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Esk’etemc First Nation - Net-Zero Energy Ready Health and Wellness Centre

Lead Proponent:   Zirnhelt Timber Frames Ltd.
Location:  Alkali Lake, British Columbia
PERD Contribution: $39,740
Strategic Area:  Net-Zero Energy Buildings

Project Objectives:

The primary objective of this Project is to compliment a high performance building envelope with the purchase, installation and commissioning of advanced mechanical technologies that will upgrade this energy efficient centre to a Net Zero Ready (NZ-R) level of performance.  The proponent is aiming to make the centre the first building in a northern climate in a First Nation community, to be labeled under the new Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Net Zero Ready program.

In an area like this, where natural gas is often not available, energy costs are high as electric baseboards are often used for space heating.  Currently under construction, the 6,800 square foot health and wellness center will use a high performance exterior insulated panelized wall system to lower energy use as well as advanced heat pumps to provide the space and water heating  to enable it to reach NZ-R.

Zirnhelt’s preliminary design was upgraded with envelope and mechanical technologies that were assessed by a group of Northern BC builders through Natural Resources Canada’s Local Energy Efficiency Partnerships (LEEP) initiative.  The LEEP process in Northern BC was made possible through partnership with the BC Housing, BC Hydro and FortisBC.  BC Housing and BC Hydro are also providing funding to enable this centre to be upgraded so that it could aim for the NZE designation and serve as an example of what is possible other buildings in First Nations communities.   The Centre is being built with funding from the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

Expected Results:

This low energy facility is expected to reduce annual energy consumption, improve thermal comfort, maintain greater comfort during power outages, and provide data to inform decisions on the future use of advanced heat pumps and high performance envelopes in northern climates.

Project Partners:

British Columbia Ministry of Housing
BC Hydro
Esk’etemc First Nation
First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC)


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