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Sign of the times: Guelph gets its first net-zero subdivision

Hart Village by Terra View Homes consists of 119 net-zero ready homes
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Workers install the final solar panels on a home in Guelph's first net-zero ready community in south Guelph. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

Guelph now has its first net-zero ready subdivision.

While net-zero homes and retrofits have been happening for some time, the new Hart Village by Terra View Homes is the first time in the city has developer has built a complete subdivision of net-zero homes.

Hart Village consists of 119 single high-end detached homes on the old Hart Farm property west of Gordon Street.

The homes are completely powered by their own solar panels and are heated and cooled with an air-to-air pump.

Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner, incumbent MP Lloyd Longfield and mayor Cam Guthrie were all in attendance for the topping off of the development's first home on Tuesday.

A combination of improved technology, increased customer demand and a committed homebuilder have made the Hart Village project possible, said Terra View president David Brix.

"As soon as you put those panels on, it's net zero," said Brix, adding that there are 29 panels capable of producing 11 kilowatts of power.

Brix added that higher insulation levels, the latest in triple paned windows and a state-of-the-art air pump heating/cooling system contribute to the net zero standard.

He said the firt net-zero home was purchased by people who looked at retrofitting their older home but then decided they were better off purchasing a new home.

"I try to convince everybody that they're buying the home of tomorrow," Brix said. "By 2030 every builder has to build that (net zero), so we're just ahead of everybody else. We're only 11 years away from 'that's code.'"

"I was on a panel 15 years ago trying to figure out how to get to net zero, but you just couldn't do it. The technology wasn't available," Brix said. "But window technology improved and the air-to-air pump is pivotal to net zero because it's so efficient."

"It is so wonderful to be able to brag about Guelph and what a great Guelph story," Schreiner said.

"There's so much talk about the need to be carbon neutral by 2050 and in 2019 we have carbon neutral homes like this," Schreiner said. "Not only is it carbon neutral, but it's beautiful ... proving that you can build net-zero homes and you can make them beautiful, affordable and liveable for families.



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