The Edelweiss House


LEED Platinum v4 Passive heating and cooling Edelweiss House
15 kWh/m²

The Edelweiss House


Date of project registration August 15, 2015
Year of construction 2015
Estimated number of occupants 4
Square feet of living space 1 552 pi²
Number of floors 1
Region Outaouais (Gatineau)
Building project New Home
Type of construction Residential
PSI rating 15 kWh/m²
Method of load calculation Measured
Construction budget 250 000 $

See our video building guide documenting construction of the Edelweiss House

Operational overview:

According to baseline energy modeling, over a year this house would operate with an average of 24.6 kWh per day. Quebec hydro charges 5.6 cents for the first 30kWh and 8.6 cents per kWh over that, therefore keeping the general operation of the house within their discounted rate. In monetary terms, that translates to a yearly average of $1.39 per day for the total energy demand of this house (heating, cooling, interior loads), or $507.35 annually*.

The Edelweiss House is located in a wooded region 33 Km from the downtown core of Ottawa, Ontario, so to include a 66 km daily round trip commute in an electric vehicle would bring the daily energy consumption to $2.30 per day. In summary, an annual budget of approximately $830 would cover all heating and cooling costs, all operational energy demand, and a daily commuter fuel cost to the downtown core in an electric vehicle.

With a conservative value for the greenhouse gas emissions from Hydro-Québec’s grid, the 4 bedroom home is expected to generate 0.3 tonnes of CO² annually when combined with the energy from daily use of an electric vehicle.

*Note: Energy modelling is based on variables that are averages and estimates, so in reality it is anything but accurate. It can offer an idea of how one house will perform compared to another, but actual consumption levels could vary significantly depending on the living habits of occupants. A full year of operation could result in that figure being either higher or lower. 

Building envelope:

  • Under slab: R-32 mineral wool
  • Walls: 8" rigid mineral wool + 5.5" mineral wool batts = R-58 total , R-50 effective
  • Ceiling: R-95 mineral wool


Air changes:

0.69 ACH

Note: ACH (Air Changes per Hour) is a measure of building envelope air leakage, the lower the number the better. The average new home being constructed is estimated to have an air leakage rate of 3.14 ACH. The Edelweiss House is almost 5 times more airtight than the norm. 

Exterior finishing:

Mechanical systems:

  • 6 wall insert HRVs

Heating systems:

Domestic hot water :

Notable features:

LEED Platinum v4 Passive heating and cooling Edelweiss House
LEED Platinum v4 Passive heating and cooling Edelweiss House
Mitsubishi Mr.Slim heat pump
A high efficiency mini-split heat pump feeds a heat pump water heater which will take a big bite out of the future energy bill of the Demo House...
Slab-on-grade  for Ecohome's upcoming video building guide
This page follows the progress so far on our Demonstration House and detailing home orientation and slab construction techniques. ...
Rendering of the Ecohome demonstration house
Ecohome's Demonstration House will be used as a vehicle to launch a free online building guide series detailing best practices for high performance, cold climate home construction...