Alstonvale Net Zero House Breaks Ground in Quebec - an EQuilibrium Demonstration House

    HUDSON,QC, Aug. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister
of Human Resources and Social Development, and Minister responsible for Canada
Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) announced the groundbreaking of an
EQuilibrium demonstration home today.
    Sevag Pogharian Design (SPD), a Montreal-based design-build firm, began
construction of the Alstonvale Net Zero House in Hudson, Québec, as part of
CMHC's EQuilibrium sustainable housing initiative.
    "Canada's New Government is proud to partner with the private sector to
develop energy-efficient homes and congratulates the Sevag Pogharian Design
project team on the start of their construction," said Minister Solberg.
"Projects such as the EQuilibrium demonstration house support the objectives
of our government to help Canadians conserve energy and other resources, and
ultimately reduce pollutant emissions. These houses will be healthy to live
in, will be designed to produce as much energy as they consume on an annual
basis, and will be a blueprint for the next generation of sustainable housing
in Canada."
    The design of the Alstonvale Net Zero House incorporates many
technologies and innovations to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions and
achieve a net-zero energy target. Net-zero energy consumption means that the
house will, over a twelve-month period, generate as much energy as it
consumes. "Getting to net zero requires a well-thought-out and optimized
home," said architect-builder Sevag Pogharian. "To get to this point, a
building must have a high-performance envelope, it must exploit passive
heating and cooling, and it must make very effective use of renewable energy
    This Alstonvale Net Zero House project includes a building-integrated,
photovoltaic/thermal system, which goes beyond the current state of the art in
solar technologies by combining electric and thermal energy generation within
a single system. In addition to providing energy to the home, the system will
power an electric car. This demonstrates the attainability of not just a
net-zero energy house but a net-zero energy lifestyle whereby the house
generates all the energy required for both the domestic needs as well as the
local transportation needs of its household.
    CMHC's EQuilibrium housing initiative demonstrates a new approach to
housing in Canada. It brings together the principles of occupant health and
comfort, energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource and water
conservation, and reduced environmental impact under one roof.
    The 12 project teams that won CMHC's national EQuilibrium competition
earlier this year are now turning their design concepts into real homes. Each
EQuilibrium team will receive $60,000 from CMHC to offset eligible costs,
including those related to documenting the projects, testing, and
demonstrating the homes publicly.
    In addition, CMHC will work with the winning teams to provide technical
and promotional support, including market research. CMHC will also support
performance monitoring of the EQuilibrium homes under actual living
conditions. The demonstration homes will be open to Canadians to view by 2008,
after which CMHC will explore opportunities to advance EQuilibrium housing
principles more broadly across the housing industry.

    As Canada's national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing
Corporation (CMHC) draws on over 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.

    For more information, visit or call 1-800-668-2642.

For further information:

For further information: Lesley Harmer, Director of Communications,
Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social
Development, (819) 994-2482; Lise Hamilton, Communications and Marketing
Consultant, CMHC, (514) 283-3151; Sevag Pogharian, Architect, Principal, SPD,
(514) 935-5210

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