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The Laebon CHESS Project

The Canadian Housing Energy Sustainable Solutions (CHESS) project is a highly resource- and energy-efficient bungalow located in the town of Red Deer, and tailored to the unique climate extremes of central Alberta.


In order to design a home that was both energy-efficient and suited to Red Deer’s climate, the CHESS team began by considering the house as a whole, including how it would interact with the environment, the impacts of construction as well as the full life cycle of the home.

Essentially a starter home, the CHESS house was designed to be extremely flexible to changes in the needs and preferences of home owners. An optional second floor was planned to accommodate a growing family. For later in life, the main floor was designed to be readily and easily made barrier-free.

Another priority was ensuring the highest possible level of resource efficiency throughout the construction process. As a result, close to 65 per cent of all construction waste will be recycled, and many of the materials used to build the home will be re-useable if it is demolished.

To ensure the home would produce as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis, the builders combined a highly efficient building envelope with geothermal, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic renewable energy sources. The result is a model of comfortable, adaptable and resource-efficient housing designed for the realities of life in a harsh Canadian climate.

Key Design Features:

  • Tailored to the local climate
  • Highly insulated building envelope
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Advanced HRV system
  • Responsible use and recycling of resources
  • Highly adaptable design accommodates full life cycle of the occupants
  • Structural insulated panel wall system




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