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The Next Generation Home of the Wilden Living Lab opened its doors to the public on Nov. 20, and the community is invited to see a glimpse into the future with its interactive features.
Designed to discover how everybody can build an energy efficient home at an affordable price, the Next Generation Home generates more energy than it uses and is 100% more efficient than a conventional home.
“Energy conservation is incredibly important. The less energy you are using, the less emissions are being generated, and that contributes positively to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Tanya Rumak, the program manager of FortisBC.
The Next Generation Home uses a future-forward multi-source energy system with an air-source heat pump, carbon-neutral renewable natural gas, solar panels and heat recovery. In addition, the home is airtight and highly insulated. All windows are selected to maximize passive heat gain in winter.
“There are a few reasons why we want to build more energy efficient homes. It is not just to save you money as a homeowner, but it’s also to reduce stress on the power grid and to continue moving our houses to be better and better,” said Dominique Caron, the site supervisor of AuthenTech Homes.
In the coming months, data will be collected and all information will be analyzed to learn which green construction elements are most beneficial. The UBC team of researchers will find out how long it takes for homeowners to gain their extra investment back through energy savings and the surplus power that they feed into the electricity grid.
“We can all see what’s happening on this planet and we can’t turn the other way anymore, nobody can. There’s this huge responsibility on every single one of us to do what we can within our range of possibilities,” said Karin Eger-Blenk, the CEO of the Wilden Group.
The Next Generation Home, located at 215 Echo Ridge Drive, is open to the public Saturday through Thursday from 1-5 pm until May 18th. After that the home will be sold to a family that agrees to have their energy consumption monitored by UBC for three years.
The Wilden Living Lab is a research and learning initiative for better home building practices in collaboration with the Wilden Group, UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, AuthenTech Homes and FortisBC.
For more information, visit wildenlivinglab.com.