Avalon unveils first Net-Zero home

At first glance, it looks like any other new home.

Avalon Master Builders’ Discovery 4 House is a quaint two-storey with cedar shakes and stone detailing, an eye-catching crimson door, grey siding and a spacious front deck.

But upon closer inspection, there are other, more unexpected details as well — solar panels on the roof, solar thermal panels framing the windows and a solar thermal balustrade offer just a hint of what this forward-thinking home is all about.

“The Discovery 4 House is the culmination of years of work towards meeting our vision of building Net-Zero homes at no additional cost to consumers by 2015,” says Ryan Scott, Avalon’s CEO.

“This was a really interesting challenge, but once you look around, you’ll see it’s come together really, really well.”

The home — which is currently located on the SAIT campus, but will move to its permanent home in McKenzie Towne this spring — offers not just new technology, but old favourites as well.

The front foyer looks to a sunny dining room at right, where honey-hued maple hardwood comes with a history.

Reclaimed from a school gym in Canmore, the flooring is not only attractive, but eco-friendly.

At the back of the home, an L-shaped kitchen is outfitted with espresso-hued, shaker style cabinetry, along with a central island and corner pantry.

A spacious dining nook, private back entry and convenient laundr y room and half-bath complete the thoughtfully-planned main floor — however, there’s more to this space than meets the eye.

“What you don’t see is the structural insulated panel walls, which give you a much more consistent building envelope,” Scott says.

“It also gives you more than double the insulative properties for the same thickness. We also have triple-pane, low-E, argon-filled windows and LED lights, which are very efficient.”

The same standards apply upstairs, he adds, where environmentally friendly carpeting is plush underfoot, and where two secondary bedrooms, a generous full bath and a welcoming master bedroom await.

With its cosy, attic-inspired feel and a sunny, spacious ensuite, the master bedroom is an inviting space to relax much like the rest of the home.

“The house feels comfortable, like a normal house,” Scott says.

“It’s simple to operate and comfortable to live in.”

And even better, the Net-Zero home creates all the energy it consumes on an annual basis through its innovative use of photovoltaic energy, solar thermal energy and eco-friendly technologies.

But even with the space-age sounding extras, Ald. Bob Hawkesworth says the home is perfectly livable, and serves as a reminder to home buyers of just what’s possible in modern home design.

“One home may seem like a small step, but when you think about it, that’s how real change happens — with one small step,” he says.

“I see not just Calgary’s first Net-Zero home, I see the future it represents.”

FAST FACTS BUILDER: Avalon Master Builder AREA: Currently at SAIT, moving to McKenzie Towne this spring. PRICE: $550,000 including lot, landscaping and double-car garage. DIRECTIONS: Take 16 Ave. to 12 St. N.W. Turn into SAIT campus. Turn right at traffic circle and follow to Discovery 4 House. HOURS: Monday to Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m., weekends and holidays, noon to 5 p.m. CONTACT: For information, visit http://www.avalonmasterbuilder.com

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