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Wilden's Living Lab put to real-life test

A home of the future

After being open to the public for six months, the award-winning Wilden net-zero home is now for sale, offering a unique opportunity to buy a house that surpasses current building and energy efficiency standards, for the price of a regular home. In return, the new owners will agree to the confidential collection of energy data from their home for three years.

The family purchasing this four-bedroom home will get 2,600 square feet of living space in a bright and beautiful location in Wilden’s Echo Ridge neighbourhood. The house is move-in ready and fully furnished by Treehouse Interiors - the furniture can be purchased as a package or single pieces. Also optional is finishing the roughly 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom suite in the basement as a mortgage helper.

The solar system of this home generates more power than the house uses, providing the owner with a credit on their energy bill at the end of the year. But it’s not just the operational cost that is minimal, the sales price is lower than the appraised value of the home as well.

Why? The buyers are an essential part of research by UBC and will be asked to agree to the energy data of the home being collected over the course of three years. The remote data collection will not be noticeable by the residents.

We interviewed Ken Wiebe, the former owner of the Phase 1 "Home of Tomorrow,” built to B.C.'s step code 3 in 2017, about his experience as the owner of a research home. When asked about the home's monitoring, he said it was not inconvenient at all. He appreciated the energy bill savings and found the home comfortable and quiet thanks to high-grade insulation and triple-pane windows. After living in the home for four years, he applied the insights and knowledge he gained from the project to build a new home in Wilden. Ken said he would happily participate in the monitoring again.

The "Next Generation Home” that is now for sale is even better insulated, with a thoroughly sealed, airtight envelope. The highly efficient heating system, the energy recovery technology and air filtration in this home are unparalleled. Four Okanagan Housing Awards of Excellence are proof of the unique nature of this project by the partners UBC Okanagan, FortisBC, Wilden, AuthenTech Homes and Okanagan College. Their goal is to test the latest practices and products for sustainable home building and share the results with the public, so that better homes become more attainable for everyone.

If you are interested in learning about energy efficient construction and want to experience the comfort and healthy air quality in the Wilden “Next Generation Home”, visit until May 18. The house, at 215 Echo Ridge Drive in Kelowna, is open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m daily, except Fridays. For interested buyers, all information is available on the Wilden website. Ken Wiebe also agreed to be contacted if buyers have any questions about his experience. For more information, contact Johanna at [email protected] and she can connect you with Ken.

For more information about the Wilden Living Lab research project and to register for the newsletter visit wildenlivinglab.ca.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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