Photos: James Bombales

When visiting Empire Communities’ Riverland community in Breslau, prospective homebuyers will have a row of beautifully finished show homes to tour. But not all of them are your typical model home. While all have been built to current Energy STAR standards, the fifth model home is an example of what the developer sees as the home of the future. The Hybrid Home is part of Empire’s Discovery Home pilot program, which tests and researches the latest technology in sustainable innovations, energy-efficiency and the newest insulation materials.

“Empire strives to continuously grow and become leaders in the industry, and we are committed to doing this through innovation by piloting energy-saving technologies and building solutions into experiments that can be applied to new homes down the line,” says Paul Golini, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Industry Relations at Empire Communities.

“The Hybrid Home looks like a typical new home build, but in between the wood framing, under the floors and up on the roof there’s plenty of new energy-efficient features and innovative technology experiments happening,” adds Stephen Doty, Manager, Quality Assurance at Empire Communities.


Inside, a series of systems work together and operate at a high efficiency to achieve a standard that exceeds building code requirements. A.O. Smith has supplied a condensing hot water tank that provides almost unlimited hot water and simultaneously reduces Co2 emissions by half a metric ton. There’s also a water recycling system by Greyter Water Systems that filters and saves shower and bath water so it can be reused to flush toilets.


Behind the walls, ROCKWOOL and DuPont wall assembly systems maximize energy-efficiency, durability and minimize the risk of condensation damage, while a rooftop Panasonic solar panel and monitoring system will test solar options for future-proof homes.


“The Hybrid Home is a test of the home of the future,” says Sue MacKay, Vice President of Marketing at Empire Communities. “By working with industry partners to test and research energy-efficient ways of building homes, homeowners can live more comfortably while reducing their environmental footprint and save on their energy bills.”


To learn more about the Empire Discovery Home, visit the Riverland presentation centre located at 190 Woolwich Street South in Breslau, Ontario. Hours are Monday to Thursday from 1pm to 7pm, Friday from 1pm to 6pm and weekends from 11am to 5pm.

For more information, call 519 213 1190 or email riverland@empirecommunities.com.

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