The Four Home Sweet Home Competition Founding Homes

Tangible and inspiring examples for those entering the 2010 competition

As 2010 marks the first year of the Home Sweet Home Competition, OntarioGreenSpec.ca has decided to declare four unjuried “winners” as Founding Homes to help with the kick-off. The four Home Sweet Home Founding Homes will provide tangible and inspiring examples, built by leaders in each of the four prize categories.

Photo from: Artist's Rendering by Reid's Heritage Homes

Founding Production Home: Williamsburg Estates’ Ontario Green Home

While all of the competition categories are important, production or “track housing” embodies the highest energy conservation impact for the least effort. Production homes make up the vast majority of the new home stock, and it is much more economical to build right the first time, than to embark on costly renovations later.

The Ontario Green Home was built by Williamsburg Homes Inc., an award winning partnership of Reid’s Heritage Homes and Schlegel Urban Development, with OntarioGreenSpec.ca providing input on design and material selection throughout the build process, and many other partners donating product or services to bring the project to light.

The Ontario Green Home is a 2,755 sq. ft brick model home, located within Williamsburg Estates in Kitchener. Targeting LEED Platinum and Energy Star, this home is highly water and energy efficient, features many local materials, and provides a quiet, comfortable, healthy living space.

The superior equipment and design used in the Ontario Green Home will result in direct estimated savings of $1,800,a year (58%) on heating, cooling and water costs. In addition, the home is “Solar Ready” meaning that homeowners can add easily add solar panels later to further reduce their annual energy costs. The EnerGuide score is 85.

Protecting natural resources was a focus in the design and materials selection for this home, as reflected by its LEED, Energy Star and Solar-Ready credentials. The Ontario Green Home uses 43% less water than conventional homes, a savings of over 100,000 litres annually, which equals the water needs of 75 people according to the UN. It uses 52% less electricity, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions in half, a climate change benefit equivalent to 98 less return driving trips between Kitchener and Toronto. This home also reduces landfill needs by using paint that is 98% recycled and carpeting made from recycled pop and ketchup bottles using 100% renewable hydro and wind power energy. The landscaping was carefully designed to save water and provide native vegetation beneficial to wildlife.

In terms of occupant comfort and health, the Ontario Green Home uses an air purification system that cleans the air as it passes through the furnace, removing a staggering 99% of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and moulds as well as airborne chemical contaminants (V.O.C.s). Non-toxic finishes were used throughout the home to further enhance occupant health. The furnace is 8 times quieter while operating, and the extra insulation in the walls further reduces noise transfer between rooms and from outdoors. The heating and ventilation system, combined with state-of-the-art control panels throughout the home, ensures a steady, comfortable temperature in every corner of every room.

If all 140 homes in the Williamsburg Estates were built like the Ontario Green Home, the annual benefits would include saving enough water to fill 6 Olympic sized swimming pools and offsetting the climate change impacts of driving 105 SUVs.