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March 14, 2018
Raising the bar for affordable housing in Oxford
Oxford County introduces the project team behind the County's first multi-residential development built to achieve Passive House standard

Developers for Oxford County will soon begin demolition at 373 Blossom Park Road to make room for a new affordable housing complex owned and operated by Indwell Community Homes. The new housing complex will include 34 affordable rental units, designed for individuals who need support services to remain in stable housing.

Blossom Park is the first multi-residential development in Oxford County that will be built to achieve Passive House standard. Passive House uses minimal energy to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. Buildings are heated “passively,” making efficient use of the sun, internal heat sources and heat recovery, which makes conventional heating systems unnecessary. Buildings achieving Passive House standard require as little as 10 per cent of the energy used by typical buildings, offering significant energy savings and reduced emissions.

In North America, buildings consume approximately one-third of all energy use and contribute roughly one-third towards greenhouse gas emissions. As Oxford works to achieve100% renewable energy by 2050, improvements to building construction are critical. Blossom Park is a demonstration project, designed to influence future housing development and to meet goals outlined in theFuture Oxford Community Sustainability Planby moving away from fossil fuels, supporting industries that undertake green construction, and encouraging renewable energy.

To further encourage green development in Oxford County, Passive House Canada will be offering two workshops for local builders in May. Participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the Passive House standard and how to apply it in the context of building physics, windows, and mechanical systems. Numerous case studies, both domestic and international, will be used to demonstrate current best practices and to teach concepts of cost assessment. More information about the workshops can be found online at www.oxfordcounty.ca/buildbetter.

 

Background

In 2017, Oxford County raised the bar for energy efficiency by including Passive House requirements in all Requests for Proposals (RFP) for new affordable housing developments. Before that, the County held information sessions for builders, developers, architects, planners, engineers and other service managers to increase knowledge about Passive House requirements.

Passive House is a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction standard that can be applied by anyone, anywhere. As a rule, Passive House buildings consume up to 90% less energy than conventional buildings.

This project is receiving financial assistance from all three levels of government. County Council authorized $2,153,270 be awarded to Indwell to develop the Blossom Park project. That figure is comprised of $1,126,795 of Provincial/Federal funding and $1,026,475 of Municipal funding. Indwell and the County executed a 25 year Municipal Housing Facilities Agreement which is secured on the title as a second mortgage. This project will offer rents at a reduced rate compared to other privately owned rental units in the community.

 

Contact

Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 | dkemp@oxfordcounty.ca