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Minister Solberg Announces Expansion of CMHC’s Equilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative

SAINT JOHN, New Brunswick, March 19, 2008 — The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today called for builder and developer teams in British Columbia, the Atlantic Region, and the North to design and build or renovate eco-friendly homes as part of the second phase of CMHC’s EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. The latest phase of this innovative national project, launched with a Request for Proposals (RFP), will lead to the construction of the next generation of sustainable homes in those regions of the country which do not already have EQuilibrium projects underway.

“We are pleased to be extending the EQuilibrium initiative to British Columbia, the Far North — and right across Atlantic Canada, “said Minister Solberg. “This second phase of a very popular movement to green Canada’s homes means that more Canadians can learn how to build and renovate homes that balance our housing needs with those of the environment.”

The EQuilibrium housing vision brings together under one roof the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency (including renewable energy production), resource conservation, reduced environmental impact and affordability. CMHC originally launched the EQuilibrium initiative in May 2006 by inviting Canada’s builders and developers to submit their visions for EQuilibrium demonstration homes. One project has since been completed and opened to the public for viewing and six others are currently under construction. These homes are located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

The RFP is available via the MERX website at www.merx.com and may be searched using file number 0981-305-1. The deadline for responding to the RFP is July 14, 2008. For more information on EQuilibrium and the current demonstration homes, visit www.cmhc.ca and type search keyword: EQuilibrium or call 1-800-668-2642.

As Canada’s national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally sustainable, and affordable homes — homes that will continue to create vibrant and healthy communities and cities across the country.

Media inquiries:

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

Kristen Scheel
Media Relations
CMHC
Tel.: 613-748-4632
Cell: 613-513-6546
kscheel@cmhc.ca

Julie Girard
Media Relations
CMHC
Tel.: 613-748-4684
jagirard@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Backgrounder

CMHC Equilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative

EQuilibrium is a national housing initiative, led by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), which brings the private and public sectors together to develop homes, and eventually communities that address occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency and renewable energy production, resource conservation, reduced environmental impact and affordability. It offers builders and developers across the country a powerful new approach to meet the growing demand for environmentally-friendly housing and to establish a reputation for building sustainable homes that will meet the needs of Canadians now and well into the future.

In May of 2006, CMHC invited Canada’s builders and developers to submit their ideas for EQuilibrium demonstration homes. A total of 72 builder- and developer-led teams submitted proposals. In the end, 12 teams were selected by an evaluation committee of independent housing experts to build EQuilibrium demonstration homes. Six of these are currently at the construction stage and one is complete and open for public tours. For more information on the demonstration homes, visit www.cmhc.ca and type search keyword: EQuilibrium.

An EQuilibrium home is a highly energy-efficient, low environmental impact house that provides healthy indoor living for its occupants, and produces as much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis.

The objectives of the EQuilibrium initiative are the following:

  • To reduce the energy and resource intensity of the Canadian housing sector
  • To ensure quality, healthy housing that mitigates household energy costs
  • To contribute to a clean environment and reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • To foster growth of the renewable energy and sustainable housing industries in Canada
  • To develop Canada’s next generation of value-added exports for competitive international markets

To examine their performance under different climatic conditions, EQuilibrium demonstration projects are expected to be built in each of Canada’s major regions. The first request for proposals yielded successful projects in the Prairie region, Ontario and Quebec. A second call for proposals, in 2008, will select potential projects in British Columbia, Atlantic region (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island) as well as the North (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Labrador). As with the first EQuilibrium competition, winning teams will be invited to demonstrate their EQuilibrium housing projects, which will be performance monitored by CMHC.

The Request for Proposal documentation is now posted on MERX. Visit www.merx.com to get the complete RFP package using our file number 0981-305-1.

For more information on the EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, visit www.cmhc.ca.

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

 

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