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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Tiny homes trend faces big hurdle in Calgary

City needs to pave the way for small housing option

If Tiny House Hunters, the compact-sized spin-off of HGTV’s hit show House Hunters, is anything to go by, tiny homes may be coming to a neighbourhood near you. That is, if the neighbourhoods near you are in the United States.

Up north, however, the question of whether tiny houses will be fully embraced by Calgarians is up for debate.

With their limited size – usually around 400 sq. ft. or less – tiny houses often come at a fraction of the price of their traditional counterparts. Though prices vary from builder to builder, Kijiji listings for tiny homes for sale in the Calgary area range from about $17,000 to $39,000. (more…)

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What is your garden style?

Not everything is timeless when it comes to outdoor design

Do you have a high-end ultra-modern home with striking features that looks like it came out of a recent copy of Architectural Digest?
What about your yard? Does it look like it came from a Home and Garden magazine circa 1985?
This jarring contrast of cottage-style garden with modern home seems hard to understand until you think of the process. Homeowners do not design homes – builders and architects do. Yet homeowners are the ones often design their own gardens.

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