Creative couple chooses net zero for comfort and sustainability

Jayman Built offers long-term savings on running a home with its energy efficient home offerings.

Article content

It’s mid-December in Calgary and Guy and Laura Parson’s new Jayman Built home in Wolf Willow is lit with twinkling lights. They’ve just moved in; boxes are everywhere, but their funky and colourful art is hung and their thriving jungle of plants are nestled near the triple-glazed, south facing windows. Soft flakes of snow are falling and winter’s chill is setting in, yet inside, this arty and eco-conscious couple are warm and cozy and toasting their decision to build a net zero certified home.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“We wanted a super-efficient home and this house is solid,” says Guy, who is a freelance cartoonist, graphic artist and university professor. “When it is 20 below, you don’t feel it.” The couple notes that even though they’ve only been in the home for a few weeks, the temperature has been consistent, no matter where they are in the home. “I don’t like to be hot and Guy doesn’t like to be cold, so it’s perfect,” says Laura, a mortgage specialist and vice-president, who like Guy, works from home.

Article content

“I have my office in one of the bedrooms upstairs and Guy has his office in the basement. So, it works really well,” says Laura, adding that the home, because of its tight building shell and the insulation level (both the home’s pad and dual-core walls are packed with insulation rated R35 — that’s three times the insulation level of a regular home), is very quiet.

“There are homes being built beside us and we can’t hear the construction until we open the door,” says Guy.

The couple purchased the Erica 20 model, an almost 1,700-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-storey laned home with a double-car garage. As they knew that this was going to be their forever home, they added plenty of extras, including a triple-paned full wall sliding glass door that leads to an expansive 20-foot-wide deck. They also finished the lower level, with 11-foot ceilings, a wet bar and recreation area, an office for Guy and a bathroom.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

Because they purchased a corner lot — a very intentional move as it has an unobstructed southern exposure, a helpful component for maximizing the effectiveness of solar panels and also for passively heating a home — they were able to oversize the double-car garage and are looking forward to landscaping come the spring. (They were three-time horticultural award winners with their yard creations in their previous home.)

The impetus for the move was several-fold, starting with reducing energy costs and the desire to live in a more eco-conscious home with a smaller footprint that was designed with optimum flow and use of space.  

They had tried to create a very energy efficient home in their previous home in Royal Oak Estates, which they built in 2003, but they just couldn’t achieve the level that they wanted.

“We were paying $900 a month for electricity and gas in that house. We put on a new roof, re-insulated and changed out the windows, but we just couldn’t get it close to net zero. We would have had to put a new shell on it and with 4,000 square feet there was so much wasted space for the two of us,” says Guy, who has been researching net-zero homes for a few years.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Their new home features 16 solar panels (that number varies with each home depending on the way it is situated on a lot), triple-pane windows with argon fill, a net zero building envelope, an electric air source heat pump for heating and cooling and fully wired Smart Home features from door locks to lighting and thermostat regulation.

“As soon as everything was up and running, we were selling back to the grid,” says Guy.

Now, instead of $900 a month, the couple should expect their energy costs to even out around $700 for the entire year.

They also wanted to be closer to their son and their daughter and their families, who live in Mahogany — all in, they have four grandchildren, twin four-year-old girls and two eight-year-old boys.

Fish Creek Park was also a huge draw (it’s a block from their front door), as the couple loves nature and is very active. They are looking forward to donning their sneakers and head phones and heading out for their morning run together. They’ve started a wish-list, too, one that includes new bikes and snowshoes.

Matt Traynor, area sales manager for Jayman Built laned homes in Wolf Willow says that these days, homebuyers are shopping around for energy efficiency and sustainability, something that Jayman provides standard at no extra cost, with its core performance system.

Advertisement 5

Article content

“With energy prices going up, people are really paying attention. It’s definitely becoming part of the buying decision,” says Traynor, noting that net zero “isn’t cheap,” but by factoring in long-term savings, it definitely makes sense. So far this year, Jayman has sold four net zero homes, (the company calls the option Quantum Performance Ultra E-Homes) and showcases a net zero certified home in every community it builds in throughout Alberta.

For Laura and Guy, the decision was definitely the right one. “We’re so happy,” says Laura. “We’re never moving again.”


BUILDER: Jayman Built

COMMUNITY: Wolf Willow

HOME MODEL: The Erica 20, a three-bedroom, two-storey laned home with three options on the pathway to a full net zero home, as well as a net zero third-party certified option.

PRICING: The Erica 20 starts at $580,000, including lot and GST, core performance sustainability features and Smart Home features. Expect to spend upwards of another $100,000 for the net zero home option.

SHOW HOME: The Erica 20 show home (it’s a net zero certified home) is located at 102 Wolf Creek Rise S.E.

HOURS: Open Monday to Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Friday.


Article content