on August 09, 2017

Brookfield Residential building its first Passive House in Canada

Brookfield Residential is building one of the greenest houses ever constructed in Alberta. The “Symons Gate Passiv Haus" will use 90% less energy than a typical new home constructed today. And this prairie house doesn’t come with a furnace!

"The catchphrase commonly used to describe a Passive House is 'you can heat it with a hairdryer and cool it with an ice cube,'" says Doug Owens, Senior Director, Operations with Brookfield Residential’s Calgary Homes team and lead for the pilot project.

The Symons Gate Passiv Haus is a living, working demonstration of sustainability and Brookfield Residential’s commitment to innovation. Located at 274 Sage Bluff Dr. NW, the "super-insulated" house will be a sustainability showcase, when it is completed later this year. Prior to selling it, Brookfield plans operate it for a year with plenty of tours for green associations, schools and community groups and government and industry leaders to further the sustainability conversation.  

The home's energy savings are thanks to:

  • super-insulated walls and roof
  • air-tight construction
  • ultra-efficient windows
  • the sun and warmth generated by day-to-day living

What makes the Passive Haus special?

Eventual homeowners will enjoy an incredibly quiet and comfortable home. One with excellent air quality (limited use of VOC's) and free from cold spots and excessive overheating. Heating and operating costs will be lower thanks to the significant energy savings and use of high-quality components.This house is built to withstand extreme weather through extensive use of cross laminated timber and wood fibre board.

The home was designed and engineered in Germany, the acknowledged world leader in passive house construction.

Factory built in Germany, the effective R45 walls for the 2,435 ft2 house were shipped to Calgary along with Austrian-built R8 windows. A special foundation was poured using foam to create a complete "thermal break" from the external environment.  Brookfield’s master builders then assembled the home on site. The house uses alternative materials and mechanical systems. It's oriented on the lot to take full advantage of one of Alberta's most abundant natural resources—the sun. Calgary sees the most sun of any Canadian city, so the home is also planning to feature a 10 kW grid-tied PV solar array.

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