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A Residential Ecosystem

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A new building of environmental housing, located in the Pointe Saint-Charles area of Montreal, has recently been announced. The Maison Productive House is a project that is geared towards reducing energy expenses, increasing alternative energy use and providing its residents with community-oriented living spaces.

The idea is from Ensemble Terre-Ciel, an ecological development and architecture firm that is environmentally and community-oriented. It is a collaborative entity run by various partners, such as architects from Blouin Tardif Architecture, engineers from Martin Roy et Associés and BCA Consultants, as well as landscape architects from Catalyse Urbaine.

"I see the house as an ecosystem that gives more than it takes," says Rune Kongshaug, founder of Ensemble Terre-Ciel and the project's creator. The eight-unit building, which is aiming for a LEED Platinum certification, is equipped with several systems designed to save energy: solar panels installed on the roof will act as a water heater, the units will face south to take full advantage of passive solar heating, materials with a high thermal resistance value will be used, etc. In all, heating costs should be reduced by 60% to 80%.

The project's uniqueness is also reflected in its community and "productive" aspect: residents will be able to grow their own fruits and vegetables in the gardens and greenhouse that will be part of the building (the greenhouse, on the roof, will use the heat emanating from the units and will be open year-round). And as a final note, an agreement with Communauto will provide two shared vehicles in the building's parking lot.

Construction, which is underway, is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

News excerpt from the Novae website.