Affordable, Net Zero living at ZEN Sequel

By Pepper Rodriguez
June 24, 2020

Avalon Master Builder and its line of ZEN townhomes have always been at the forefront of building environment-friendly, sustainable and energy-efficient multi-family homes. They have reached the next stage of their evolution with Net Zero townhomes.

“We are proud and excited to be working with The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) in building Calgary’s first Net Zero Home‐certified Multi‐Unit Residential Building!” says Avalon Master Builder vice-president, Chris Williams. “Our building is one of seven projects across Canada set to prove Net Zero is possible in high-density living.”

A Net Zero Home is designed, modelled and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes annually, and is up to 80 percent more efficient than a typical new home.

“Homeowners will love the comfort of our Net Zero homes,” Williams says. “They’re quieter, have superior indoor air quality and stay comfortable year-round. We build a complete package of energy-efficient, durable products and features into each home, including a fresh air system, extra insulation, double-coated triple-pane windows, solar panels and superior heating and cooling.”

And to Avalon’s credit, they can do this affordably, with a projected $30 more per month, when you consider your increase in the mortgage payment and decrease in utility costs. “We’ve been able to streamline efficiencies and bring down further costs for our solar panels, which translates into lower prices for our buyers.”

“Our Net Zero homeowners will save on their utility bills, be protected from energy price increases, and live in a healthier, more comfortable home,” he points out. “The added cost is less than one’s monthly coffee budget. Why wouldn’t you do that if you can live in a more comfortable, energy-efficient home that is also environmentally responsible?”

Avalon has always included progressive, environmentally minded designs in their homes. In the past, they have built townhomes that follow the Built Green and LEED Canada specifications. Williams says CHBA’s Net Zero Home Labelling Program puts more of an emphasis on energy savings.

“By focusing on the energy side of green building, Avalon can keep our homes affordable. This program ensures third party verification holds us to a high standard,” he says. “Avalon’s experience in building Net Zero homes is why we were selected to participate, and it is an honour to be part of this program,” Williams says.

Avalon and many other forward-thinking builders have been building high-performance homes for many years. Still, there is no formal measurement or standard that defines them as such. “This works fine for one-off builds and homeowners who understand the details, but it doesn’t work for large scale adoption,” Williams says.

CHBA’s Net Zero Energy Housing Council was created as a voluntary, self-funded group to gather intelligence and build awareness and transfer knowledge. “They’ve created a labelling program which provides the industry and consumers with clear and precise technical requirements for two levels of certification: Net Zero and Net Zero Ready Homes. In Avalon’s opinion, this program is the best way to prepare the industry and protect the consumer.

Pre-construction sales of Avalon’s Net Zero homes started on June 1, and the response has been very encouraging.

Avalon will be building eight Net Zero Homes and eight Net Zero Ready homes at ZEN Sequel in Seton, their second townhome development in this dynamic southeast community.

ZEN Sequel is a 124-home community located in the popular southeast Calgary community of Seton. It is Avalon’s follow-up to its enormously successful ZEN Urban District townhome development.ZEN Sequel offers one- and two-bedroom single-level-living flats from the $160,000s, and two- or three-bedroom two-storey townhomes with private fenced backyards and optional private rooftop patios from the $270,000s.

There are seven floorplans to choose from, ranging from 515 to 1,742 square feet.

It is, after all, located in one of the most dynamic, self-sustaining new communities in Calgary, and Seton’s moniker of “Downtown South” certainly lives up to the billing.

ZEN Sequel is close to an abundance of established amenities in Seton, including South Health Campus, shopping, restaurants, boutiques and the world’s largest YMCA. Seton currently has the Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School with five more future school sites. Quick and easy access to Deerfoot Trail, Stoney Trail (Calgary Ring Road), 52nd Street, and the approved LRT Green Line promise future growth.

About Pepper Rodriguez

Pepper Rodriguez is a writer, editor of New Home + Condo Guide's Calgary and Edmonton editions.

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