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Canada's Greenest Housing Development
A ceremony today in Newmarket, Ontario marked the start of construction on Canada’s greenest low-rise development. The 34-unit development by Rodeo Fine Homes is one of only a few developments in North America to be built entirely to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) platinum specifications, which is now a world-wide sustainable building rating system.
Not a typical ground breaking, Rodeo Fine Homes - in partnership with the Town of Newmarket and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation - celebrated the occasion with a high jump bar raising ceremony to symbolize Rodeo’s leap to new heights in environmentally progressive housing. “We designed these homes for the green consumer, and we believe there is a strong market for homes that contribute to a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle,” said Vince Naccarato of Rodeo Fine Homes. “We’re raising the bar to meet this demand and to provide consumers with the best value.”
Each of the 34 Eco Logic homes will significantly reduce the environment impact or “footprint” of the homes, compared with conventional development. For example, the primary heating source will be renewable solar energy, with a small high efficiency tankless gas boiler serving as the secondary heating source. This is possible because the homes will be super insulated, with increased basement, wall, underslab and attic insulation.
Heat recovery systems will be installed to reclaim heat from drain water and ventilation exhaust. Rain water will be collected in an underground cistern and used to flush the ultra low flow toilets and irrigate the drought resistant landscaping. The homes will maximize the use of daylight, and have either compact florescent lighting that is 75% more efficient or LED lights that are 95% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
In addition to this environmentally sensitive design, Rodeo Fine Homes has put in place new building and material sourcing practices that will reduce construction waste by 65%, prevent soil erosion, leave about 25% of the lots untouched and naturally green, source local materials, use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood, and maximize the recycled content in all of the materials used. Additionally, the homes are designed to have superior indoor air quality using advanced air filtration, mechanical ventilation, and source reduction design.
The project is a unique collaboration with the Town of Newmarket and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Originally, the Town made it a condition of sale that these lots have homes that use at least 25% less fresh water, have 60% less discharge into the storm and sanitary sewers, produce 60% less greenhouse gas emissions, and use 60% less energy compared to conventional homes. Rodeo Fine Homes won the bid and will exceed all of these targets, as much as doubling the water conservation target.
“Newmarket has a long standing commitment to the environment, and has established a national reputation of being green. We are so pleased to have played a part in bringing Canada’s greenest community to Newmarket and know that there is a market for these homes in our community,” said Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen.
The LEED rating system has achieved a strong market share in commercial construction, but is just beginning to impact the single family low-rise market. “LEED provides a full environmental assessment of the home and the construction process and, to achieve the higher ratings like gold and platinum, there are very significant
changes to the building process and the design of the home that needed to happen,” explains Andrew Bowerbank, Executive Director of the World Green Building Council. “This is the future of home building, in that is the future more and more consumers want and it is the future we all need,” he added.
LEED has eligible points in six performance categories: Location and Linkages, Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality, and offers additional credits for Innovation and Leadership. On this scale, a typical new suburban home would get only 15 points, well below any of LEED’s four achievement levels: Certified at 45 points, Silver at 60 points, Gold at 75 points, and Platinum requires 90 points. Rodeo’s Eco Logic Homes are all designed to achieve at least 96 points on this scale and will achieve a platinum rating when they are finally assessed after completion.
Ontario’s Environment Commissioner, Gord Miller, was also on hand to praise the town and the builders for taking this bold step, and to challenge the rest of the building community to build to this level and to raise the bar even higher. “I want to commend all those home owners who have purchased energy efficient new homes or retrofitted their existing homes, but we need to think about more than just energy,” Miller said. “The residential sector is responsible for consuming 60% of the fresh water and upward of 30% of our annual forestry resources, so for all our benefit, we need to learn how to build and live in a more sustainable way.”
