Vancouver Passive House to Install $2,000 Cat Door

Published on January 07, 2019

A Passive House is currently being built in Vancouver, and is set to include a number of different technologies to help it become extremely energy efficient, including a $2,000 airtight cat door.

James Dean and Janet Allan, owners of the home under construction in West Vancouver, have said that their home will cost about $3 million to construct, which is only about 4 percent more than if they had built their home to meet existing building codes.

A Passive House is a home that is built to a world-leading standard in terms of energy efficient construction, meaning it has to meet a number of requirements, such as: having an extremely airtight building envelope, high levels of insulation, and an effective ventilation system which is used to compliment the building’s formidable level of airtightness.

In order for the home to retain its high level of airtightness and energy efficiency, the cat door must also be airtight - meaning that it has an electric actuator which controls when the door opens for the cat.

“I was in Austria at a Passive House conference, and it was amazing seeing all these building products being built,” said Dean, speaking about his inspiration for the airtight cat door.

Along with the electronic cat entrance, the Vancouver home will have large, triple glazed windows which had to be specially imported from Europe, and a focus on building the most airtight and well insulated home possible.

“Putting in a more insulated and airtight envelope you really simplify the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, so you reduce the amount of heating and cooling you need by 90 percent,” said Dean.

The home is also going to be a Net Zero Energy home, as it will use on-site renewable energy sources to produce more energy than it uses every year.

The high level of energy efficiency in the home makes this possible, and any excess energy that isn’t used will be sold back to BC hydro - making it easier for the home to pay itself off through utility savings.

Bringing Passive House Strategies into Your Own Home

Many techniques and technologies that a Passive House uses to become highly energy efficient can be used in pre-existing homes to great effect. Even by doing simple and cost-effective retrofits or modifications, such as: airtightness improvements, installing a smart thermostat, or upgrading the insulation in your attic, you can notice significant improvements to your home’s rate of energy consumption, its level of comfort, and its yearly utility cost.


By having a Home Energy Assessment conducted by our team of Registered Energy Advisors, Ontario homeowners can become equipped with all the information and experience they need in order to improve their home’s level of energy efficiency.


Included in the assessment is an in-depth look at how energy efficient your home is, along with a list of suggestions for improving energy efficiency that are hand-picked by our advisors in order of their cost-effectiveness.


A Home Energy Assessment is also part of the qualification process for up to $5,000 dollars of home renovation rebates that are currently offered to both Union Gas and Enbridge customers - making it even easier for you to see a return on your investment.

The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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