An energy audit was done on the main building about 10 years ago, soon after the property was purchased. The building is divided in two major sections – the residential/office area and the program area. The residential/office area was itself constructed in various stages since the the original home was built over 200 years old.
The program area was built in 2015. It was constructed using the existing garage/machine shed, thereby, reducing construction waste and maintaining an historical feature of the building.
The residential/office area is heated by a geothermal system that that was in-place when the building was purchased. Supplemental heat is supplied with a wood stove. Two mini splits, backed up with electric baseboard heaters, heat the program areas.
- Blown in insulation in the ceiling of the program area
- Closed cell polyurethane foam was sprayed on the exterior walls and rim joists in the in the basement in 2017
- About 75% of the original windows in the house have been replaced with 2-ply thermal pane Low-E Argon filled windows. This has been done over several years.
Energy efficiency of lighting and electrical appliances:
- Use mostly LED lights throughout the building.Some remaining CF bulbs and incandescent bulbs.
- The kitchen appliances in the residence/office and program areas are energy efficient, for example, there are 3 ranges, 2 refrigerator, dishwasher, commercial sterilizer and upright freezer are Energy Star certified. 1 chest freezer is older and probably not Energy Star Certified.
Recycling and Waste Management
- 3 stream waste
- Most of the food scraps go to feed the chickens, or in the compost pile, the rest goes in a green bag for municipal pick-up.
- Reuse cardboard boxes to cover lawn, grass, weeds, they lay it in strips for paths, cover it with wood chips, straw, etc.
Products and Services
- Use lots of the food they grow on site for their participants
- Sell eggs and vegetables at their farm gate and the Sackville Farmers Market
- Run a small weekly CSA for 15-20 members
- Organize bulk purchases of Speerville Flour Mill products (most of which come in paper bags) and Just Us coffee products – Organic and fairly traded
- When making preserves, they use reusable jars for canning
- Have several low-flow toilets
- An irrigation pond collects water for crops
- The water pump that brings water from the pond to their fields is powered by solar panels and they use drip irrigation.
- Use unbleached post-consumer paper towels
- Use FSC paper for printing
- Order toilet paper wrapped in paper, in a cardboard box, as opposed to in plastic.
- Use all natural cleaning products that they purchase in bulk, including local hand soap from Anointment
- Most of their furniture is all second hand.
- Encourage cycling and walking
- Funding for collecting rainwater off roofs for their crops, eavestroughs, barrels, drainage to the irrigation pond
- Rain gardens
- Grid-tied electricity generation using PV panels
- Access to an electric community shuttle service