Ottawa, September 25, 2014 – On September 27, homeowners with some of Ottawa’s greenest homes will open their doors as part of EnviroCentre’s Green Homes Showcase Tour.
With homes in neighbourhoods like the Glebe, Westboro and Britannia, participating homeowners believe that greening their homes is not just about reducing their environmental footprint, but they also intrinsically believe that it is the right thing to do – for the environment and the local and global community in which they live.
Nadja, whose home is on the guided bicycle tour, has 40 solar panels on her roof and has converted her Westboro backyard into an urban oasis with a natural rain-fed swim pond and wetland area. “Yes, I do earn money on the electricity I produce from the solar panels”, says Nadja, “but I really did this because it’s just the right thing to do.” Her swim pond not only provides a lovely respite for the people in her life, it also brings nature full force into her backyard “I sometimes count 15 birds in my backyard, bathing and having a great time chattering away.” The rain recapture system, fills her pool with the rain that falls on her roof and the wetland and waterfalls keep the water clean and potable.
Angela is opening her home for the guided carpooling portion of the tour and is a homeowner in the Glebe with a successful eco-friendly bed and breakfast. She believes in the mantra ‘act local, think global’ and her household and business practices reflect that in a holistic way. “We can create a better world right around us. There is a lot to do, and lots of choices we can make”, says Angela with a cheerful grin. Her home and business are powered by renewable energy, has a high-efficiency in-line water heater, sources 75% of her food from local or organic sources, uses organic cleaning products and detergents, and promotes sustainable transportation by using and offering bikes to her guests.
Patrick, a homebuilder, craftsman and designer, builds homes to the highest energy efficiency standards. The home he is showcasing in Britannia on the guided carpool tour has a multitude of green energy efficient features, including 15″ exterior double wall construction with densepack blown cellulose insulation, radiant heat in main residence and second floor appartments, air forced heat pump with zone heating and cooling, and triple glazing in the windows of his handcrafted multifold doors. In addition, the finishings in the home include handmade furniture with wood elements milled and fabricated from resawn barn beams collected in Southern Ontario, handmade brass and ash wood light fixtures and site fabricated concrete counters with crushed tempered glass.
Through this construction, Patrick is also giving back to his local community. He is building the home with the assistance of high school students from the Winning Attitudes Program, a continuous-entry highschool co-op program designed to re-engage at risk students and allow them to earn credits while learning in a work environment.
Thrilled to be one of the stops on the tour, Patrick is a big supporter of the handmade and locally-sourced movement. “Almost all of the elements in the home were sourced and fabricated locally by our team and students”, states Patrick. “ Energy efficiency and sustainable building practices have been intrinsic to my process since I began in 2004. This is my first build after having built homes for clients over the last 10 years. It has allowed for a greater expression of creativity and I’ve designed some great custom features that have made this home really special and arguably my favourite yet.”
About the Green Homes Showcase Tour
The Green Homes Showcase Tour will showcase several homes across the city where green renovations and builds have led to improved comfort and substantial energy savings and efficiency, while also adding value and durability to the homes.
To get from home to home as sustainably as possible, four options are being offered:
- guided bike tour – from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., around homes in the Westboro neighbourhood
- self-guided walking tour – from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., includes homes in the Westboro neighbourhood
- guided carpooling tour – from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., around homes in Ottawa
- self-guided car tour – from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., includes homes in Ottawa
Through the tour, participants will meet and get to talk to homeowners, prominent local green contractors and suppliers, and other green sector professionals about the sustainable work undertaken in each home, as well as answer participants’ questions about their own projects. A certified EnviroCentre energy advisor will also be on hand to offer comparisons between homes visited, and provide expert advice on green renovation options.
Some of the home highlights include solar heated pools and domestic hot water, solar (microFIT) installations, geothermal, sustainable flooring and cabinets, solar blinds and screens, passive solar design, fibreglass windows, LED lighting, and much more.
The Green Home Reno Tour is for people who are:
- planning renovations;
- considering buying a house;
- looking for ways to increase the resale value of their home;
- curious about the benefits of green, energy-saving upgrades; and
- contractors involved in, or considering, sustainable renovation practices
The event is part of the Building Greener Futures Together initiative, and is the result of a collaboration with the Social Planning Council of Ottawa – with sustainable transportation help from our other community partners, RightBike and VRTUCAR.
For more information, please visit our Green Homes Showcase page.