Four years ago, in effort to create and demonstrate the possibility of a mass-market net-zero home model, for-profit consulting group buildABILITY Corporation united and subsidized five Canadian builders with the goal of constructing 26 market-ready net-zero homes that could easily be reproduced in a factory. The $4.2 million CAD ( $3.18 million USD) project was completed this year, with five new net-zero communities completed across Canada.
All windows were to be triple-glazed. Rigid insulation in the walls, extra insulation under the roof and an exterior air barrier would curb energy leakage. An air-source heat pump, effective down to -30 degrees Celsius, would be the principal device for warming the house, eliminating the need for a furnace. Power for appliances and lights was to be generated by photovoltaic cells installed on the roof.
One of the net zero houses in Calgary sold for $459,000 CAD ($347,503 USD). Candice Luck, buildABILITY’s director of strategy and programs, points out that the price would have been 15% higher if not for the project’s $2 million CAD (just over $1.5 million USD) subsidy.