Monday, September 20, 2010

Habitat for Humanity Montreal Unveils First "Green" Home

Front view of 5096-5098 Ste. Clotilde/ 
UPDATE   I forgot to mention that this is the ninth home Habitat Montreal has built since the chapter was formed in 1998. All the houses have been built in either Hochelaga-Maisonneuve or the Sud-Ouest borough (St. Henri, Point St. Charles and Ville Émard-Côte St. Paul). The new homeowners, include a mom, a dad and two kids, ages 8 and 5. They've lived in a small apartment in St. Henri for 8 years.

Habitat for Humanity is putting the finishing touches on its latest Montreal venture, a St. Henri duplex featuring two three-bedroom units. The address is 5096-5098 Ste. Clotilde St.
The build is a milestone for the local Habitat chapter because the property was built according to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
To celebrate, H4H will be hosting a community party in Gadbois Park on Saturday, Sept. 25th,  between noon and 3 p.m. There will be food and drink, games for the kids, a DJ and special musical guests. (I'm not allowed to say who, but trust me, if you like good music, you won't be disappointed.)
Visitors will also have a chance to tour the new building and get an idea of what makes it "green". You might be surprised by how doable many of the elements are.
The team behind the St. Henri project is hoping to win LEED Silver certification, meaning they hope to collect at least 60 points out of a possible 136 on an environmental scorecard. They won't know the score until the building undergoes a third-party audit once the house has been up and running for a few months.
Rob Miners, an architect and co-founder of the architecture firm Studio MMA, was the brains behind the design. Instead of fighting nature, he worked with what he had.
The day rooms and kids bedrooms are located at the back of the building to make the most of natural light from the south and southeast. Big old trees in the back lane will help shade and cool the building in summer. In winter, their leafless branches will let the sun in, providing passive solar heat.
The building has high-efficiency windows and doors that will reduce heat loss by 12 per cent. The building was built according to Novoclimat standards, which means that superior insulation will reduce energy consumption by 25 to 30 per cent.
Low-flow toilets will use 4.9 litres of water per flush, compared to the 10 to 14 litres a standard toilet uses. Water-saving showerheads will use 6.6 litres per minute, versus 14.

Rear view of 5096-5098 Ste. Clotilde. 
 The membrane roof has a reflective coating that will bounce sunlight in an effort to reduce the so-called "heat island effect" found in urban areas with a lot of black tar roofs and asphalt paving. There are other cool elements. Why not drop by and check them out for yourself?
Architect Rob Miners said his goal was to show that it is possible to build green while also building affordably. His is the firm behind Montreal's innovative Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Marché Central as well as Abondance Montréal, a "green" condo project in Verdun.
All this to say that the official unveling will be a proud day in local H4H history. We'll all be very happy to hand over the keys to the Aabid-Ezzerouali family. They've put a ton of sweat equity into helping to build their new home. They are over moon about their H4H experience and with the knowledge that they will soon be the owners of a decent, well built house that they could never have dreamed of buying without Habitat's help.
So, come on down to the party and have a hot dog with me and the rest of the Habitat crew. The organization is always looking for volunteers. You don't even have to know how to use a hammer. Trust me. I've never lifted a hammer for Habitat, though I have laid down a coat of paint or two.

Habitat for Humanity Family Day in Gadbois Park
5845 Chemin de la Côte St. Paul
Buses 36 and 37.
Saturday, September 25,
Noon to 3 p.m.
Rain or Shine.
(If it rains, we're heading into the community centre.)

1 comment:

  1. Just come back from a build in Portugal. Looking forward to working in Montreal
    New Volunteer
    Muriel Townsend


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