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In less than 10 years, near-zero emissions homes and buildings will be the new normal in Vancouver. In addition to reducing emissions and energy use, the city's Zero Emissions Building Plan will lead to improvements in the quality of homes and buildings. This plan will be an important catalyst in the local, clean, low-carbon economy.
Premier Wynne has removed the "net zero" requirement from government employee contract bargaining, effectively re-opening the floodgates of wage increases for bureaucrats and other unionized government employees. Here's what that means for Ontarians.
A carbon neutral home and net-zero home are similar in that both produce as much energy as they consume over the course of a year. The difference is a net-zero home produces its own energy right on the home, whereas a carbon neutral home can produce its energy elsewhere in the community.
The race to build net-zero homes across Canada is on. Natural Resources Canada has a program that's helping five builders build five net-zero homes each to support a rapid evolution to affordable net-zero homes.And the prize is one everyone can appreciate: a home that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. A net-zero home is not a passive consumer in the energy system -- it is a clean and green participant.
Geothermal, also called geoexchange, has one big weakness: high upfront cost. And while our first episode concentrated on residential systems, this time we've found a more appropriate sweet spot for these systems -- commercial buildings.
The gap from net-zero house to net-zero commercial building has now been bridged. This 30,000 square foot building cost $10.5 million dollars. It's three months ahead of schedule and five per cent under budget. It's bright and roomy with beautiful exposed wood beams, feature stairs and a three storey living wall in the foyer.
A net-zero home reimagines the house not as a burden on the planet but as a regenerative node. Net-zero homes only started being seriously considered about a decade ago, but once proven, the idea took off.
It's a beautiful, livable, functional net-zero experiment -- welcome to the home of architect Shafraaz Kaba. Sitting on a corner lot, at the top of the bank of the North Saskatchewan River, the home is a tall and narrow three-story home with solar modules and a flat roof.
Building a net-zero home is an intricate dance between design, technology and location. But if you build a net-zero home in the wilds, far from your work, school and entertainment, with no infrastructure and an hour-long commute how sustainable is it?
Over the course of a year a net-zero home will generate as much energy as it consumes. They've been around for less than 10 years, but these buildings and the thinking behind them are taking North America by storm.