Here is the exterior of Markham’s first net zero home. Solar panels covering the roof will generate clean, renewable energy. – STAKreative photo Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

After years of research and development, Minto Communities GTA has unveiled its first net zero home in Markham’s Union Village community, developed in partnership with Metropia.   

Certified by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Minto’s net zero home will produce as much energy as it consumes in a one-year period through a series of innovative features while improving homeowner comfort.

“The rising of the first net zero home in Markham and the GTA is a milestone moment representing the future of development where more efficient and sustainable homes will be essential to cut greenhouse gas emissions for a healthier future,” says Brent Strachan, president of Minto Communities Canada.

Minto Communities Canada has been working on net zero homes since 2008, and the company has come a long way in improving the overall efficiency of the home.

For example, the company introduced triple-pane windows consisting of three sheets of glass, providing a better insulating barrier and allowing less heat to escape while reducing outside noise, which results in less heat loss and a quieter home.

The breakthrough air sealing technology — AeroBarrier technology — keeps an even temperature throughout with no drafts or cold spots, which also plays important role in lowering energy bills.

As for water conservation, the high-performance toilets, faucets, and shower heads installed throughout the house save thousands of litres of water each year.

Furthermore, solar panels covering the roof will generate clean, renewable energy, while the stronger roof trusses provided by Minto’s net zero package, support a higher load for the installation of future solar panels.

“This first net zero home in Markham is designed to reduce energy consumption by 60 per cent and carbon emissions by 36 per cent,” read a news release issued by Minto Communities on April 21.

In addition to comfort and efficiency, net zero homes can protect homeowners from future increases in energy prices.

According to Minto’s estimates, the total savings on utilities, including gas and hydro, from a net zero home compared to a standard home would be $1,910 per year.

The net zero concept was sought after by buyers after its launch.

“Net zero home upgrades were introduced to Union Village in the second phase of sales in April 2022, which contributed to the project’s exceptional reception and sellout success,” stated the release.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti welcomes the first-ever net zero home to settle in Markham.

“The City of Markham has a goal of becoming a net zero community by 2050, and the project is a great example of how we’re continuing our commitment towards environmental sustainability to ensure a greener future for today, as well as for future generations,” Scarpitti said.

The Union Village community is currently under construction. To date, 215 homes have been constructed and occupied. A total of 22 net zero ready homes will be constructed as part of Phase 2 and will be completed between 2024 and 2025 at prices (as of early 2021) of $1,709,900 to $2,649,900. 

By Scarlett Liu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 09, 2023 at 21:35

This item reprinted with permission from   Economist & Sun   Markham, Ontario

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