The EQuilibrium project is a national sustainable housing demonstration initiative, created and led by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
One of the winning entries for the Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative is the VISION home located in Moncton.
The highlights of this home are passive solar heating, a solar hot water system, grid connected photovoltaic panels, insulated concrete form, geothermal heat pump, LED lighting, low-VOC building materials and Energy Star Appliances, which are all integrated into an energy-efficient building envelope.
The passive solar feature is achieved by having the larger windows on the south side, with smaller light windows on the east & west walls, and no window on the north side. This home has balconies above the 1st storey south facing windows which act to block the hot summer sun and prevent overheating the inside of the house. The garage is strategically placed to block the northwest winter winds.
Other energy efficiency features of this house are; an air lock chamber at the main entrance to prevent heat loss when entering the building, a thermal mass concrete slab with in-floor radiant heat tubing connected to a geothermal heat pump, and a copper drain water heat recovery (DWHR) coil on the shower, sinks and dishwasher drain pipe. A DWHR can recover as much as 60% or better of the heat from drain water and is recirculated to the domestic hot water tank.
The walls of the house are constructed of insulated concrete form (ICF) blocks filled with concrete reinforced with rebar. The walls are then covered with a layer of extruded polystyrene foam insulation increasing the wall insulation to R-40 and creating air tight envelope. The ceiling is insulated with cellulose to R-100. Thermal sensors are installed to monitor and collect thermal efficiency data.
This Project Overview (PDF) highlights The Moncton VISION Home.
The VISION home is designed to produce as much energy as it uses. Vision Home: “Pay yourself today, rather than pay the utilities tomorrow”.