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April 01, 2009

Above the crowd

Emerge Homes stands out for all the right reasons

Kimberley Luu

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Take a tour of the Dahlia show home by Emerge Homes, a division of Avalon Master Builder, in McKenzie Towne and you will find yourself in a spacious yet cozy split level.

Some of you may fall in love with the open plan concept enhanced by the 11-foot main floor ceiling height; others the bright airy windows that carry natural light from room to room. Yet all of you will fall in love with the peace of mind of knowing that you've minimized your ecological footprint with a certified Built GreenTM Platinum home.

Trust that Avalon Master Builder, a 25-year-old family run business, has constructed over 550 Built GreenTM homes in the last five years. Now, with Emerge Homes, they are leading the way in building some of Canada’s most energy efficient homes and Calgary’s McKenzie Towne community is a happy host. With a well established town square featuring a grocery store, convenience store, neighbourhood pub and coffee shop as well as many other speciality shops, this friendly community seems the perfect place to settle down and build a future.

Emerge’s sustainable building practice helps make that lifestyle last into the future. Ryan Scott, president and CEO of Avalon Master Builder, says they focus first and foremost on the “building envelope”. South and west exposed windows are double glazed Low-E and north and east windows are triple glazed Low-E. The home is well insulated from the bottom up according to Scott; the basement is insulated underneath with an R-10 value and the walls R-20, the upper walls have a total R-27.5 value after being clad with one-and-a-half-inches of “Dow Cladmate” which is essentially over one third more effective at insulating your home. “We then ensure the home is very air tight preventing drafts and heat loss by blower door testing the home,” says Scott. “At the end of this we get an EnerGuide label for the home much like you would on a car or fridge,” something many have learned to keep an eye out for when finding the most energy efficient products.

The ATCO owned and maintained Geo-Thermal and Solar-Thermal heating systems are still new in the industry and have been adopted by Emerge Homes for McKenzie Towne. The Geo-Thermal system uses vertical boreholes below ground level to collect and provide heat for your home. The Solar-Thermal system uses heat collected from the solar panels on the home’s roof to heat a portion of the hot water. Scott says about 70-75 per cent of the home’s hot water will be heated through the Solar-Thermal system. However, unlike most energy efficient goods, you don’t have to pay more upfront to reap the benefits as homes start from the low $300,000 including lot and GST.

All technicalities aside, you’ll find Emerge Homes offers a variety of floor plans equipped for work, play and everything in between to fit your lifestyle. Terra Davidson, customer experience manager and partner for the builder, says the 1,750-square-foot four-bedroom show home creates more usable space with the four levels, three of them finished. The modern home design feels warm with its brown and red colour blends. The sleek kitchen layout has built-in pantries, contemporary red tile backsplash and refreshing cabinet hardware but in keeping with their green building practices, Emerge also includes a built-in recycling centre and laminate flooring made with 90 per cent recycled material.

The different home exteriors follow McKenzie Towne’s international flair specifically with the Tudor styled show home. Located at 298 Elgin Meadows Way SE you can’t miss the stone exterior with green painted panels, how appropriate for the green builder.

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