The Rodeo’s Eco Logic development, situated near nature trails and urban amenities, is just south of the new Magna Centre on Mulock Drive. Purchasers can choose from single story or two storey designs that range from 2200 to 3500 square feet on 40, 45, and 60 foot wide lots. While pricing is not finalized on the project, the homes will cost approximately 10% more than conventional homes. However, the increased mortgage payments will be off-set by the monthly energy cost savings, so the homes will remain quite price competitive.
Rodeo Homes is currently compiling a list of potentially interested home buyers to be the first to view the homes when they go on sale in the spring of 2008. To get your name on this preview list call 905-953-1435 or visit http://www.rodeofinehomes.com
Frank Mauro, of Rodeo Fine Homes, concluded by saying, “As home builders, we need to continually push the boundaries, and raise quality of the homes we build for the benefit of consumers and the environment.”
The Town of Newmarket is home to 78,000 residents and is located 30-minutes north of the City of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. The Town of Newmarket sold 34 Town-owned lots to Rodeo Fine Homes for the development of an environmentally-progressive subdivision in Newmarket. As a condition of the sale, Rodeo was required to meet specific environmental targets set out in the Town’s RFP. The Town of Newmarket is recognized nationally as municipal leader of environmental initiatives - click on the 2006/07 community report to learn more.
Rodeo Fine Homes is a Founding Sponsor and Participant in the Canada Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes Case Study Program. The case study’s mandate is to work with leading builders vet and inform the development and roll out of LEED-H in Canada. For more information on LEED see http://www.cagbc.ca.
LEED® is a world-wide sustainable building rating system that was developed and operated by the building community through the various Green Building Councils throughout the world. LEED’s mandate is to encourage and accelerate the global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. The Canada Green Building Council has set a target of influencing 1 million green homes by 2030.
LEED® for Homes (LEED-H) is a new label for the Canadian Housing market that assesses the environmental impact of the construction and the operation of a home. Everything from occupant health to how far material had to travel to get to the site is considered.
Existing Solar/Wind Street Lighting Projects:
To Install Solar/Wind Streetlights In Your City/Region Please
Green Buildings in Canada Overview and Summary of Case Studies Click Here Date: July 2006
LEED® Certified Projects in Canada (Ecluding Residential Projects Less then 600m2) - Complete Listing Date: June, 4, 2008
Environmental Strategic Plan for the Town of Oakville, Ontario Click Here for Complete Document
Retrofit Your Home and Qualify for a Grant! Click Here for Government Web Link
Thinking of ways to make your home more energy efficient? Here's what you can do to reduce your energy consumption and receive grants through ecoENERGY Retrofit.
Energy Audit and Retrofit Rebate Program. Click
Here for Government Web Link
McGuinty Government Gives Green Light to Renewable Energy Projects. Click Here for Government Web Link
Ten New Projects To Generate Enough Clean Energy To Power Over 100,000 Homes
QUEEN'S PARK ? The McGuinty government is increasing the supply of clean, renewable energy in Ontario by giving the go-ahead to ten projects that will provide enough power for over 100,000 homes, Energy Minister Dwight Duncan announced today.
ten new energy projects announced today will provide 395
megawatts of clean, renewable energy, which will reduce
our dependence on dirty coal-fired plants and enhance
air quality throughout the province," said Duncan.
"Early in the new year, we plan to move quickly to
add even more renewable energy to Ontario's generation
What Is Net Metering? Click Here to view complete document.
Ontario's net metering regulation allows you to send electricity generated from renewable sources to the electrical grid for a credit toward your energy costs.
Here's how it works. Your utility will subtract the value of electricity you suplly to the grid from the value of what you take from the grid. What you'll see on your bill is the "net" difference between those two amounts.
Net metering means you no longer need to purchase expensive batteries or a backup generator - or factor those costs into the price of installing renewable energy generation system.
you supply power that is worth more then what you take
from the grid over the billing period, you'll receive
a credit that can help lower future energy bills. The
more electricity you produce, the greater your savings.