BarrCana Homes Inc.

BarrCana Homes Inc.

November 16, 2007 14:33 ET

BarrCana Homes: Geothermal Heating Is Now an Option in Planned Alberta Manufactured Housing Communities

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2007) - Green is in. Three local, environmentally responsible companies today announced the first project of its kind in Western Canada to use geothermal technologies. Drilling to a depth of more than 250 feet, to install double loop piping as part of a geothermal heating system, has started on a home site in Parkland Village. This planned rural community, west of Edmonton, is advancing the standard for sustainable residential energy efficiency in the modular housing industry.

"This is a first in Alberta", said Alex Lewoniuk, General Manager of Geothermal Utilities Inc. "We have engaged in a partnership that brings the home builder, the developer and our own technology together to demonstrate the viability of adopting the environmentally sustainable model of geothermal heating to a single modular housing unit."

The concept of geothermal heating and cooling systems has been widely accepted by builders and developers of multiple family housing complexes, primarily building condominiums in urban areas. However, it is just recently that individual systems designed to serve just one residential unit began to be accepted. Increased consumer awareness, in part due to the federal government's offer of a residential energy efficiency assessment service and financial grants to owners retrofitting single family homes, has helped to create a demand for an alternative to fossil-fueled energy.

Considering geothermal over conventional energy sources for heating and cooling individual homes not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions, it uses less energy and therefore generates significant cost savings in the long term.

"It's all about reducing energy costs", says John Bennett, President & CEO of BarrCana Homes, one of Western Canada's leading builders of modular and manufactured housing. "With energy prices fluctuating wildly, energy efficiency is at the top of the list when home buyers are making their decisions. We build our energy efficient homes with Low-E argon filled windows, high-energy efficient furnaces, energy efficient light bulbs and higher insulation values in walls and ceilings. Consumers living in non-urban areas have very few options when it comes to choosing an energy efficient source for heating and cooling their homes. That's why we wanted to get in on the ground floor with geothermal heating. We can offer our homebuyers the most energy-efficient and ultimately, least costly home heating and cooling system available.

"It's a simple concept really", says Alex Lewoniuk. "Geothermal heating is sometimes called the earth energy system because it relies on ground source energy. This is heat from the sun that is naturally absorbed by the earth daily. The system circulates fluid through plastic piping extending 200 to 300 feet below the surface. The fluid picks up the constant ground temperature of the earth. The heat pump, through the refrigeration process, extracts heat from the fluid and distributes it into the building. In addition, it heats domestic water. In the summer season the process is reversed. Heat is taken out of the building and returned into the earth, resulting in air conditioning for free. Geothermal works because it is cheaper to move heat around than to create it. One unit of electrical energy to run the pump results in 3 units of heat which translates into a 400% efficient furnace."

The only operating cost of the geothermal system is the electricity to run the pump. Following the initial installation costs, which with the drilling costs is higher than a traditional furnace installation, it offers a safe, clean, environmentally friendly and cost effective heating and cooling alternative. No pilot light, no open flame, no carbon monoxide danger, no roof penetration by a flue and no noisy air conditioning compressors.

Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities, BarrCana Homes and Geothermal Utilities invite consumers to witness a demonstration of the geothermal technology being installed on-site in an energy-efficient modular home and to learn more about a comfortable, affordable alternative to traditional energy sources now available in a rural community.

"This is not just a concept we hear about on the news", said Chris Andersen of Parkbridge Lifestyle Communities. "This is a proven technology; using the earth's natural energy in an ideal way. We invite consumers to investigate the benefits of a geothermal heating and cooling system, soon to be up and running in our model homes at Parkland Village in Spruce Grove. We will be able to provide the information you need to make an informed choice and you'll be way ahead of any possible energy crunch."

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