Lafarge Prefab to Build Revolutionary Net-Zero EnergyHome in Edmonton

The Edmonton branch of Lafarge Prefab is getting ready to start work on a new sustainable net-zero energy house made entirely out of high performance prefab concrete. The company will donate the innovative prototype to Habitat for Humanity.

Peter Yurkiw, general manager of Lafarge Precast in Alberta said they were learning about net-zero energy housing and realized the best way to do that was to donate one of their own creations to Habitat for Humanity. This way they’ll be learning from people’s experiences and help the community at the same time. Lafarge worked with architecture consulting firm Santec and the Alberta chapter of the Green Building Council to build a two-storey, 1,560-square-foot duplex that can house two Habitat for Humanity families. The frame of the structure will be assembled on site from 80 pieces of prefab concrete similar to LEGO pieces, and apparently they could be recycled if the building is ever demolished.

Energy saving technology in Lafarge’s sustainable house include a geothermal energy storage system that draws and stores heat from the underground, and passive solar cells on the roof, which will help it achieve net-zero energy status. During the summer the prefab home will give back to the energy grid whatever energy it has consumed in winter, meaning the two Habitat for Humanity families won’t have to pay for utilities. This will give the French construction company a chance to monitor the performance of its pioneering project and compare it to wood-frame houses before starting to build net-zero energy houses residentially.

Habitat for Humanity families pay an interest-free mortgage that is amortized to 25% of their income, making their houses more affordable. The families have to provide a down-payment in the form of 500 hours of labor, and their mortgage payments are reinvested in building moreĀ sustainableĀ and affordable housing. Lafarge representatives said construction on the net-zero energy duplex will begin this fall.



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