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GBT taking net-zero building across Canada

November 27, 2015

Exterior photo of the Net-Zero Home

Green Building Technologies (GBT) is participating in a Canada-wide initiative to make net-zero energy homes accessible for homeowners.

Normally out of reach due to cost, the Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII) grant will nearly double the number of net-zero energy homes in Canada and Calgary. Owens Corning received the grant to build 20 net-zero energy houses with four partners in four provinces across Canada. In Calgary, Owens Corning is working with Mattamy Homes, Canada's largest home builder, to build five net-zero homes.

Our team is acting as lead consultants to Mattamy in regards to sustainability, envelope construction and energy performance. The first home, located in the northeast Cityscape community, got its debut on November 25.

"The tools are there, the technology is there - education needs to come next, and education is SAIT's core business," says David Silburn, a research associate with GBT. "We're proud to share expertise that will help bring green building into a bigger production context."

GBT researcher Brandon Pool was involved in developing the home's energy-efficient building envelope.

"We've added basically four-and-a-half inches of rigid foam to the outside," says Pool. "This  doubles the home's thermal performance."

Pool and other members of SAIT's applied-research team built a demonstration unit to showcase the materials and design of the building's outer walls. This will be a public outreach tool to engage tradespeople and consumers in the green-building conversation.

The wall's six layers include:

  • Vinyl cladding
  • Building wrap (white)
  • Fire retardant glass board (green)
  • An outer layer of oriented strand board (OSB)
  • 4.5 inches of Owens Corning CodeBord Insulation, R-22.5 (pink)
  • An inner layer of OSB sheathing
  • Standard 2x6 inch stud wall with an R-24 cavity insulation
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