Posts filed under ‘Housing’

Ottawa Salus, city’s new affordable housing complex, boasts top efficiency rating

Lisa Ker, executive director of Ottawa Salus, expects tenants to move into the charity's latest supportive housing complex next weekend.

How would you like to pay $28 to heat your apartment – for the entire year?

That’s exactly what Ottawa Salus hopes to offer when it opens its new 42-unit affordable housing building this week.

The four-storey supportive housing complex on Clementine Boulevard near Billings Bridge will serve adults with severe mental illness, but it’s also designed to support ambitious environmental and cost-saving goals through a passive house design never before used for affordable housing apartments in North America, according to executive director Lisa Ker.

Using things like thick insulation, tightly sealed doors and windows and a special energy recovery ventilator that circulates fresh air into the building, the apartments will likely be up to 90 per cent more efficient than regular buildings.

Read Ottawa Salus, city’s new affordable housing complex, boasts top efficiency rating at MetroNews.ca.

Hat tip to Transition Brockville for this post!

May 3, 2017 at 10:17 am Leave a comment

What kind of housing do aging boomers need?

late-boomers-jpgI believe the obsession with wide doors with lever handles and corridors connecting the garage to the house is misplaced. If you look at data from the study Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population: Older Households 2015-2035, household activities (the blue line) includes driving, food shopping, taking medication and meal prep — and they are the first to go, hitting 65 percent of the over-80 crowd, twice the rate of the mobility issues like walking and getting out of bed. Yet these houses are designed with big garages, wide corridors and giant kitchens, and they’re located so that people must drive to go food shopping. There’s something wrong with this picture.

Read What kind of housing do aging boomers need? by Lloyd Alter at MNN

January 11, 2017 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

Why Electrification Matters Now

ElectrificationToday, we’re seeing a combination of government action and market forces that could help push clean energy out of the background and onto centre stage. This blog digs into some of those trends.

The basic recipe goes like this: cut energy waste as much as possible, and clean up your electricity supply so that it’s as low carbon as possible. Then use that clean electricity as your source of energy for activities that we largely power with fossil fuels today.

Instead of fuelling cars with gasoline, power them with clean electricity. Build super-efficient homes, and then use electric pumps to heat and cool them. Design cutting-edge industrial processes that run on renewable power.

Right now, officials from governments across Canada are hard at work compiling policy choices for a national climate plan. (In the weeks ahead, officials will give their lists of options to ministers, and the political deal-making will begin in earnest ahead of a First Ministers’ Meeting later this fall.) The analysis that’s underway includes buildings, transportation, and heavy industry—all sectors where electrification is an important part of the solution. They’re also assessing options in the electricity sector itself, where we’ll need to see more clean power come online as electrification creates new demand.

Read Why Electrification Matters Now by Clare Demerse at Clean Energy Canada.

November 21, 2016 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

Building an Affordable, Sustainable Home

green_homeThe Endeavour House racks up big savings compared with a conventional, similarly sized home in Ontario.

Several years ago, an empty urban lot in the city of Peterborough, Ontario, sparked an interesting and exciting debate among our faculty at The Endeavour Centre, a nonprofit sustainable-building school based in the city: What would it take to build the “greenest” home in Canada? And could such a home blend into an existing neighborhood and meet conventional cost and building code expectations?

In 2012, we set out to answer those questions, as the design and construction of such a house became the focus of our six-month Sustainable New Construction program. A group of eight students joined our faculty and guest instructors to attempt to meet the highest standards we could imagine for a residential construction project.

Read Building an Affordable, Sustainable Home by Chris Magwood at Mother Earth News.

November 2, 2016 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

Insulation 101: One builder’s secret blueprint for a net-zero home

The era of net-zero homes is upon us. These super-efficient homes use rooftop solar energy production and smaller, electric powered heating systems such as air source heat pumps to produce as much energy as they consume.

That’s some sexy technology, but it only gets us halfway to net-zero. The real secret is insulation.

October 3, 2016 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

39 super tips for saving money on cooling and air conditioning costs

heatenvelopeIn the typical home, air conditioning uses more electricity than anything else—16% of total electricity used.  This is where the savings are folks, not in worrying that you left your cell phone charger plugged in too long.

The easiest way to save is to run the AC less often, and to dial the temperature up a degree or two when you do run it.  My tips below show you how to be comfortable at warmer temperatures.  I use these tips myself, and as a result I save hundreds of dollars every summer…. Even if you’re determined to not use your AC any less, we’ll cover ways to keep the heat out of your home, and more efficient air conditioners, which can still save you money.

Read 39 super tips for saving money on cooling and air conditioning costs at Michaelbluejay.com

August 1, 2016 at 10:45 am Leave a comment

Top 10 Green Home Improvement Upgrades & Their Costs

metal roofIn today’s fractured world it is nigh impossible to find one thing on which everyone agrees, but eco-friendly choices are one of them. Green is good. Good for the planet. Good for our health. Good for the future. Green remodeling means energy efficiency, resource conservation, and a healthy indoor environment.

But some eco-friendly remodeling choices make more sense than others. Cost is always an understandable concern. Many green choices will eventually pay for themselves many times over in long-term cost savings and increased resale value of your home. Others will never justify the increased upfront costs. Let’s investigate…

Read Top 10 Green Home Improvement Upgrades & Their Costs at 150poits.com.

May 30, 2016 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

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