothermal space conditioning.

“Even for a company already at the forefront of delivering innovative housing to Canadians and beyond, involvement in this initiative has been especially rewarding and exciting. Alouette Homes managed to assemble an exceptionally talented and motivated design team to whom we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. We look forward to sharing our findings with other Canadian homebuilders, homebuyers and the public,” said Bradley Berneche, President of Alouette Homes.

CMHC’s EQuilibrium initiative demonstrates a new approach to housing in Canada, and represents a fundamental change in the way Canadians think about their homes. It strives to balance our housing needs with those of the environment. 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.

The ÉcoTerra™ house is one of 12 project teams that won the opportunity to participate in CMHC’s national EQuilibrium competition earlier this year and whose members are now turning their design concepts into real homes. CMHC will support the monitoring of the EQuilibrium homes’ performance for one year, once occupied.

Alouette’s ÉcoTerra™ demonstration home is now open to Canadians to view and will remain open into 2008. During this time, CMHC will explore opportunities to advance EQuilibrium housing principles more broadly across the housing industry. More information regarding opening hours for a tour of this demonstration home will be available at www.alouettehomes.com.

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.

For further information, please contact:

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

Lise Hamilton
Consultant
Communications and Marketing
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Quebec Business Centre
514-283-3151

Bradley Berneche
President
Alouette Homes
450-539-3100

Mario Lamarche
General Manager
Alouette Homes
450-539-3100