Sustainable housing and real estate in Kitchener-Waterloo Region

Sustainable Contacts in K-W
May 8, 2009, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Rebecca Sargent, Sustainability | Tags: , , , ,

Did you know that the K-W region is home to many advanced renewable energy technology firms, sustainable buildings and businesses? In fact, we are one of the country’s leading regions for these types of technologies.  When I first started researching sustainable technologies, I was incredibly surprised to learn this. I really had no idea. So I thought I would share with you the sustainable technologies/builders/businesses/etc. in our region that are doing sustainable technology research, information distribution, installations, services and sales.  This list is only a handful… there are many others, which I will try to add to along the way. If you see any services or suppliers missing, please let me know and I will add them!

Prometheus Energy- distributor of renewable and solar energy supplies

321 Shoemaker Street
Kitchener , Ontario
N2E 3B3

Rapid-Eau Technologies Inc.- small hydro power installation and upgrades

1220 Shouldice Side Road
R.R. #4

Cambridge , Ontario
N1R 5S5

Advanced Design & Drafting (AYR) Inc.- Engineering and drafting support for solar and wind energy

24-140 McGovern Drive
Cambridge, Ontario
N3H 4R7

Alternative Energy Resources-Solar Panels, WindMills, Water Pumps, Power Inverters, and more.

138 Bakersfield Dr.
Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 6X7

Natural Power Products-sells solar power and wind turbine products

500 Trillium Drive
Suite 18

Kitchener, Ontario
N2R 1E5

Batteries Expert Waterloo / RET Power- Solar and wind battery and charging systems

105 Lexington Rd.
Unit #11

Waterloo, Ontario
N2J 4R7

Free Breeze Energy Systems- Renewable energy products

100 Frobisher Dr. Unit #11
Waterloo, Ontario
N2V 2A1
(519) 885-9021
(519) 885-1588

Merlyn Enterprises Inc- Solar Thermal systems

80 Krug St
Kitchener , Ontario
N2H 2X7

ARISE Technologies Corporation- complete solar and wind solutions

65 Northland Road
Waterloo, Ontario
N2V 1Y8
(519) 725-2244
(519) 725-8907

RenewABILITY Energy Inc.- Cost-effective energy solutions

60 Baffin Place
Unit 2

Waterloo, Ontario
N2V 1Z7

Spheral Solar Power, Inc.- Photovoltaic solar cells

250 Royal Oak Road,
Cambridge, Ontario
N3H 5M2

MTE Consultants- Environmental engineering service520 Bingemans Centre Drive

Kitchener, Ontario N2B 3X9
Phone: (519) 743-6500
Facsimile: (519) 743-6513

Viessmann Manufacturing Company Inc.- Solar water heaters

750 McMurray Road
Waterloo, Ontario
N2V 2G5

BRC Mechanical Inc. – geothermal and heat recovery systems
79 Woolwich St. South, Unit 2
Breslau, Ontario
Tel: 519.648.2222

AET Group- Environmental Consulting

133 Weber Street North
Suite #3-504
Waterloo, Ontario

Canada N2J 3G9

Telephone: (519) 576-9723
Fax: (519) 570-9589


The North House
in Hespeler (Cambridge)
Community Renewable Energy Waterloo– resources

Sustainable Waterloo– Not for profit

Residential Energy Efficiency Project Waterloo– Not for profit

Cambridge City Hall Going Green
EMS Services Cambridge Going Green
Green Roofs Over Waterloo– promoting sustainable technologies

Sustainable Technology Education Project– Education and resources

What does sustainable really mean in housing anyway?

We’ve heard the word “green” for so long now, what is this other new catch word “sustainability”? Sustainability is a holistic concept, concerned with the big picture. It looks into the overall cost in terms of economic, ecological, and social costs. It is about looking at where the raw materials that went into a product came from, what happened to them along the way and the final result of where it ends up. It’s looking at the entire lifecycle of something and figuring out the most efficient way to make it happen with the least waste as an end result.

In housing, this translates into efficiency in water usage, energy usage and the minimizing of overall adverse health problems. It also means looking into where the building materials came from in the first place and finding out whether or not they are using a system that is maintainable and respecting human rights. It’s about reducing the waste that goes into a product, and finding ways to reuse the product in a new way once it’s reached its usability. It’s about thinking about the ways we are living and finding ways that better suit our current needs. Desiging the spaces around us, around our environment and figuring out the best usage.

Many innovative designs are available. Architechture and engineering schools are turning more and more to sustainable designs and ideas, but the turnover to the building industry is slower. The turnover to the real estate market, probably the main driver of how the building industry will run, even slower.

Not all of the kinks in the new technologies have been worked out, and we should not rely solely on one means of securing energy. Instead we should diversify. The more energy efficient or energy creating technology becomes in demand, the more research will be done and the more options will come out.

It’s not about changing everything overnight, but it is about making small changes to be more efficient and cost-effective (including social and ecological costs as well).

It doesn’t even mean making any real structural changes. It can be as simple as switching your energy provider to one that offers more sustainable energy (in K-W you can try It’s about stopping the leak in your sink, and cauking the cracks. It’s about turing the heat down one degree and putting on a sweater. It’s about updating windows and doing proper insulation. It’s about changing lifestyles to be less wasteful.

The smaller maintanence and daily lifestyle changes make huge differences. Not only in reducing environmental impact, but also in costs. You will save money. Sustainable efficient living will save you money. It will save the amount of toxins getting into your home and into your body.

All housing requires maintenance. When you do the maintenance, think about using more sustainable options in place of what you would normally do. If you don’t know what options exist– ask me! I’d be happy to share my resources with you.