Canada’s Greenest Home: What and Why?
Endeavour is excited to announce the Canada’s Greenest Home project, a residential build in Peterborough, Ontario we will undertake with the students in our five-month, Sustainable New Construction certificate program.
We expect the design and building process for this urban infill home will challenge us, our students and the public to think carefully about what it takes to build a home that is safe, comfortable and durable without scarring the earth or endangering the ability of future generations to also live safely and comfortably.
We spent a long time considering the claim we are making: Canada’s Greenest Home. We researched the many homes that have been built in this country in attempts to lower environmental impacts. We found and studied remarkable, thoughtful and well-crafted homes that met net zero energy requirements; that lowered energy consumption by as much as 90% from current norms; that used locally sourced and healthy materials; that helped densify urban neighbourhoods; that collected their own water and treated their own waste; that provided accessibility. What we didn’t find was a home that attempted to do all of these things. A home that does of this, we figured, really would be Canada’s Greenest Home.
This claim is not about competition, not about being the best, breaking records or beating out others. Endeavour is, first and foremost, an educational centre. We want to learn how to reach the highest standards for sustainable home building and to share those standards with our students and anybody else who is interested. We don’t want to be the only ones to build Canada’s Greenest Home. We want to aim as high as possible, and then see that standard surpassed. We will try to outdo ourselves with each project we undertake, and we hope our graduates and others in the construction industry do as well. Ideally, this will be the first of many Greenest Homes.
The best way to live up to high standards is to clearly define them from the outset. In this regard, we’re excited to be using the Living Building Challenge as our standard for Canada’s Greenest Home. Created by the independent International Living Future Institute, it sets the highest standards in existence for sustainable building.
It takes more than claims and computer models to be certified under the Living Building Challenge. Extensive documentation is required to prove the building has met the rigorous standards, and certification is not awarded until performance has been proven over a full year of occupation. We will be proud to join the Eco-Sense home of Ann and Gord Baird in Victoria, BC, as a certified home in Canada.
Throughout the design and construction of Canada’s Greenest Home, we will make every effort to publicly detail the entire process. We are sure to have a steep learning curve, and we want this learning to be a legacy of the project. We hope you will check this blog frequently over the coming months and join us on our path to making Canada’s Greenest Home.