Harmony House EQuilibrium(TM) Demonstration Project Starts Construction in Burnaby

    BURNABY, BC, Aug. 4 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada today marked the
start of construction of the Harmony House demonstration project, an
energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly home to be built in Burnaby.
    The home will be designed by Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and
constructed by Insightful Healthy Homes Inc. as part of Canada Mortgage and
Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) EQuilibrium(TM) Sustainable Housing
Demonstration Initiative, which encourages designers, builders and developers
to design and build the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.
    Senator Yonah Martin, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister
of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for
CMHC, was joined today by Chris Mattock, President, Habitat Design +
Consulting Ltd. and Arthur Lo, President, Insightful Healthy Homes Inc., along
with sponsors and supporters in the ground-breaking of one of two
EQuilibrium(TM) demonstration homes to be constructed in British Columbia.
    "The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the private sector to
develop such innovative homes. We congratulate Habitat Design + Consulting
Ltd. and Insightful Healthy Homes Inc. on their winning design/concept and
commitment to environmental responsibility," said Senator Martin. "Harmony
House is another example in British Columbia of how beautiful and healthy
homes can also conserve energy and resources, and reduce pollutant emissions."
    The Harmony House team will integrate optimal solar orientation, energy
efficiency and renewable energy systems into the design and construction of
the home, in addition to using natural materials with low levels of
pollutants. Photovoltaic panels will supply all the electrical energy needs of
the home on an annual basis. Excess electrical energy produced during the day
will be fed into the power grid. A "green switch" will turn off all
unnecessary circuits at night and when the occupants are out. To reduce water
use, landscaping will incorporate indigenous plants which will be irrigated
with captured rainwater.
    "We are very pleased to collaborate with CMHC and are extremely excited
about how this project has come together," said Mr. Lo. "Thanks to our
dedicated team of experts and materials suppliers in fields such as solar
energy, ventilation and indoor air quality, we are showcasing not just
leading-edge design and construction, but what we believe is the future of
healthy living."
    "Having the owners on board from the design stage has really helped shape
this project," said Mr. Mattock. "We have designed a live/work space for
increased density living that will enable the owners to operate a
complementary health care practice from a separate office space, cutting down
on commuting and energy costs."
    Harmony House is one of 15 projects that have won CMHC's national
EQuilibrium(TM) sustainable housing competitions since the initiative was
launched in 2006. All EQuilibrium(TM) projects will be open to both the
general public and professional audiences for tours, and then monitored for
performance by CMHC for one year, once occupied.
    CMHC's EQuilibrium(TM) Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative
provides a new approach to housing in Canada, representing a fundamental
change in the way Canadians think about their homes. It strives to balance our
housing needs with environmental concerns. It brings together-under one
roof-the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency,
renewable energy production, resource and water conservation, and reduced
environmental impact.
    CMHC has worked closely with many stakeholders to develop and deploy
EQuilibrium(TM). In particular, CMHC has collaborated closely with Natural
Resources Canada which has contributed substantial research and development
expertise and resources to advancing the initiative.

    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,
healthy communities and cities across the country.
    For more information, call 1-800-668-2642 or visit CMHC's website at

For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Michelle Bakos, Press
Secretary, Office of the Honourable Diane Finley, Tel: (819) 994-2482;
Jeanette Wilkinson, Senior Consultant, Marketing & Communications, CMHC,
British Columbia, Tel: (604) 737-4025, Cell: (604) 209-5618

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