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Official Opening of Avalon Discovery 3 EQuilibrium™ Demonstration House in Red Deer, Alberta

RED DEER, Alberta, September 05, 2008 — Today, the Government of Canada announced that the first energy-efficient and environmentally responsible house in Alberta, that was funded through the EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, the Avalon Discovery 3 House, will officially open on September 9, 2008.

The demonstration home was built in Red Deer, by Avalon Master Builder as part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC’s) EQuilibrium™ Initiative, which encourages builders and developers to build the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.

“The Government of Canada is proud to work with forward-looking private-sector partners to develop energy-efficient homes. We congratulate Avalon Master Builder on its demonstration home,” said Bob Mills, Member of Parliament for Red Deer, on behalf of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and Minister responsible for CMHC. “The Avalon Discovery 3 home gives people in this community an opportunity to see first-hand how we can create beautiful healthy homes, conserve energy and resources, and reduce pollutant emissions.”

EQuilibrium™ demonstration homes are designed to be healthy to live in, produce as much energy as they consume on an annual basis, and have very low environmental impact. To achieve this, the Avalon Discovery 3 House combines state of the art energy-efficient design and construction techniques with renewable energy production. For example, the house uses solar power to preheat air and water, reducing energy consumption.

"The Discovery 3 House is the culmination of five years work and we are very excited to have completed our first net zero energy home,” said Ryan Scott, CEO of Avalon Master Builder. “We continue to invest significant resources in exploring intelligent green home technology alternatives so that our customers can live in healthier, more comfortable homes that save money today and reduce their environmental footprint for the future.”

Avalon Master Builder’s vision is to build all of their homes as net zero energy homes by the year 2015 at no additional cost to the consumer. Avalon’s experience building energy efficient and environmentally sustainable housing has set the home builder apart and distinguishes it as a leader in sustainable building. Avalon was the first multi-family builder to be certified under the Alberta Built Green program introduced in 2002. Every home built by Avalon is a certified Built Green home. Many of the technologies introduced and tested in Avalon’s previous demonstration homes, Discovery 1 and 2, are now standard features in homes they build today.

The Avalon Discovery 3 House is one of 12 projects that won CMHC’s national EQuilibrium™ sustainable housing competition in 2007 and are now turning their design concepts into real homes. All EQuilibrium™ projects will be open for public and professional audiences for demonstration, and then monitored for performance by CMHC for one year, once occupied.

CMHC’s EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative provides a new approach to housing in Canada, representing 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.

CMHC has worked closely with many stakeholders to develop and deploy EQuilibrium™. In particular, CMHC has collaborated closely with Natural Resources Canada which has contributed substantial research and development expertise and resources to advancing the initiative.

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.

For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

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

Carol Mulley
Marketing Principal
Prairie and Territories Region
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Office: 403-515-2997
Cell: 403-585-9317