DAUPHIN, MAN. — Carpentry and woodworking students at Assiniboine Community College in Dauphin, Man. are working on a new assignment: building a net-zero energy home.
The project is being built with $183,000 in funding from Natural Resources Canada.
A net-zero home produces enough energy annually to balance out what it consumes, explains a release. The focus of the project is to use smart design to incorporate energy reduction techniques at the earliest stages of planning, focusing first on insulation levels, air tightness, efficient windows and doors, and heating and cooling systems.
"This is a terrific example of what collaboration can offer, and we believe this project will demonstrate how smart investments in energy efficient homes make economic sense, not only in the Parkland Region but across Canada," said Assiniboine Community College president Mark Frison in the release.
Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, stated energy-efficiency initiatives are key to the government’s approach for growing the economy and protecting the environment.
The finished home will be a first for the region and the first student-built net-zero home constructed in the province.
The project will be supervised by faculty as part of regular course work, with support from the City of Dauphin, the Dauphin Co-op Building Centre, Catalyst Credit Union, Manitoba Hydro and Natural Resources Canada.
The school aims to have the project demonstrate the process, practical techniques and challenges associated with an affordable starter home, allowing the owner to enjoy the long-term benefits of energy savings.
School officials also stated they believe the project is important to demonstrate the value of building net-zero homes in small, rural communities such as Dauphin while promoting and educating the building industry on the use of energy modelling and the EnerGuide rating systems.
The first phase will see a house constructed across from the school’s campus where the public will have an opportunity to view it. Later, it will be sold with the profits going towards the construction of a future net-zero energy home by Assiniboine students.
While this is the first net-zero home built by students, over the past decade, carpentry and woodworking students and faculty at Assiniboine’s Parkland Campus have partnered with the Dauphin Consumers Co-op to construct traditional ready-to-move homes.