Breaking New Ground in Green Housing


EQuilibrium™ Housing is a national initiative led by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) that brings the private and public sectors together to develop homes that are energy- and resource-efficient, environmentally friendly, and healthy to live in.

To help Canadians learn first-hand about sustainable housing, CMHC has been working with teams of designers, architects, builders and developers to design, construct and demonstrate EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration homes across the country. The latest of these projects to open its doors to the public is Winnipeg’s Urban Ecology — a two-storey duplex located on an infill site in the heart of the city’s downtown core.

Designed by Winnipeg Housing Rehabilitation Corporation (WHRC), Urban Ecology includes energy-efficient and resource-conscious features and on-site integrated renewable energy systems. The result is an attractive and highly advanced “green” home that significantly reduces its energy consumption and minimizes its environmental footprint.

Among its other innovations, the Urban Ecology home features:

- An accessible, adaptable and attractive open-concept design;

- Locally-produced and environmentally-appropriate building materials, to reduce pollution and enhance indoor air quality;

- Energy-efficient lighting and appliances designed to reduce energy consumption to as little as 17 percent of the energy used in a typical Canadian home;

- Passive solar heating and a four-panel flat plate solar collector system to help heat the home and provide hot water;

- A drain water heat recovery system that is predicted to decrease the home’s hot water heating requirements by close to 20 percent;

- A photovoltaic (PV) energy system which will be connected to the local power grid, allowing the occupants to “sell” excess energy back to Manitoba Hydro;

- Advanced water-conserving features and fixtures, including rain gardens and the ability to harvest rainwater runoff from the roof for landscaping during dry spells;

- An air-tight high-performance building envelope to provide a comfortable living environment.

For more information about this project, the CMHC EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative or to schedule a tour of a demonstration home near you, visit our website at or call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642. For more than 60 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency and a source of objective, reliable housing information.

Source: CMHC

As the company’s first employee, Jennifer has been a Licensed Mortgage Associate since 2004, but her current role is not focused on mortgages. She is the resident blog writer and…

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