About Zero Energy Project

Project Objective

June 22, 2015

The objective of this Project is:

  • to demonstrate the feasibility of building Net-Zero Energy Housing (NZEH) Communities in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Alberta;
  • to address challenges to building to NZEH performance levels specific to production housing; and
  • to act as a platform for the broader adoption of NZEH across Canada.

The Project will assess and resolve challenges in relation to among other things site planning, construction, equipment, grid connections, cost, trade capability, warranty, reliability, sales, marketing, and homebuyer information/education. Owens Corning and buildABILITY assembled a team of experts in the fields of building technology, building science, solar technology, and energy efficiency, each with experience mentoring production builders to adopt voluntary energy efficiency/renewable energy measures including NZEH.  Builders were selected based on their experience and successful adoption of voluntary measures in their products. Project insights will shared through the  Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) and local Home Builders’ Associations (HBA)s to promote and facilitate the construction of other NZEH communities.  As part of our knowledge transfer commitment to NRCan, buildABILITY will host workshops to share the learnings from this project. If you are interested in a private workshop, please contact candice@buildability.ca.

Project Outcomes will include:

  • a National Design Charrette;
  • a base NZEH technical specification will be developed that can be tailored to the needs of individual communities and regions; and
  • five communities with at least five NZEH designed, modeled and built to produce as much energy as they use in a typical year.

Performance Metrics will include:

  • NZEH performance, using Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) NextGeneration EnerGuide Rating System (ERS) titled “MER : MyEnerGuide Rating” that represents the amount of energy a house consumes over a year measured in GJs; and/or;
  • the modified ERS* procedure as developed by CanmetENERGY for the EQuilibrium program;
  • airtightness targets for the homes equivalent to or lower than 2.5 air changes per hour at 50 Pascales (ACH@50Pa).