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Greening Homes’ Beechwood Project Earns Coveted Canadian Green Building Award

Greening Homes is thrilled to announce that its Beechwood Project – a deep energy retrofit of a post-World War II bungalow in Toronto's East York area – is the recipient of the prestigious Canadian Green Building Award in the residential project category. Christopher Phillips and Steven Gray, Greening Homes' respective President and Construction Manager, accepted the award today at the National Conference of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Greening Homes is recognized for transforming an aging bungalow on Beechwood Crescent into one of the most highly efficient residential buildings in the country. The renovated two-story house surpassed Passive House air-tightness requirements for new construction, with an air tightness level of 0.44 air changes per hour (ACH). The lower the number of air changes, the less energy is required to keep air at a comfortable temperature. The Passive House standard for new construction is 0.6 ACH. For renovations the standard is 1 ACH.

"We went from a house with no insulation or ventilation to one that is evenly heated from basement to second floor and with fresh healthy air all the time," says Andrew Hellebust who with his wife Maria Riedstra owns the home. "The house is now fossil fuel free with an electric heat pump drawing heat from the soil right beneath the basement floor. We didn't even have to turn on backup throughout this unusually cold and long winter. Our electrical bills are less than our old heating bills, even with a larger house."

"The Beechwood home showcases what can be done for Toronto's aging building stock," says Mr. Phillips. "It also demonstrates what can be achieved when everyone – from the homeowner to the trades people - commit to creating a high performance building. We are truly honoured that the Canada Green Building Council has recognized this groundbreaking retrofit."

The Beechwood house underwent an integrated design process involving an architect, sustainability consultant, third party testers, mechanical engineer, builder, and other professionals from the high-performance building industry. Through this process, the home's geometry, glazing, insulation, mechanical system, air barrier detailing and constructability were optimized for energy efficiency, high indoor air quality and low water consumption.

Other retrofit features include: Forest Stewardship Council framing lumber; triple paned, argon-filled fibreglass windows; recycled denim batt sound insulation; hydronic in-ceiling heating and cooling; drain water heat recovery; WaterSense Certified low-flow fixtures and LED lighting throughout; sub-slab geothermal loop; durable and recyclable cool metal roof, and, high recycled content locally produced drywall. The retrofit also achieved 80 percent total project waste diversion.

Along with the other winning projects, details of the Beechwood Project will be displayed at the IIDEX show in Toronto in December. The Canadian Green Building Awards, a joint program of SABMag and the Canada Green Building Council, recognize excellence in the design and execution of Canadian residential and non-residential buildings of all types, including new construction, existing buildings, renovations and interior design projects.

In the fall of 2014, the CaGBC's Toronto Chapter awarded the Beechwood Deep Energy Retrofit with an Innovation in LEED Award in the Innovation in Sustainability category. In November last year, Greening Homes was also recognized for its commitment to waste reduction, receiving the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility Award in the Waste Diversion and Recycling category, coordinated by Green Living.

About Greening Homes

Established in 2007, Greening Homes Ltd. is a fully licensed, WSIB-registered, insured and bonded healthy renovations firm headquartered in the Junction Triangle area of Toronto, Canada. A pioneer in healthy and high efficient home renovation, Greening Homes is committed to being an impetus for change in the building industry. To learn more, visit


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