Minister Solberg announces expansion of CMHC'S EQuilibrium sustainable housing demonstration initiative



    SAINT JOHN, NB, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Monte Solberg,
Minister of Human Resources and Social Development and Minister responsible
for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) today called for builder
and developer teams in British Columbia, the Atlantic Region, and the North to
design and build or renovate eco-friendly homes as part of the second phase of
CMHC's EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. The latest
phase of this innovative national project, launched with a Request for
Proposals (RFP), will lead to the construction of the next generation of
sustainable homes in those regions of the country which do not already have
EQuilibrium projects underway.
    "We are pleased to be extending the EQuilibrium initiative to British
Columbia, the Far North - and right across Atlantic Canada, "said Minister
Solberg. "This second phase of a very popular movement to green Canada's homes
means that more Canadians can learn how to build and renovate homes that
balance our housing needs with those of the environment."
    The EQuilibrium housing vision brings together under one roof the
principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency (including
renewable energy production), resource conservation, reduced environmental
impact and affordability. CMHC originally launched the EQuilibrium initiative
in May 2006 by inviting Canada's builders and developers to submit their
visions for EQuilibrium demonstration homes. One project has since been
completed and opened to the public for viewing and six others are currently
under construction. These homes are located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario
and Quebec.
    The RFP is available via the MERX website at www.merx.com and may be
searched using file number 0981-305-1. The deadline for responding to the RFP
is July 14, 2008. For more information on EQuilibrium and the current
demonstration homes, visit www.cmhc.ca and type search keyword: EQuilibrium or
call 1-800-668-2642.

    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
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

    
                                 BACKGROUNDER
                                 ------------

        CMHC EQUILIBRIUM SUSTAINABLE HOUSING DEMONSTRATION INITIATIVE
        -------------------------------------------------------------

    EQuilibrium is a national housing initiative, led by Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation (CMHC), which brings the private and public sectors
together to develop homes, and eventually communities that address occupant
health and comfort, energy efficiency and renewable energy production,
resource conservation, reduced environmental impact and affordability. It
offers builders and developers across the country a powerful new approach to
meet the growing demand for environmentally-friendly housing and to establish
a reputation for building sustainable homes that will meet the needs of
Canadians now and well into the future.
    In May of 2006, CMHC invited Canada's builders and developers to submit
their ideas for EQuilibrium demonstration homes. A total of 72 builder- and
developer-led teams submitted proposals. In the end, 12 teams were selected by
an evaluation committee of independent housing experts to build EQuilibrium
demonstration homes. Six of these are currently at the construction stage and
one is complete and open for public tours. For more information on the
demonstration homes, visit www.cmhc.ca and type search keyword: EQuilibrium.
    An EQuilibrium home is a highly energy-efficient, low environmental impact
house that provides healthy indoor living for its occupants, and produces as
much energy as it consumes on a yearly basis.
    The objectives of the EQuilibrium initiative are the following:

    - To reduce the energy and resource intensity of the Canadian housing
      sector
    - To ensure quality, healthy housing that mitigates household energy
      costs
    - To contribute to a clean environment and reduced greenhouse gas
      emissions
    - To foster growth of the renewable energy and sustainable housing
      industries in Canada
    - To develop Canada's next generation of value-added exports for
      competitive international markets

    To examine their performance under different climatic conditions,
EQuilibrium demonstration projects are expected to be built in each of
Canada's major regions. The first request for proposals yielded successful
projects in the Prairie region, Ontario and Quebec. A second call for
proposals, in 2008, will select potential projects in British Columbia,
Atlantic region (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward
Island) as well as the North (Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik
and Labrador). As with the first EQuilibrium competition, winning teams will
be invited to demonstrate their EQuilibrium housing projects, which will be
performance monitored by CMHC.
    The Request for Proposal documentation is now posted on MERX. Visit
www.merx.com to get the complete RFP package using our file number 0981-305-1.

    For more information on the EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration
Initiative, visit www.cmhc.ca.
    




For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Lesley Harmer, Director of
Communications, Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human
Resources and Social Development, (819) 994-2482; Kristen Scheel, Media
Relations, CMHC, (613) 748-4632, C: (613) 513-6546, kscheel@cmhc.ca; Julie
Girard, CMHC Media Relations, (613) 748-4684, jagirard@cmhc-schl.gc.ca


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890