New multiplex wins gold standard for environmental efficiency

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
January 25th, 2013

The unique Habitat for Humanity Boundary multiplex is continuing to attract attention, winning a gold standard by BuiltGreen Canada for energy efficiency.

This month BuiltGreen Canada awarded Habitat the gold standard after an independent energy advisor toured the new home, built by volunteers and the six men with developmental disabilities who now live there and own it.

Like appliances, buildings can also get an EnerGuide rating based on energy efficiency.

The home scored an 84 out of a possible 100, making it very efficient. A score of 80 is the target, so it exceeded that. Now the fuse box will proudly display the EnerGuide score and official sticker.

“Getting 84 is really, really good for us for the first time (building this kind of home),” said Rick Friesen, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Boundary.

“We are really proud of what we achieved and happy to have built something our partners can live in, afford and keep their energy bills really low.”

The building is efficient from the ground up and includes extensive insulation in every corner from the concrete floor to the roof, making it more efficient to heat. Even the fresh air exchange heats the fresh air as it comes into the house, which helps maintain the temperature with less energy.

Friesen said the monthly electricity bill for the entire building was $168 in December, which included the hot water tank.

The building was constructed by Habitat for Humanity Boundary and by the six men who now call it home.

The building, located at 833 72nd Avenue in Grand Forks, is the first of it’s kind in Canada. It features seven one and two bedroom apartments in additional to several common rooms. It was built to Built Green Gold standards and includes energy efficient windows, insulated fiberglass doors and energy efficient light fixtures that don’t use light bulb wattages any higher than 13.

Friesen says he hopes the multiplex will inspire other local builders to do the same and take the extra effort to make their new homes more energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

The home was officially opened in September, 2012.

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