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Danish-developed concept house sets new standards for sustainable modern living

Is it possible to combine environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and sustainable housing with modern comforts and beautiful design? While also staying attuned to the busy lifestyle of a contemporary young family?

The world’s first certified Active House seeks to prove that the answer is yes. The VELUX and Great Gulf model home in Toronto demonstrates how tomorrow’s buildings can be built using today’s technology.

Concepts such as the Active House show that significant reductions can be made to our carbon footprint to reach our goal of sustainability without compromising design, economics or quality”, said Denmark's Ambassador to Canada Niels Boel Abrahamsen  shown here (fifth from the left) with Danish Trade Commissioner Jess Møller Knudsen (left), Councillor Stephen Holiday, and representatives from Great Golf, VELUX, and the Active House Advisory Committee.

Innovative solutions for a greener future
The concept was initiated in Denmark by an alliance of European scientists, architects, engineers, and building manufacturers who met in Copenhagen to explore new ways to reduce CO2 emissions to counter global warming.

While working in the Danish capital, they developed the idea of an energy-efficient building that focuses on the overall comfort and well-being of its residents. This is achieved by  optimizingspace, using natural daylight and ventilation, and accessing the outdoors while integrating innovative design elements. This model house offers a healthier and more comfortable living environment, reduces the energy consumption of the building, and has a positive impact on the environment.

Ambassador of Denmark Niels Boel Abrahamsen participated in the unveiling of the house on June 13 in Toronto along with  Danish Trade Commissioner Jess Møller Knudsen. The Ambassador used the occasion to voice his enthusiasm to see Danish sustainable solutions applied in Canada. Denmark and Canada share ambitious climate policies, and much can be gained from working together for innovative approaches in this important area.

To understand the Active House lifestyle better, Russell Ibbotson, Technical Manager for Building Industry at VELUX Canada, will be moving into the home with his family for a six-month test period. Great Gulf, who is showing great leadership in bringing the Active House concept into a Canadian context, hopes to scale up this efficient housing model by developing an entire community of Active Houses in the future.