Archives > June 2019

National Resources Canada Invests in Energy Efficiency with Sundance

By Gillian Austin

On May 24 the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources was at Sundance Housing Cooperative to announce a federal investment of $2.5 million for Sundance to retrofit 59 townhomes. This retrofit will allow the units to be net-zero ready.

“The membership of Sundance Housing Co-operative is extremely pleased to be partnering with NRCan on this project. Not only will this project provide the members long term, energy savings with better comfort and indoor air quality, it will also be a working example for deep-energy retrofits that hopefully will accelerate the uptake of such retrofits across the country.”

Beth Nilsen President, Sundance

Natural Resources Canada is funding the project through its Energy Innovation Program (EIP), which supports initiatives to accelerate clean technology development. The project is also part of Canada’s $180-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan.

The Sundance retrofit will focus on installing new, energy-efficient exterior wall panels, which will be designed and fabricated off-site by using digital imaging. The panels will be installed over the existing exterior walls, thus requiring no demolition and allowing the work to be done quickly and with less disruption to occupants.

This retrofit project aims to accelerate the uptake of panelized prefabricated deep energy retrofits across North America — cutting costs and reducing pollution.

Sundance’s Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) involves the retrofit of a building enclosure and other building systems in a way that results in high performance buildings and also provides benefits to building durability, comfort, and indoor air quality. The proposed DER will create a high performance envelope with a high degree of air-tightness and significantly enhanced insulation values. The end result will have an expected reduction in energy use of 70-80%, using a strategy of re-cladding the exterior of the building (typically walls, foundations and roof) with a new continuous moisture/air barrier which dramatically reduces the air leakage rates, exterior applied thermally broken insulation layers and a rain-screen finish detail. The DER includes the addition of Heat Recovery Ventilators to ensure healthy indoor air quality once the air leakage rate of the building is lowered.

The work is being done by Butterwick Projects Ltd. The project will be done in two Phases. Phase 1 (research and development phase) will focus on units 8 & 9. The work on this Phase started in March will be completed this spring. Between the completion of this work and the fall of 2019, the design and development team will test the performance of the building envelope, assess the results and modify the approach a required. Work should start on Phase 2 (balance of the 57 units) in October of 2019 and be completed by the spring of 2020.

Sundance’s first homes were occupied in 1979. Nearly 40% of our members have lived in Sundance for more than 20 years! We are inspired by a vision of sensible and affordable housing, environmental responsibility and a nurturing community for our members. We are a strong and financially secure community. As we approach our fifth decade, we are excited to see this retrofit project take place.


Chainsaw Retrofit Examples

An animation of a “chainsaw retrofit.” A method of deep-energy retrofitting small buildings to the Passive House standard. Rob Harrison cPHc

Vilogia Timelapse Energiesprong 2018

National Housing Strategy Update

On May 8, CMHC hosted a free event to educate our housing co-ops members on how to navigate the National Housing Strategy and its components.  CMHC and the Agency presented information to help housing co-op members develop a better understanding of how to apply for grants to repair and maintain the units.  This was a great opportunity as those in attendance learned about the: