100 Year Old Home Receives LEED® Platinum Certification
KITCHENER REEP House for Sustainable Living, a century brick home located at 20 Mill Street in downtown Kitchener, is one of the first renovated homes in Canada to achieve LEED Platinum certification.
The renovation of REEP House was done by REEP Green Solutions, a local non-profit organization. “Our mission is to make sustainability the norm in Waterloo Region,” said Mary Jane Patterson, Executive Director of REEP. “By achieving LEED Platinum certification, we hope to encourage homeowners and industry professionals to adopt the principles embodied in the LEED Canada for Homes system.”
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third-party certification program for environmentally sustainable buildings, recognized in over 132 countries. LEED is the primary rating standard used by the Canada Green Building Council for homes and commercial buildings.
Platinum certification is the highest of four LEED certification levels, requiring that residential projects achieve at least 90 out of 136 LEED points.
REEP House gained points by reducing energy use by 86 percent, installing water efficient appliances, rainwater harvesting systems, and permeable paving, minimized waste during construction, use of reclaimed flooring, doors and trim, location near natural spaces and public transportation, and much more.
“Platinum certification for houses is rare given the high threshold of environmental performance that needs to be met,” said Kyle Anders of Mindscape Innovations, the organization that worked as the LEED Canada for Homes Provider assisting in the LEED application process for REEP House.
Although approximately 63 homes across Canada are certified Platinum under LEED Canada for Homes, most of them are newly built homes.
“It's easier to build a high performance home from scratch,” said Anders, “though this is certainly accompanied by a tradeoff in embodied energy cost, not to mention capital cost.”
The renovated REEP House features high-performance technologies and stormwater management strategies and has been open to the public for tours and workshops since 2010. Approximately 1,000 visitors visit the site each year, including homeowners considering home improvement projects and students from high schools, colleges, and universities. REEP House is open for free public tours led by a Certified Energy Advisor on a drop-in basis every Saturday from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
REEP Green Solutions, formerly the Residential Energy Efficiency Project, is an environmental organization with a focus on energy and water sustainability, serving Waterloo Region since 1999. REEP is known for providing home energy evaluations across Waterloo Region, implementing RAIN, a groundbreaking rainwater management education program, across all sectors in the region, and co-leading ClimateActionWR, along with Sustainable Waterloo Region, area municipalities and local utilities.