A newly announced $4 million grant will subsidize the construction of at least 25 net-zero energy homes (NZEHs) in four Canadian provinces. The initiative is being funded by the Canadian government’s ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII), homebuilders, and building materials manufacturers, including Owens Corning Canada.
Homebuilders from Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec will be taking part in the project. One of the project’s aims is to demonstrate that net-zero building can be developed at the community scale, not just as one-off research projects.
EcoEII is chipping in nearly $2 million for planning, design, and construction of the houses. The rest of the money is coming from Owens Corning, builders, and the building industry in the form of in-kind contributions.
According to a statement announcing the initiative, “To date in Canada, there have been very few demonstrations of [net-zero energy] housing on a community scale that are market-ready for production builder adoption.”
Officials say the houses could be finished by 2016.
A $1 million grant for research into NZEH technologies
Coincidentally, Natural Resources Canada recently announced $1 million in new funding for the Smart Net-Zero Energy Buildings Strategic Network (SNEBRN), an alliance of researchers from 15 Canadian universities. The money is to be used to research and test new net-zero technologies for both houses and commercial buildings.
Concordia University president Alan Shepard said the grant would build on advances in solar research, including the development of building-integrated photovoltaic thermal systems.