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Community celebrates success of Net Zero Energy Housing

Williams Lake First Nation and Canadian Home Builders’ Association members join official opening

Williams Lake, BC - October 7, 2022 - Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) members are building a clean energy future that will strengthen the economy, create good jobs and support the natural resource sectors. On Monday, October 3rd, builder Zirnhelt Timber Frames (ZTF) marked the official opening of the Williams Lake First Nation Net-Zero Energy Multi-Unit Residential Building (MURB) with members of the local community and representatives from across BC and Canada. ZTF is one of six CHBA builders taking part in the CHBA/NRCan national demonstration project for affordable, replicable, marketable, Net Zero Multi-Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs).

Constructing a MURB to the CHBA Net Zero Home Labelling Program Technical Requirements requires an attention to detail that was enhanced by the craftsmanship of this timber framed home. ZTF’s approach of panelized wall systems includes windows and siding pre-installed in the large workshop nearby, prior to site delivery. The stacked high-performance duplex achieved an impressive airtightness of 0.57 ACH (air changes/hour) and meets the Net Zero Home Labelling Program criteria of producing as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis.

Following an opening ceremony, Miles Kohan, President of CHBA National, spoke of the work accomplished with this project “Building homes for people is both very challenging and extremely rewarding. Building an accessible home even more so. And doing it while being part of this initiative that is helping other leading builders build to ever higher levels of energy efficiency… well, that is truly something to be proud of!  My sincere congratulations to all involved in this project.”

Builder Sam Zirnhelt summarized the impact of this project: “Building to net zero isn’t going to be a choice in the near future. What we are doing here today is demonstrating how focusing on building high performance, durable and resilient buildings can reduce our impact on the environment (both climate and landbase). We strive to build homes that reflect the needs of the individual client and the community and that will appreciate in value over time.”

Joining this opening and tour were representatives from project supporters BC Housing and BC Hydro, as well as neighbouring First Nations communities, Community Energy Association, CHBA Central Interior, CHBA Northern BC and CHBA National, as well as other Net Zero MURB project builders and team members from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario to celebrate, ask questions, and share lessons learned.

“Everyone deserves a sustainable and affordable place to call home. With partners like the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, we are working to build cleaner communities, increase the supply of energy-efficient homes and save Canadians money on monthly bills. This net-zero Multi-Unit Residential Building in Williams Lake is showing us the future of home construction.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Canada

Since 1943, the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) has been "the voice of Canada's residential construction industry." Representing one of the largest industry sectors in Canada, our membership is made up of some 9,000 companies – including home builders, renovators, land developers, trade contractors, product and material manufacturers, building product suppliers, lending institutions, insurance providers, and service professionals.

CHBA supports a full spectrum of voluntary energy performance levels to provide Canadians with higher performing homes. These programs present a complete market offering that is applicable to custom and production homes, renovations, and low-rise multi-unit residential buildings.

Photography by Laureen Carruthers Photography - Williams Lake Photographer