Green begins at home for Windermere builder

An open house, featuring a new "green" home project, will be held on August 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4711 Galena Street in Windermere.

  • Aug. 2, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Cam Gillies stands outside his progressing 'green' home in Windermere.

An open house, featuring a new “green” home project, will be held on August 6, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4711 Galena Street in Windermere.

The project features a house being built by Collective Carpentry, Greenman Sustainable Solutions and the Gillies family.

The home will feature several new eco-friendly and energy-saving building techniques and features, some of which has never been tried in the community.

“I’m concerned in general about climate change and the impact of energy consumption on our future, so that’s a strong motivator,” said Cam Gillies of starting the project.

The home will be two storeys, with a basement and garage, and will have enough space to accommodate a large family — specifically Gillies’. He intends to move into and live in the house once completed.

Three main components to building the home to minimize energy consumption are to make the home extremely insulated, use good windows, and seal the building very well.

In order to keep the home well-insulated, Collective Carpentry and Gillies have created 12-inch-wide walls, which will allow for double the insulation most homes have. In addition, the windows are triple-paned, adding more insulation.

The home will feature a solar water heating unit (placed on the roof of the garage) and a domestic hot water feature, which will remove the energy in hot water as it rolls down the drain and place it back in running water, recycling the heat and saving energy.

Another neat feature of the home will be an annualized geo-solar system.

This unique feature will pull the hot air from the attic area in the summertime and pump it into the basement floor, where it will be stored until release in the winter when heating is necessary.

Rain water collection will be an eco-friendly feature of the home as well.

The prices of these sustainable home features range from the expensive to the inexpensive.

However, Gillies is more than confident that the expensive features will pay themselves off with the money they will save in the long run, all while supporting eco-friendly energy minimization.

“These features aren’t just for newly-built homes, but for renovation as well,” said Gillies. “Most of them can be retrofitted into existing homes.”

The open house will give those interested a look at the placement and functions of the features, as well as additional information, such as pricing.

Three tours will run at the top of each hour, starting at 11 a.m.

The first of the day will have a more technical, building-savvy focus for those accustomed to construction work, while two more “general” tours go at noon at 1 p.m.

“I’m hoping it spurs more discussion about sustainable building practices and gets the products and things we have done known and shares the information we have collected,” said Gillies.

“I hope people come out and see what we’ve done here, take what we’ve learned and apply it to their homes if they’d like. We haven’t done everything possible here, but we’ve done quite a few, so it’s a really great start.”

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