Welcome to the Centennial Park Active House blog and welcome to our home for the next 6 months. We are super excited to be living in this super cool house and sharing this experience as the “test family” with our three daughters, Lucy, Eleanor and Poppy. We will live in the house from July to December. We will document our observations, monitor the performance and try to capture and share the essence of what makes an Active House better for families. But this will not be all technical, we hope to make this fun and interesting for non-techy people too. Active House Centennial Park is the first certified Active House in the world and you can learn more about Active Houses and see case studies from around the world at activehouse.info. Sign-up to follow the blog at activehouse.ca where we will also host our tweets and Instagram messages.

My name is Bethany, but generally go by “MUMMY!!!!” as I am I currently staying at home with the girls. In my pre-baby life, I worked in the environmental sector as a conservation biologist with projects ranging from wetland restoration to community outreach.  It seems like a lifetime ago but I know it has influenced the parent I am today when my 3 year old corrects a fellow hiker on the trail that it is not algae growing on the rocks but moss! I am both excited and intimidated by what lies ahead as we settle into a new home and community.  I am primarily interested in how my family will benefit from this design and the overall quality of the space.  My side of the blog will be how we feel in the house, how we use and experience the space, basically, our daily observations on life in an Active House.  This will have me writing more often but squeezed in between games of hide-and-seek, playdough and numerous snacks, I expect the subjects will be more in the moment.

My name is Russell, or “daaaaddy”, and I am an engineer that works for one of the supplier partners in the project, VELUX. I have been around high performance buildings for 15 years and am very interested in capturing the real experience while demonstrating this house, which I believe trumps computer modeling. During my time in the house, I will write a series of six blogs that will share the exploration, performance and verification of the Active House principles embodied in this house with hopes of making it fun and educational, no small challenge! Since design was such a strong theme in the conversations around this project, but not specifically an Active House metric, I feel it is important to dedicate one of the blogs to how good design contributes to the Active House principles.

We would like to thank Great Gulf for the invitation to be the “test family” and VELUX for supporting us. We are very excited by this adventure and hope you will follow our journey!