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Energy Efficient Home First of its Kind in the Okanagan

Future tenant, Jordan Lige, gazed around in excitement as his home came to life right before his eyes. Built from the ground up, Jordan's future home was once simply a thought had by brother Nathan Lige.

Transforming that thought into reality, the Lige family, with the help of EnCircle Design Build Inc., have built the Okanagan's very first Registered Living Building Challenge project—meaning that the quaint laneway home meets the world's most rigorous design and construction standards for a sustainable, green home.

Photo credit: KelownaNow.

The Ethel Lane Way house is part of a pilot project undertaken by the Thompson-Okanagan collaborative of the Cascadia Green Building Council.

The 640 square foot laneway home includes water and energy saving features, implemented right into the design and structure of the house.

Nathan Lige, was inspired to create the laneway home for his brother Jordan, as a way to both provide him with a level of independent living, as well as ensure Jordan remains safe. Jordan has a disability and requires some assistance from family.

Kick starting the initiative, Nathan applied for a provincial grant that is geared towards financially assisting independent living for individuals with disabilities. After receiving a $50,000 grant, Nathan and his long-term friend, Deren Sentesy, set to work on building Jordan's energy efficient home.

Photo credit: KelownaNow.

Photo credit: KelownaNow.

Sentesy is the building contractor with EnCircle Design Build Inc. Leading the design and the construction of the Ethel lane home, Sentesy has managed to stay within budget and ensure that Jordan's home is entirely sustainable.

Conducting a significant amount of research regarding building materials, Sentesy and crew have implemented energy efficient insulation, solar panels, a compostable toilet, and rain water tanks.

Photo credit:

“I look forward to seeing [Jordan] move in and experience independent living in a home that is good for him and for the environment. I am excited to see how the building performs over the next year and obtain official Living Building certification. The photo-voltaic solar-panels are a crucial component of that certification process,” said Sentesy

Jordan himself is very excited to move into his new home. Living just steps away from Nathan's home, he'll have the opportunity to spend quality time with his family, as well as kick back and relax in his own space.

“Being this close to the end is very exciting. I know my brother is really excited and that gets me excited. It's just very cool. The project started with a small idea: lets set Jordan up so he can have some independence, but it's taken a life of it's own beyond what we've expected and it's extremely satisfying that it's almost done,” commented Nathan.

If development continues as planned, Jordan will hopefully be able to move into his laneway home by Christmas.

The Living Building Challenge comprises seven standards of high-level building performance: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity, and beauty. Builders with registered projects must meet these rigorous standards to claim their project as one of the most sustainable and green buildings in the world.

As of yet, there are 15 Living Building projects registered in Canada, including eight in B.C. The Ethel lane house is the first residential building in the Okanagan and third in B.C. There are five certifed Living Buildings in the world, but there are more than 116 registered Living Building Challenge projects in various stages of design and development.







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