As incredible as it sounds, RND Construction overcame one obstacle after another to build nine net-zero-ready homes while dealing with Covid-19 organizational realities.
The result is Farmside Green, the brainchild of RND president Roy Nandram, who nurtured the Ottawa project from the get-go.
“The challenges during Covid included a steep increase in building material costs, especially in lumber,” says Nandram, whose company has been building green for 30 years and is a regular award winner at local, provincial and national levels. “But there were also long lead times for delivery of finishing products and securing trades. And there were also challenges building homes during the winter on a tight site.”
Designed by Hobin Architecture, the development was planned for R-2000 standards, which is 50 per cent more energy efficient than conventional builds. RND decided to upgrade these homes to net-zero during the construction process. Hobin looked to farmhouse design concepts as inspiration for the homes’ exteriors, showcasing prominent gables, then combined that with bright, modern-themed interiors.
Farmside Green consists of three pairs of semi-detached and three single-detached net-zero homes. The development backs onto Ottawa’s historic 427-hectare Central Experimental Farm and features smart floorplans, tasteful style and an eco-friendly base that positions it as a futuristic energy-efficient standard incorporating resilient construction techniques.
With square-footage ranges from about 1,800 to 2,450, the homes were designed to complement the nearby area and scenery. Nandram named the various homes after traditional Canadian trees, including Maple, Hemlock, Walnut and Birch. The development features a bike path that leads to the adjoining farmland.
Also close to the Civic campus of The Ottawa Hospital, Nandram points out that Farmside Green is an “amazing” location.
“The Central Experimental Farm was the clincher and, with no backyard neighbours, the project is like a little island,” he says.
The overall design utilizes a forceful colour palette so each house is slightly different, to eliminate the sameness so often evident in standard developments. With Farmside Green there is also eco-conscious construction that includes upgraded insulation, triple-glazed windows and high-performance heating systems.
Besides exceptional backyards and design, Farmside Green is close to the Queensway, which provides easy access to the events, restaurants and shops downtown. Also close by is Preston Street, known as home to the vibrant Little Italy community. Again, a bike path extends from the development, reaching across Central Experimental Farm and ensuring an accessible link to the city network.
RND Construction builds these kinds of net-zero-ready homes to be at least 50 per cent more energy-efficient than standard builds, with Nandram’s green passion evident every step of the way.
“I am very concerned for the environment,” he says. “Plus homeowners know they are getting a thermally comfortable home and take pride in the fact they are helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As more and more customers request net-zero-ready homes, we will continue to build them when the opportunities present themselves.”
While working on Farmside Green, RND built Vista Green, a two-home development on a corner lot at Alta Vista Drive and Mountbatten Avenue in Ottawa. The lot was severed, which promoted efficient land use and compact form. Both homes have also been certified as R-2000 and net-zero. One model is called The Veranda, and has a large front porch. The other, The Terrace, has a rooftop terrace and elevator. Nandram confirmed that his company has another five net-zero-ready homes under construction.
RND subscribes to a philosophy that promotes ‘green’ as a method of constructing homes and buildings which utilizes environmentally-friendly techniques while creating a sustainable and energy-efficient final product. Nandram says the advantages are many, including long-term savings and numerous health benefits for the homeowners. Perhaps most importantly, he points out, it gives homeowners an active role in protecting against climate changes and preserving natural resources for future generations.
To that end, RND focuses on incorporating design, comfort and operational efficiency into each project, always with an eye on a net-zero possibility. The combination of all three aspects helps to create an ideal living environment that is sustainable, as well as stylish and cost-effective.
Web / rndconstruction.ca
Net-zero homes were once only seen in custom homes, but committed and passionate builders such as RND Construction now offer net-zero and net-zero-ready production of homes and communities. Energy efficient homes are becoming more desirable to many Canadians who are looking for superior quality, greater comfort, and who want to be environmentally responsible. And net-zero communities are helping reach Canada’s emission reduction targets. (Note: A net-zero home produces the same amount of energy that it consumes annually through renewable energy resources).