The Four Home Sweet Home Competition Founding Homes

Tangible and inspiring examples for those entering the 2010 competition


Founding Affordable Home: Habitat for Humanity Mississauga – Streetsville Build

The Home Sweet Home Competition is breaking new ground by including a distinct category for Ontario’s social housing market. Specifically, this category aims to reduce energy and maintenance bills for residents who can least afford to waste their monthly income, while keeping the home’s initial price tag “affordable” according to government scales.

This home achieved a remarkable EnerGuide score of 87 by incorporating simple and effective energy saving measures including energy efficient appliances, the best available building science and one of the most energy efficient heating and cooling systems available with a geothermal ground source heating system.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this house is the smart, inexpensive, design choices that were incorporated, such as the layout of fixtures to maximize hot water efficiency. Optimal siting, including shading in summer and passive solar heat gain in winter was also used. Window placements were carefully designed to maximize the use of free natural light and fresh air.

The geothermal heating and cooling system and is already providing the family with the best in home comfort while reducing their environmental footprint and saving 30% of a typical month’s energy bill. The home was also constructed to be “renewable-ready” to take advantage of other free energy sources (solar and wind) in the future as the residential power generation programs and technology evolve and improve. The home’s insulation is well above Code requirements. Energy Star certified windows reduce heat loss, and an Energy Star certified high-efficiency heating system ensures that the occupants will enjoy more heat for less money. Finally, compact fluorescent light bulbs and low-flow toilets complete the conservation package.

The exterior landscaping is carefully designed to minimize water and chemical use and avoids the use of invasive species. In addition, the home is built on a previously developed piece of land (infill), resulting in no additional land disturbance, and the project location enables walking, biking and public transit to minimize automobile use.