LEED Comes to the Gatineau Hills

A development near Wakefield, Quebec called Edelweiss Lakes will soon be entering the first phase of what is intended to be a community of LEED certified homes.

House built by Matthew Smith of Mapleridge Homes
This house built by Matthew Smith of Mapleridge Homes is just north of Ottawa in the Gatineau Hills and is the first home in the region to achieve LEED certification. © Mapleridge Homes

Developer Luc Bélisle will be partnering with Matthew Smith of Mapleridge Homes to build the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified housing project in the Gatineau Hills of Quebec.

Phase 1 will have 12 lots available, but the developer has 470 acres total on which he hopes to build about 100 leed homes. Lots will range from 1 to 2.5 acres, and have been laid out specifically for the passive solar orientation of homes.

All lots will include deeded access to a motor-free private lake and hiking trails backing on Crown land. “We’re not looking to load this up with a bunch of houses, what we’re trying to do is create a really special place to live” says Bélisle .

Home designs will begin at 1,600 square feet for $288,900 (plus lot and taxes), a size and price that keeps them easily competitive with conventionally built homes for purchase price. When it comes to operational costs though, these homes will likely leave the competition far behind.

“We are aiming for at least Gold, and if all goes well maybe Platinum.” says Matthew Smith. “We will have a better idea after consultations with our providers at Ecohabitation.”

The first home to be raised will be in partnership with Maison Orfie, builders of the first LEED Canada Platinum home in Quebec. "It's not easy to earn LEED Platinum certification on the first try" says Emmanuel Cosgrove, Director of Ecohabitation and LEED evaluator of the Maison Orfie project.