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Reid’s Heritage Homes first builder to break ground in national Net Zero Energy homes demonstration project

Monday, September 29th 2014 3:20:00pm


Location: Guelph, Ontario

(September 29, 2014, Guelph, ON) Today, Reid’s Heritage Homes hosted the first groundbreaking ceremony for a national Net Zero Energy (NZE) homes demonstration project.

Present to mark the occasion was Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga (Ontario), on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. He was joined at the podium by City of Guelph Mayor, Karen Farbridge, executives from Reid’s Heritage Homes and representatives from Owens Corning Canada and The University of Guelph.

The project involves five Canadian homebuilders constructing a total of 25 NZE homes. The project will be active in Ontario, Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and is funded in part by the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII), with contributions from each participating builder, industry suppliers and Owens Corning Canada. NZE homes are designed to consume less energy than they generate on-site from renewable sources.

“Our government is proud to invest in programs like the ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative which create high-quality jobs and further strengthen Canada’s reputation as a worldwide leader in energy innovation,” said Mr. Albrecht. “We remain committed to supporting companies that are finding solutions to protect the environment and lower energy bills for all Canadians.”

The project’s 25 homes, five from each builder, will increase the total number of NZE houses in Canada. While many people agree that net zero is the future of the home building industry, a barrier has been that many current NZE homes are custom-built projects, using elaborate designs, with complex and expensive heating, cooling and generating technology.  This project aims to make NZE homes accessible to more consumers than ever before, using existing, often "off the shelf" high-performance equipment, insulation and building materials.

“Reid’s Heritage Homes has accepted this exciting building challenge with the goal of advancing the awareness and science behind sustainable building practices, by determining optimal innovative systems that will work in the ultra-efficient Net Zero homes,” said Blake Seeberger, Senior Vice-President of Residential, Reid’s Heritage Homes. “Most importantly, we have taken on this challenge so that we can provide Canadians with homes that will improve their lives. These homes will be healthy, safe, comfortable and durable, and will hedge against increasing energy costs.”

Reid’s Heritage Homes has a long history of building energy-efficient homes. The home builder constructed Canada's first and second Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum-level home in Canada (Guelph and Waterloo Region), was the first home builder in Canada to receive the ENERGY STAR ® participant of the year award, and built Ontario’s first Built Green home.

“Owens Corning Canada is proud to be associated with this project. The project’s success is a product of the group’s vision and dedication,” said Andy Goyda, Canadian Builder Lead and Marketing Development Manager for Owens Corning Canada. “Net-Zero homes no longer need to be one-off projects; they can be built by production builders. This groundbreaking is an important milestone in our quest to prove this.”

“Congratulations to Reid’s Heritage Homes for being chosen as one of just five builders across Canada to construct Net Zero Energy homes,” said Guelph’s Mayor, Karen Farbridge. “Not long ago, the idea of a Net Zero home would have been thought of as a pipedream. Yet today we are breaking ground for one in our city. Reid’s Heritage Homes has a well-earned reputation for innovation and sustainability, and together with their project partners and sponsors, is helping Guelph distinguish itself on a national scale.”

Reid’s Heritage Homes expects all five homes to be fully constructed by 2016.

From left to right:

Salvatore Ciarlo, Technical Services Manager, Owens Corning Canada
Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Business and Economics, University of Guelph
Dr. Tony Vanelli, Dean of the College of Physical and Engineering Science, University of Guelph
Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener—Conestoga (Ontario)
Scott Reid, Vice-President, Reid’s Heritage Homes
Karen Farbridge, Mayor, City of Guelph
Tim Blevins, President, Reid’s Heritage Homes
Blake Seeberger, Senior Vice-President, Residential, Reid’s Heritage Homes
Andy Goyda, Canadian Builder Lead and Market Development Manager, Owens Corning Canada

Additional high quality digital images will be available upon request.

Media Contact:
Samantha Sutton | Manager of Marketing and Communications | (519) 658-6656 ext. 297 | ssutton@heritagehomes.com|

About Reid’s Heritage Homes
A modern approach to traditional homebuilding. Built on a solid reputation of quality, integrity and service, Reid’s Heritage Homes is one of Ontario’s leading builders, with a history of homebuilding that dates back to 1947. The same enduring values that motivated our founder, Orin Reid, inspire our many diverse communities today. Our commitment to these values applies across the Reid’s Heritage Homes’ family of companies, including Williamsburg Homes with a community in Kitchener, and Sherwood Homes, with communities in Collingwood.

About Owens Corning Canada
Owens Corning Canada is part of Owens Corning, a US$5.2 billion company with 15,000 employees worldwide, including 654 in Canada. Owens Corning and its family of companies are a leading global producer of residential and commercial building materials, glass-fiber reinforcements, and engineered materials for composite systems.  A Fortune® 500 company for 60 consecutive years, the company is committed to driving sustainability by delivering solutions, transforming markets, and enhancing lives. Owens Corning operates 4 plants in Canada, manufacturing PINK™ insulation and other energy-saving products.

The ecoENERGY Innovation Initiative (ecoEII), announced in the 2011 Budget, is a $268 million program searching for long-term solutions to eliminate air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from energy production. Eligible projects must be demonstration or research & development.