This blog follows the latest trends in high performance housing from an insider's perspective. I am the General Manager of one of Ottawa's leading homebuilders - Urbandale Construction, and it gives me a firsthand view of how the industry is changing. I've seen the barriers that builders face when trying to market new technologies and I've been working directly to overcome these barriers to bring new energy efficient designs into Urbandale homes.
Carleton University’s High Performance Housing Project
On Friday I was a guest judge at the final presentations of Carleton University’s High Performance Housing group. I’ve been involved with the High Performance Housing group for a number of years now, acting occasionally as a guest lecturer or mentor to some of the groups. This year I wasn’t as involved in the project as I have been in previous years, but I was happy to have the opportunity to sit in on the student’s presentations of what they have been working on all year.
This year, all of the groups worked on projects related to the theme of arctic housing. Housing in the arctic is challenging because of the extreme cold and winds, higher cost of materials and labour, and permafrost, which makes it impossible to build houses with conventional foundations. Many of the building techniques that we take for granted here are not possible up North.
Overall I was quite impressed with the student’s presentations. While some of them seemed nervous to be presenting to a packed class of peers and judges, the amount of time and effort they put into their research was clearly evident. One group was even considering applying for a patent for their novel approach to designing a heat recovery ventilator optimized for cold climates. The students in the High Performance Housing group embraced the idea that proper engineering analysis and designs can lead to a better quality of life and reduced environmental impacts for the future.
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Ottawa's Quality Homebuilder for 30 Years. Building R-2000 and Energy Star Homes in Kanata Lakes, Riverside South, & Bridlewood in Ottawa, and in eQuinelle in Kemptville. For more information on Urbandale Construction, please visit www.urbandale.com.