Kelowna Gets Eight Super-Efficient Homes

Kelowna Gets Eight Super-Efficient Homes

Eight of the most efficient homes ever built are nearing completion in Kelowna, B.C.

Eight houses that implement what the largest investor owned distribution utility in Canada claims are some of the most advanced standards of energy efficiency ever achieved are near completion in Kelowna, British Columbia.

In a statement earlier this week, Fortis BC, a subsidiary of Newfoundland based Fortis Inc., says the homes on the Penticton Indian Band reserve are super-efficient and make use of passive solar design, superior envelope construction and high-efficiency appliances.

The homes have been funded under the Super Efficient New Construction (SENC) program, a $1 million initiative of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and co-managed by FortisBC.

Facing south to absorb solar heat and using cross-ventilation and shading to provide cooling, the houses are designed to maximise natural passive energy use while increased insulation and air-sealing will help minimise power consumption.

Other features and technologies include air source heat pumps, heat recovery ventilators, LED lighting and, in one of the homes, a rooftop solar system.

Six of the homes have been built to EnerGuide 88 efficiency standards and one is LEED Certified. A final home, when complete, will be built to the European Passivhaus certification standard – the most stringent energy efficiency rating in the world and one that requires 80 to 90 per cent less energy consumption than standard homes.

Sustainable Margarido House Design

Image Credit: Modern Residential Design

Upon completion, the homes will be occupied by members of the Penticton Indian Band, one of seven communities of the Okanagan Nation, a First Nations group whose traditional territory spans the US-Canada border in British Columbia and Washington State.

Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff said the province was pleased to fund projects such as this, and that such developments benefited not only Penticton Indian Band Members and the environment but also served to demonstrate what could be achieved elsewhere.

Fortis BC vice president of energy solutions and external relations Doug Stout agreed, adding that homes using advanced techniques in sustainable design and construction demonstrate how a mix of natural gas and electricity can form part of an energy efficient home.

Apart from Kelowna, five other projects funded under the SENC program are underway in communities such as Dawson Creek, Nelson, Vancouver and Victoria.

By Andrew Heaton
Top Image Source: Bernhardt Passive Home
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