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Assiniboine students to build first net-zero energy home in Dauphin

Carpentry & Woodworking students at Assiniboine Community College are building a net-zero energy home this academic year thanks to federal funding of up to $182,954 from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) towards the project.

A net-zero home is one that generates as much energy with renewables onsite as it consumes annually. The focus of this home is to use smart design to incorporate energy reduction techniques at the earliest stages of planning, focusing first on insulation levels, air tightness, efficient windows and doors, and the heating and cooling systems.

“We’re thrilled to be offering this unique learning opportunity to our carpentry students thanks to the generous support of the federal government and partners in Dauphin,” said Assiniboine president Mark Frison. “This is a terrific example of what collaboration can offer, and we believe this project will demonstrate how smart investments in energy efficient homes make economic sense, not only in the Parkland Region but across Canada.”

“Energy-efficiency initiatives are key to our government’s approach for growing the economy and protecting the environment,” said the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre. “By investing in skills development, Canadians are well positioned to build the low-carbon economy of the future.”

“How we consume energy has a profound effect on the environment, and this project will help us discover new ways to live by using less energy,” said Dauphin mayor Eric Irwin. “Our community is very happy to assist in the process. We look forward to building on the results.”

This home will be the first of its kind built in the Parkland Region and also the first net-zero home in Manitoba built by college students.

Assiniboine students will build the net-zero home as part of their studies under the instruction of Assiniboine faculty members with support from The City of Dauphin, Dauphin Co-op Building Centre, Catalyst Credit Union, Manitoba Hydro, and Natural Resources Canada.

The project demonstrates the process, practical techniques and challenges associated with an affordable starter home, allowing the owner to enjoy the long-term benefits of energy savings.

The project also aims to demonstrate the value of building net-zero homes in small, rural communities such as Dauphin while promoting and educating the building industry on the use of energy modelling and the EnerGuide rating systems.

The first phase of the build will be on the Co-op ready-to-move site across from Assiniboine Community College’s Parkland Campus. The public will have an opportunity to view the home. Later, it will be sold with the profits going towards the construction of a future net-zero energy home by Assiniboine students.

While this type of energy efficient home build is a first for the college, over the past decade, Carpentry & Woodworking students and faculty at Assiniboine’s Parkland Campus have partnered with the Dauphin Consumers Co-op to construct traditional ready-to-move homes.