An Edmonton couple retrofitted their home to be completely net-zero

Maclean's reports on a complete retrofit of a 1950s bungalow so that it generates as much energy as it uses. 

From the outside, Jesse Tufts’s Edmonton house looks like a handsome new home, with ample windows, a glassed-in verandah and charcoal and pine siding. But it’s not like every other house on the block: the 1,350-square-foot house, located in Edmonton’s Glenora neighbourhood, is net zero, which means it consumes as much energy as it produces.

Tufts, a mechanical engineer, and his wife, Jena, a development engineering manager, purchased the 1950s-era two-bedroom box bungalow in 2011 for $400,000. They liked the location—within biking distance of downtown Edmonton—and the big backyard. But after their first winter, they realized that the home’s postwar construction couldn’t keep the cold out; in Edmonton, temperatures regularly dip below -20 degrees Celsius. Blankets would freeze on the bed if they were too close to a wall. Frost formed on the ceilings, and condensation froze on the windows. Any time they stood next to a wall or a closed window, they could feel the cold. The couple replaced the windows, sealed baseboards with spray foam and added insulation to the basement’s bare concrete walls, but the house was still too cold whenever temperatures plummeted.


Read the full article at Maclean's.

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