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Modern materials, old-fashioned charm

The latest green technology gives this charming 1930s replica superior energy efficiency.




2,423 sq.ft.


  • Insulated concrete form (ICF) construction
  • Solar collectors
  • Highly efficient boiler system
  • Heat recovery ventilation system

Built Better

  • Building Envelope


  • R2000 certified
  • Built Green certified
  • Featured in Edmonton Journal
  • 2008 EnviroHome Award – Canadian Home Builders’ Association
  • 2007 Green Vision Award Finalist – Canadian Home Builders’ Association

The Plan

We wanted to build a Craftsman-style home that would look every bit as mature as the towering evergreen trees lining the established ravine community in which it is situated. In order to accomplish that we had to carefully think about how best to integrate energy-saving elements into the home. Our goal was to achieve our environmentally friendly objectives by using modern day technologies which would enhance its functionality without affecting the old-time charm of the house design itself.

The Build

To get the charming exterior of this 1930s style home right the design included such features as a wraparound covered veranda, inviting dormer windows and cedar shingles all of which bring you back to a simpler time. We also included many interior features such as vaulted ceilings, a stained-glass panel above a wall , and multi-paned windows so that the interior would reflect and carry forward the historical impression created by the exterior.

Every finishing detail was carefully chosen to reflect or amplify the traditional feel of the home. For example, pewter hardware throughout the home carries the antique style into every room. To accomplish our energy efficiency goals we installed solar panels on the roof which provide about 70% of the home’s hot water needs and a highly efficient boiler system which replaces a conventional furnace. Dual flush toilets help conserve water, triple-pane windows lock in heat and in-floor radiant heat warms the basement.

The living and dining areas are positioned on the south side of the house to take advantage of passive solar heating. Along with a highly insulated exterior concrete construction, these systems all work together to provide the homeowner with significantly reduced energy costs. These modern technologies which were not available to a builder in the 1930s make the Mackenzie built to last, much like its charming Craftsman style.

Solar Collectors

Two solar collectors on the roof provide about 70% of the home’s hot water needs.

Historical Touches

The Mackenzie includes many historically influenced elements including a cozy fireplace, generous wooden french doors, roof gables, wainscoting and traditional tile.

Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Construction

The foundation and above grade exterior walls are made of ICF. The combination of insulation and concrete gives the home extraordinary insulating values. It’s nearly twice as insulated as a standard two-by-six wood frame construction. These walls are virtually sound proof for a more peaceful living environment and are extremely air-tight, which eliminates heat loss from air leaks to further enhance comfort and efficiency.

You turn on these old-style taps and the water you’re drawing is being heated by the sun. It’s a beautiful combination.

Les Wold

Effect Home Builders

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