We had been looking to buy a property in the Springbank area for a few years but we were struggling to find the perfect house. Our realtor suggested we consider buying a lot instead and building our own home. That’s when we met Allison. We first met on the lot that we had our eye on. It was a Southeast-facing, two-acre lot in a great location with scenic views of Elbow River valley and the Rocky Mountains. We could easily envisage how this sunny lot, once landscaped and treed, would provide a peaceful, serene setting for our dream residence. Allison also immediately saw the lot’s potential for a beautiful home and we were hooked.
We met with Allison and established a fun and friendly relationship from the get-go. The positivity of our relationship enabled us to explore innovative ideas together to build a sustainable luxury home with classic appeal. From the beginning, one of the key requirements for us was to build a low-carbon home; one that consumed minimum energy and took advantage of the potential for passive heating from the sun and solar panels. When we raised this idea with Allison, we were pleased that she was prepared to work with us toward reaching this objective. We agreed the overall aim was to achieve the low-carbon result without compromising on quality or aesthetic appeal.
Rockwood’s architect Dean Bottomley was a great asset to the team and was very effective in designing the home to maximize its exposure to the sun. This additional design work included such things as: maximizing glazing on the south side of the home, minimizing glazing on the north side, designing eaves and covered decks to shade windows in the summer, and designing the roof to accommodate solar PV panels. Dean situated the garage on the north/northwest side of the home to help shelter the house from any prevailing winds. We engaged a sustainability consultant to assist with certain design aspects including window location, size and placement. We also applied Passivhaus modelling to forecast the impact of solar design on energy consumption.
Rockwood’s project management was superb with truly excellent attention to detail. They delivered our home on time, on budget (within three percent) and to a very high quality. Project Manager Ben was always willing and able to accommodate additional sustainability characteristics over and above the usual custom-build aspects. During construction Ben worked with trades people and suppliers to choose the optimal materials for our home and apply methods that would reduce carbon emissions. (i.e., Rockwood set up a door blower test to identify and seal air leaks and improve the air tightness of the home.) Since insulation was an important consideration for us, we decided to use JM Spider and limit the use of spray-foam insulation. We also selected doors and garage doors with high insulation.
We loved working with Rockwood’s interior design team, led by Katie. Katie is a fabulous designer and made it really easy for us to select the perfect materials and colours for our home. There are a million and one choices to make in a house like ours and we had a lot of fun during the entire process; the home and its interior decor is stunning.
It is exciting to have built a net-zero emissions home; a first for Calgary. Key enablers include: design for the sun, passive solar heating, solar PV panels, super air tightness, super insulation, triple glazing, LED lighting, high efficiency appliances, smart thermostats, and tree planting.
The end result is a top quality luxury, net-zero home that our family—plus everyone who visits and stays—absolutely loves. It is truly a dream come true for us. A life experience that we will always remember! We can wholeheartedly recommend Rockwood as the best luxury home builder in Calgary.
- Grant & Helen Bremner