Canada's CMHC has announced one of the winners of the EQuilibrium sustainable housing competition to develop a zero energy house design: Abondance Montréal, a consortium including some of the most experienced developers and architects of low energy housing. We think it a good choice:
-it is a triplex built in the traditional Montreal walk-up form. (We have never understood why a City with so much snow loves these big exterior staircases but they do);
-Energy is generated through the use of geoexchange, solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar hot water technologies. (It is cold in Montreal, but they have designed it to produce as much energy as it consumes.) The building uses the latest in energy efficient building design, while ensuring that components are all readily available from local suppliers.
-More than just energy efficient, the homes will also be water and material efficient, and be finished using only healthy, ecological materials.
From the press release:
One unit of the housing project will be used as a demonstration suite for a year after construction, allowing the public, members of the construction industry, and the media to visit the building and learn more about sustainable, energy efficient design. Another 18 EcoCondos™ that will be ‘zero energy ready’ will be built on the same site, starting fall 2007
Construction on the triplex will start this spring, and the building will be complete and ready for occupancy and demonstration this fall.
* A three storey building that consists of three 2-bedroom EcoCondos™ of 77 m2 (828 sq. ft.)
* Produces as much energy as it consumes. Energy produced through geoexchange, a solar hot water system and 84 photovoltaic panels, which form an shade canopy on the rooftop terrace.
* Superior interior air quality and humidity control.
* Superior envelope and structural design for better thermal and acoustic comfort
* Finished using exclusively healthy and ecological products.
* Total monthly cost of $1219 for all mortgage and energy costs.