Eco-friendly home now complete after relocation from Red Deer

An eco-friendly house is now fully developed and ready for owners to move into at its permanent location in Sylvan Lake.

An eco-friendly house is now fully developed and ready for owners to move into at its permanent location in Sylvan Lake.

The house was built through a partnership between Red Deer College (RDC), Avalon Central Alberta and Landmark Group, at RDC’s campus before being taken apart and rebuilt on 44 St. in Sylvan Lake last year.

Avalon operations manager Trevor Gamelin felt the partnership worked well in achieving its goal of creating an eco-friendly house while giving students first-hand experience in building it.

“We were trying to wrap our brain around how we could work with the college, and the original intent was to build something on the college campus that was going to stay there, whether that be a residence or an office,” he said.

“We approached Landmark, and they were totally on board with it, so we partnered with them and the college and we came up with this plan to build a house at the college, assemble it all, then bring it out here and assemble it all again.”

The nature in which the house was built made its assembly and disassembly somewhat easier than normal.

A Landmark facility in Edmonton prefabricated all of its walls, complete with windows, before insulating them and transporting them to Red Deer for use.

Students then built the house and displayed it on RDC’s campus before it was moved to Sylvan Lake.

“We were able to take the whole house down in one day, and put it all up the next day in about nine hours,” said Gamelin. “Basically, a process that would normally take anywhere between four to eight weeks, we were able to do in a day.”

Large windows providing lots of natural light are among a number of eco-friendly features built into the house that help contribute to its near net-zero status.

Although it doesn’t technically qualify as being net-zero, Gamelin said it does have potential to save, and even generate, money.

“What we were trying to do here is actually provide the type of home that you could build conventionally and actually make money on it.”

Mayor Sean McIntyre, who toured the house Friday morning, feels such buildings are well suited to Sylvan Lake.

“To see a house of the calibre with this footprint is encouraging, because there are tons of opportunities to be able to do this in the town,” he said. “Environmental consciousness is a big part of our lifestyle in Sylvan Lake, so when we see houses that are contributing electricity back to the grid, are low on things like water use and efficient in space, it goes in the same direction as we’d like to as a municipality.”

The house is E1 — or the first project — of the Evolve initiative that built it.

RDC instructor Gary Halvorson said others may follow in the near future.

“What E2, E3 and E4 look like, we’re not sure yet,” he said.

The house sold for just under $400,000.