Lafarge Canada, Inc. has erected the walls and roof of an innovative NetZero energy duplex made entirely of precast concrete, the first NetZero precast concrete home in Canada. Lafarge partnered with Stantec, who provided the innovative and integrative design for the duplex. This design, along with sustainable materials, will ensure the ultimate energy-efficient precast concrete home and set the stage for providing more sustainable residential solutions with precast concrete. Lafarge is donating the duplex to Habitat for Humanity (HFH) who will then provide two hard-working families with a “hand up” into affordable home ownership.

"Lafarge is thrilled to be in construction mode on the NetZero energy house. From the beginning this project has been a learning vehicle. During design and manufacturing all of the partners have captured countless lessons about building towards a NetZero standard. We are pleased that soon the Habitat families will have the opportunity to live in and benefit from the built-in engineering,” comments Dennis Lattimore, Lafarge Vice President- Marketing."

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for Stantec to partner with a variety of talented consultants who volunteered to make this design a reality for two deserving families,” said Keith Shillington, Vice President and regional leader for the Edmonton Capital Region at Stantec. “We are confident the lessons learned from this challenging project will make precast concrete a sustainable option for homes and multiple housing projects in the future.”

As a charity, Habitat mobilizes volunteers and community partners to bring their affordable home ownership model to hard working families. The NetZero energy project has been embraced by many in the community, the corporate sector, small business sector, by individuals and municipal and provincial governments.

“The Government of Alberta is pleased to provide funding to this unique project which will help meet the housing needs of two hardworking Edmonton families,” said Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths. “The partners involved are to be commended for developing an innovative, affordable housing solution.”

"The Habitat for Humanity NetZero duplex is a great example of people, not-for-profit, government and industry coming together to create opportunities for people in this city," said Mayor Stephen Mandel. "This truly innovative project reflects Edmonton's commitment to making a diverse array of housing options available to Edmontonians. Thank you to all the partners who worked together to make this happen."

The two Habitat families will pay a mortgage to Habitat that is interest-free and their payments will never be more than 25 percent of their income. This interest-free mortgage is the reason why Habitat homes are affordable. The families’ mortgage payments are then reinvested into building more Habitat homes, nsuring a sustainable Habitat program. Families also contribute 500 hours of “sweat equity” on Habitat build sites as a down payment for their home.

“My family is so grateful to everyone involved in making home ownership a reality for us,” said Tracy, Habitat partner family mother of four. “My husband and I will soon be building equity in this NetZero home and be able to save for our children’s future.”

Many partners were involved in making this project a reality: Lafarge, Stantec, Government of Alberta, City of Edmonton Cornerstones, Kassian Dyck Associates, Dow Chemical Canada, All Weather Windows, NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Services, Landmark Solar Productions, Vital Engineering, Clark Ecoscience and Sustainability, RBBN Contractors and Painting Ltd., Cascade Aqua-Tech, Irving Wire Products Corporation, Canada Green Building Council – Alberta Chapter, Eco Ammo, Deck X, Siteline Inc, Whirlpool, Patching Associates Acoustical Engineering Ltd., Hunter Douglas, NIC, Schneider Electric, Eco Synergy, and Ecobee.

“Habitat for Humanity is grateful to be the recipient of groundbreaking project,” said Alfred Nikolai, President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity Edmonton. “Innovative projects, such as this NetZero home, are imperative as we seek to provide sustainable and affordable home ownership to families in need.”