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Harmony House EQuilibrium™ Demonstration Project Starts Construction in Burnaby

BURNABY, British Columbia, August 04, 2009 — The Government of Canada today marked the start of construction of the Harmony House demonstration project, an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly home to be built in Burnaby.

The home will be designed by Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and constructed by Insightful Healthy Homes Inc. as part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC’s) EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, which encourages designers, builders and developers to design and build the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.

Senator Yonah Martin, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for CMHC, was joined today by Chris Mattock, President, Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and Arthur Lo, President, Insightful Healthy Homes Inc., along with sponsors and supporters in the ground-breaking of one of two EQuilibrium™ demonstration homes to be constructed in British Columbia.

“The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the private sector to develop such innovative homes. We congratulate Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and Insightful Healthy Homes Inc. on their winning design/concept and commitment to environmental responsibility,” said Senator Martin. “Harmony House is another example in British Columbia of how beautiful and healthy homes can also conserve energy and resources, and reduce pollutant emissions.”

The Harmony House team will integrate optimal solar orientation, energy efficiency and renewable energy systems into the design and construction of the home, in addition to using natural materials with low levels of pollutants. Photovoltaic panels will supply all the electrical energy needs of the home on an annual basis. Excess electrical energy produced during the day will be fed into the power grid. A “green switch” will turn off all unnecessary circuits at night and when the occupants are out. To reduce water use, landscaping will incorporate indigenous plants which will be irrigated with captured rainwater.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with CMHC and are extremely excited about how this project has come together,” said Mr. Lo. “Thanks to our dedicated team of experts and materials suppliers in fields such as solar energy, ventilation and indoor air quality, we are showcasing not just leading-edge design and construction, but what we believe is the future of healthy living.”

”Having the owners on board from the design stage has really helped shape this project,” said Mr. Mattock. “We have designed a live/work space for increased density living that will enable the owners to operate a complementary health care practice from a separate office space, cutting down on commuting and energy costs.”

Harmony House is one of 15 projects that have won CMHC’s national EQuilibrium™ sustainable housing competitions since the initiative was launched in 2006. All EQuilibrium™ projects will be open to both the general public and professional audiences for tours, 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 environmental concerns. 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, healthy communities and cities across the country. For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.

Media inquiries:

Michelle Bakos
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Diane Finley
Tel: 819-994-2482
Jeanette Wilkinson
Senior Consultant
Marketing & Communications
CMHC, British Columbia
Tel: 604-737-4025
Cell: 604-209-5618

News source: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)


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