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Net Zero community of homes under construction in Westport, Ont.

Westport, Ont. -

A small eastern Ontario town is getting a big new development. 

Designed to be super efficient, to generate its own energy, and release few emissions, it is a standard called "Net Zero."

The first of its kind in the country, the entire neighbourhood’s cluster of homes are built to this standard.

Constructed by Ottawa-based Land Ark Homes, founder Stephen Rolston says a house comes with features like the ability to use solar power, increased insulation for better home heating and cooling, and the entire neighbourhood uses electric power, eliminating fossil fuel use on the block.

"The triple-glazed windows mean you can sit in front of the window and not get hot in the summer, and not feel cold in the winter," Rolston explains. "Because they have the lowest solar heat gain coefficient in the industry."

Homeowners only need to add solar panels onto their roof, and a battery bank to essentially be self-sufficient for their energy needs.  

The community is being constructed in Westport, Ont., which sits between Ottawa and Kingston. It is a town of just 600 people.

The decision to build here is also not a coincidence. Rolston says the close-knit community allows for people to leave the car at home.

Ottawa-based Land Ark Homes is building a Net-Zero community of homes in Westport, Ont. (Kimberley Johnson/CTV News Ottawa)

Rolston says the motto they have approached with is "Walk, Walk, Walk."

"It’s the walkability to the medical clinic, it’s walkability to the pharmacy, the grocery, the library, the brewery and the winery," he explains. "And that type of walkability is where everything is point seven of a kilometre from the entrances to this community."

There will be three stages of development, with only 25 homes built at a time.

The developers say that is intentional, because they wanted to make sure the town of Westport was prepared to handle the growth. 

A house in the neighbourhood will cost more than $700,000, but some future homes will come in at a smaller price tag. 

Mayor Robin Jones says it’s about bringing in new families and those looking to downsize in retirement. 

"We’ve got two schools, so we certainly want to make sure that the housing is affordable enough for young families," she explains. "And we keep the schools filled."

 There are also plans to create amenities like a community centre, with social activities for families and residents. 

The builders say the neighbourhood aims to be the start of a new standard of community.

"To me it’s all about cottage life and it’s all about small-town life, in a walkable community." Top Stories

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