Canada’s Second LEED v4 Platinum Home Ideal for Retired Baby Boomers

14 Feb 2018

The Canada Green Building Council® (CaGBC) congratulates Quebec homeowners Pierre Chevrier and Suzanne Rhéaume on earning Canada’s second LEED v4 Platinum home certification for L’Heure Bleue. Guided by Quebec LEED Homes Provider Écohabitation, the home is the passion project of the active baby boomer couple, who decided that their ideal retirement residence would be a sustainable space where they could age “gracefully and gratefully.”   

Situated in picturesque Charlevoix, QC, along the St. Lawrence River, L’Heure Bleue is a 2,350 sq.ft. Modern Farmhouse Revival that sits on more than two acres of coastal property and is part of a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Awarded Platinum certification under LEED v4 BD+C: Homes, the project incorporates a design that was meant to be adaptive and fit changing mobility and accessibility needs, with every aspect focused on ecological awareness, sustainable materials and environmental management, both indoors and outdoors.

After just seven months of living in their new home, the couple is also already seeing much lower operational costs for hydro and water consumption, and health benefits due to an indoor environment with clean air quality and no VOC emissions, natural lighting and air circulation. Their hydro bill of less than $60 a month is a fraction of the cost incurred at their previous home, and despite using their heat pump and air conditioning infrequently, the house is kept cool during the summer and comfortably warm without overheating during the -34o C winters.

After looking at a variety of sustainable building options and rating systems, Chevrier and Rhéaume say they chose LEED v4 for its strong holistic approach toward a healthy and autonomous lifestyle, which fit in with their priorities.

“LEED v4 convinced me that my home would be adapted not only to my personal needs for a healthy lifestyle as an active senior, but also as a worthwhile investment I would not regret leaving for our children and grandchildren,” says Rhéaume. “This was a self-build project that became a passion of ours as we networked, researched and rolled-up our sleeves. Achieving the Platinum level is very rewarding, but what is even more gratifying is knowing that this home was a grassroots endeavour. It was built by someone’s Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa. This project proves the value of going for LEED v4.”

In addition, the marketability and sales appeal of these green features represents an increase in market value.

“The L’Heure Bleue project is an excellent example of why LEED works for homeowners. It provides a solid template and set of guidelines for going green, and understands the value and importance of the unique needs that homeowners have,” says Mark Hutchinson, Vice President of Green Building Programs, CaGBC. “While other rating systems focus on one or two specific aspects of sustainability, LEED looks at a home from all angles – allowing not just for energy and water savings, but a healthy and fresh indoor environment that will leave a lasting impact. 

The home also provided a learning opportunity for all involved, including the local tradespeople that were hired to handle various aspects of construction. When they were verifying products used and installation management procedures, Chevrier and Rhéaume say that contractors were surprised to realize they were often already using green products or methods.