Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

December 19, 2011 13:00 ET

CMHC: Official Opening of Harmony House EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Project

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 19, 2011) - The Government of Canada today officially opened the Harmony House demonstration project, an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly home built in Burnaby.

The home was designed by Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and constructed by Insightful Healthy Homes Inc. as part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC's) EQuilibrium™ Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. Harmony House is one of two EQuilibrium™ homes built in British Columbia and eleven EQuilibrium™ Housing projects constructed to date across Canada to encourage designers, builders and developers to design and build the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.

Andrew Saxton, MP, North Vancouver, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for CMHC, was joined by Chris Mattock, President, Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and Arthur Lo, President, Insightful Healthy Homes Inc., along with sponsors and supporters at the ceremony.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the private sector to develop such innovative homes. In 2009, Habitat Design + Consulting Ltd. and Insightful Healthy Homes Inc. provided a vision for a home that set new standards in sustainable housing design and construction," said MP Saxton. "As part of CMHC's leading EQuilibrium™ Housing initiative, Harmony House is another example in British Columbia of how beautiful and healthy homes can also conserve energy and resources, and reduce pollutant emissions."

CMHC's EQuilibrium™ Housing Initiative provides a new approach to housing in Canada, representing a fundamental change in the way Canadians think about their homes. It strives to balance our housing needs with environmental concerns. It brings together-under one roof-the principles of occupant health and comfort, energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource and water conservation, and reduced environmental impact. All EQuilibrium™ projects are open to both the general public and professional audiences for tours, and then monitored for performance by CMHC for one year, once occupied by the owners.

The Harmony House team has integrated optimal solar orientation, energy efficiency and renewable energy systems, and natural materials with low levels of pollutants into the design and construction of the home. Photovoltaic panels are provided with the objective to produce as much electrical energy as the house consumes on an annual basis. A "green switch" will turn off all unnecessary circuits at night and when the occupants are out. To reduce water use, landscaping will incorporate indigenous plants which will be irrigated with captured rainwater.

"We are very pleased to collaborate with CMHC on this project," said Mr. Lo. "Thanks to our dedicated team of experts and materials suppliers in fields such as solar energy, ventilation and indoor air quality, we are showcasing not just leading-edge design and construction, but what we believe is the future of healthy living."

"Having the owners on board from the design stage has really helped shape this project," said Mr. Mattock. "We have designed a live/work space for increased density living that will enable the owners to cut down on commuting and energy costs."

CMHC has worked closely with many stakeholders to develop and deploy EQuilibrium™ Housing. In particular, CMHC has collaborated closely with Natural Resources Canada which has contributed research and development expertise and resources to advancing the initiative.

As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 65 years of experience to help Canadians access a variety of high quality, environmentally sustainable and affordable housing solutions. CMHC also provides reliable, impartial and up-to-date housing market reports, analysis and knowledge to support and assist consumers and the housing industry in making informed decisions.

Contact Information

  • Media inquiries:
    Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Diane Finley
    819-994-2482

    Media inquiries:
    Jeanette Wilkinson
    Senior Consultant, Marketing & Communications
    CMHC, British Columbia
    604-737-4025
    www.cmhc.ca