June 2, 2010, Toronto, Canada- Living Homes, a U.S.-based company recognized for its sustainable home building designs, has made the leap to Canadian soil. These houses represent a series of upscale green homes on the higher end of the market. The majority of Living Homes’ prefabricated houses are manufactured at their Southern California factory, but thanks to a partnership with the Manitoba-based fabricator Conquest Manufacturing Ltd. and Toronto-based Nexterra Green Homes, they will be able to design and construct houses locally in Toronto.
Living Homes earned themselves a great reputation following the construction of one of their home projects which received the first LEED Platinum award in the United States. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a standard for green building proposals implemented by the U.S. Green Building Council. Living Homes is currently engaged in 10 other U.S. LEED Platinum projects, and are hoping for similar success in Toronto.
Living Homes and Nexterra are utilizing their past experience to meet the growing demand for sustainable houses in the Toronto area. CEO Steve Glenn stated that the company selected Canada as their next target because “there has been more interest in Canada…than most any other country in the world.”
The typical Living Homes “home” is of a very modern and functional design, intended to incorporate as many green appliances and features as possible. Many homeowners face problems of water waste and inefficient use of resources around the house, so architects Ray Kappe, FAIA, and Kieran Timberlake from Nexterra Green Homes intend to minimize the ecological footprint of the family who moves into their home. Each house is intended to achieve what Living Homes calls the “Z6” environmental goals: namely, zero energy, zero water, zero indoor emissions, zero waste, zero carbon, and zero ignorance. The energy flow of the house is based on geothermal systems for heating and cooling, blown-in glass and cellulosic insulation, low-flow plumbing, and a rainwater catchment system to conserve water. Buyers can also customize the features of their homes. Options for design include choosing from cistern and water reclamation systems, photovoltaic systems, solar water heating, denatured alcohol-based fireplaces, motor-driven window shades, and various environmentally-sound finishing options.
If Living Homes is successful in Toronto, it could mean an important step in the direction of efficient and sustainable homes. This expansion to Canada reflects a more global movement for sustainable living. The company will strive to achieve both ENERGY STAR and LEED Platinum certification at this new location. Prices for the homes are estimated to start at $1.6 million (Canadian), which includes the land and the home.