Building Homes That Save
Windsor Life Magazine

If you feel guilty turning up the thermostat or wince when you open the electric bill, you will appreciate the energy saving qualities of the new EnviroHome, being built locally by BK Cornerstone Design/Build Ltd.

Partners Ben Klundert and Kevin Brady have already proven their commitment to environmentally ethical home construction with their R-2000 and ENERGY STAR® houses. Now they are getting their EnviroHome in readiness for its grand opening in June. The EnviroHome designation is reserved for new home projects that meet demanding technical and environmental standards. Across Canada, only about 10 projects earn this distinction each year.

The show house is located at 248 St. Peter Street, Belle River and will be open for touring for at least four months. Local companies will be working together for the betterment of health, energy resources and environment. The goal is to improve indoor air quality, reduce energy consumption and impact the environment in healthy ways.

“When it comes to energy efficient home construction, Canadian technology is recognized all over the world,” says Ben. However, cost has been a drawback for most Canadian homeowners; an average solar power system can be a steep $30,000, requiring 30 years of operation to recover the initial investment. Times are changing, though.

“There are so many new products that have immediate payback,” Ben finds. Many will be put to work in the EnviroHome.

In BK Cornerstone’s most energy efficient residence, air quality will get top priority with approximately 1.2 fresh air changes per hour. A permanent electronic air cleaner removes impurities. Custom cabinetry and woodwork, created and crafted in BK Cornerstone’s Designworks division, are free of formaldehyde and finished with water based lacquers.

Other commendable features will include solar panels that run the hot water tank and radiant in-floor heating. Also keeping energy use in check are the PowerPipe® drain water heat recovery system, ECM-driven furnace and energy efficient central air, cellulose insulation, sub-slab insulation and high performance windows.

The three R’s of responsible homeownership – reduce, reuse, recycle – are met with a shake-style roof engineered of 95 percent recycled tire, wood and polymer. Storm water will be collected in a cistern for watering the lawn. As well, sawdust from the cabinetry division will be used for bedding and feed mix at nearby horse farms and its lumber cutoffs used by greenhouses for fuel.

More than the Richmond’s utility bills are attractive. The house will be clad in a combination of stone, clay brick and stucco. Details are to be elegant yet homey. Inside, home uses its 1,895 square feet intelligently, making space for large common rooms. The master suite measures 600+ square feet, with an ensuite bathroom with a glass shower and whirlpool. A stone fireplace, wood columns, hardwood floors and natural light infuse the home with warmth.

“People are realizing they need to do something about rising energy costs,” Ben says. “The EnviroHome incorporates products and building techniques that do exactly that.”

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