RDC’s Evolve Project heads to Sylvan Lake

  • Aug. 28, 2013 9:54 p.m.

Red Deer College’s Evolve Project is on the move to Sylvan Lake and Gary Halvorson, construction researcher at RDC, said it’s just another exciting step in the process.

“This project is E1 – it’s a single family home and is the inaugural project in the Evolve initiative,” said Halvorson.

The house was built on the RDC campus in collaboration with Avalon Central Alberta and Landmark Group of Builders Ltd.

“The way it’s built is the walls came from a plant in Edmonton in pieces. Each wall is a unit with doors and windows and spray foam insulation. What we did here was build the floors and roof on site to work with our carpenter apprentices.”

Students did all the layout for the foundation and built the floors. First year carpenter apprentices built the floors and beams and the second year apprentices built the stairs.

Halvorson said the spray foam insulation is a fairly new style of closed foam insulation and eliminates the need for vapour barrier inside the house itself because it self-seals.

“The windows are all triple-glaze with Argon and shield and are low-E and top of the line for what a consumer could get to put in their home.”

The home is being moved to Sylvan Lake where it will be replacing a cabin that currently exists.

From the idea’s inception to the final build of the house, the Evolve Project has already taken three years. However, Halvorson said this won’t be the only project of its kind.

“I’d love to see more projects like this here. We aren’t sure yet what E2 is going to look like. The turnover on this project is around Christmas and in June I have to finish my reporting back and I will be recommending we do another one.”

He said the students enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the build and the practical experience it allowed them.

“Now that classes are starting back we’re looking to connect our plumbing students and possibly electrical too.”

In order to increase the home’s energy efficiency, Halvorson said the goal is to add solar panels.

“We’ve also been talking with Olds College and they’re going to be looking at designing the landscaping for this home that is efficient by being low maintenance. They may also look at rain-water capture.”

He pointed out that the greatest result of the project is the scholarship funds that will be available.

“The homeowners paid fair market value for the home through Avalon, and along with Landmark the two companies are donating back what would have been a management fee which will result in a substantial scholarship.”