Deed passed over for the 'greenest house in the city'
The Nelson Daily staff
The deed on the most environmentally green house in Nelson has been passed over to its new owners.
The $625,000 Foundation House constructed for the Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation was a major component of the fundraising effort undertaken by the group to raise money for the CT Scanner campaign.
Around $230,000 was realized as a net profit for the Foundation on the three-bedroom home on McQuarrie Ave. in Rosemont, the result of contributions of over 60 contractors, suppliers and professionals, to make the single most significant contribution to the CT Scanner fundraising drive.
The 1,590 square-foot home has a double garage, full basement, landscaped yard, and a deck overlooking the West Arm.
The project began in June 2009, just as the Foundation’s $1.5-million campaign got underway. Following a suggestion by Mayor John Dooley — and a formal presentation to city council — the Foundation was granted a 66×120-foot, closed road, right-of-way lot with an appraised value of $120,000.
The City added a further $27,000 in value to the CT campaign by providing permits and service hook-ups.
Before the City had considered the Foundation’s request, two major partners — the Selkirk College construction program and Harmony Homes — had agreed to provide labour and development expertise to the project.
Those commitments immediately led to further interest and support from members of the building industry and, by early October 2009, the site had been cleared and construction was underway.
Construction took 13 months, which was remarkable because Harmony Homes and two Foundation directors on the project, Peter Lee and Roger Higgins, were co-ordinating over 60 contractors and suppliers to provide free or discounted labour and materials, said Foundation chair Brian May.
“The buyers are long time Nelson residents and expressed interest before we had it listed,” said May.
“However, we insisted on listing the property as widely as possibe and every realtor in town was aware of it and had been asked to discount or forego their commission.”
In the end, Glen Darough, principal of RHC ReMax, listed and sold it and accepted no commission.
The owners paid full list price for it and helped decide final materials as well as requesting that Harmony Homes build a basement suite for rental.
A new standard in energy efficiency
Due to the significance of the project, Foundation House has also become a testament to energy efficiency in home construction.
Many of the home’s design elements and construction standards emerged as contractors and suppliers offered their services.
The house was built to an EnerGuide 80 standard, a federal rating system that allows builders and buyers to evaluate energy saving alternatives.
This energy efficiency level will be incorporated in the 2011 BC Building Code and Foundation House is the first home in the Nelson area to meet the standard.
Foundation House was originally designed with a forced air, air-to-air heat pump system, but early on Carl McKenzie of Thorman Drilling offered to drill 400-foot deep geo wells as a donation.
Harmony Homes recommended a change to a geothermal system, and McCormick Heating and Plumbing got to work designing the entire system, and installed the pipes, controls and pumps.
Since a geothermal heat pump is much more expensive than the original air-to-air system, Fortis and Nelson Hydro came on board to cover the costs of the geothermal conversion furnace, and Terratherma Heating offered to connect the system to the geo wells.
The innovations didn’t stop there though. Since in-floor heating has no air flow, Abacus Heating installed a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) connected to the geo sourced high velocity cooling system.
Dennis Bannert of Harmony Homes said that they have now “installed many of these systems in more upscale homes. This house will have very high quality interior air and air conditioning in summer.”
Finally, the house also has a gas fireplace courtesy of A3 Plumbing and Heating, a full sprinkler system provided by Kootenay Sprinkler Installations, and a complete alarm system added by DHC Communications.
“This house will set the energy and cost savings standard for future projects in the area. With the attention to energy conservation the owners will see long term benefits for many years to come,” said Blair Weston of Fortis.