Tesla of homebuilding

Net-zero homes teetering between niche and mainstream, say experts

A net-zero home may soon become the Tesla of modern homebuilding.

Avalon Master Builder president Ryan Scott – whose company, in 2008, built its first of three net-zero houses in partnership with SAIT – said while consumer demand for green housing technologies is growing, there is still a ways to go before they become mainstream, given the added price tag.

“A certain number of people will put their money where their mouth is and buy a net-zero home (homes that produce as much energy as they use), just as they do for a Tesla (electric car that used to start at about $75,000 US).”

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Low-cost lifestyle

Five tips to go net-zero without the hefty price tag

Calgarians seeking a more net-zero lifestyle don’t have to rely soley on big-ticket solar panels, geothermal heating and other energy-efficient technologies, say experts.

“There are plenty of little things people can do in their homes to move toward a net-zero lifestyle that aren’t necessarily costly,” said Areni Kelleppan, executive director of Green Calgary, a non-profit urban environmental organization that encourages Calgarians to live greener.

Don’t know where to start? No need to worry: CREB®Now asked some green experts to offer up a few low-cost ideas to walk a more net-zero path:

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Clean living

A green revolution is underway as more Calgarians seek to reduce their carbon footprint with increasingly energy-efficient homes

No one can accuse Chris Stevenson of being all talk and no action when it comes to living green. The 51-year-old Calgarian is walking the walk when it comes to reducing his carbon footprint.

So much so he built his own net-zero home – that is, one that generates as much energy from renewables, such as solar panels, as it consumes.

“I like to do things right, and I’m cheap: I didn’t want to be paying a lot for utilities,” joked Stevenson, who, until recently, made a living investing in real estate.

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Zero sum

Mattamy Homes opens first Calgary net-zero home

Even though it’s nearly winter, Calgary just got a little greener.

Mattamy Homes, North America’s largest privately owned homebuilder, has opened its first net- zero home in the city.

The first of five such homes set to be added to the northeast community of Cityscape are part of a national project that will double the number of net-zero homes – energy-efficient residences that generate as much energy as they consume on an annual basis – in Canada.

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Q&A with Cardel Lifestyles

Cardel Lifestyles is enjoying a busy start to 2015. The multi-family builder has shovels in the ground at its new condo development in Auburn Bay, and recently opened new show suites in Sage Hill.

CREB®Now recently sat down with Brad Logel, sales and marketing manager for Cardel Lifestyles, to discuss everything from what’s new with the company to how downsizers are shaping its business. Here’s what he had to say:

CREB®Now: What’s new with Cardel Lifestyles?

Logel: We recently had the grand opening of five new condo show suites in northwest Calgary at Sage Place. We have started construction on our first condo building at Auburn Walk in southeast Calgary. We are about to release our townhomes at Cranston Ridge and our second building at Auburn Walk. Our company recently won the Homeowner Mark of Excellence for Alberta. This is awarded to the builder with the highest overall customer experience rating. This rating is based on customer surveys over a 13-month period. We also won the New Homebuyer’s Choice Award earlier this year. Both of the awards are based on surveys done by Customer Insight and done for all Alberta New Home Warranty Builders and their new homeowners.

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