Benoit Lavigueur thrives on challenges. His passion for green building has led him to constantly aim for new heights. Five years after having built the most efficient and greenest house in Quebec, in Bolton-Est, he is getting rid of it in order to go even further. In doing so, with two renowned partners, he hopes to find an answer to the housing crisis.

A pioneer of ecological construction, he led by example when he built his house in Sainte-Martine in 2008, which served as his laboratory. The single-family home obtained a record score in Quebec when it was certified LEED Platinum in 2012. While he was at the head of the company Belvedair, which specializes in the construction of ecological homes, he then sought to get closer to a large pool of customers, in the Eastern Townships, by building a high-performance chalet aiming for LEED Platinum, Passive House and Carbon Neutral certifications, in Bolton-Est.

“I wanted to be in the 100 point club when it comes to LEED certification,” he reveals. The house scored 104.5 points. It was beyond my expectations. I know of only one project elsewhere in Canada that has a higher score, at 106.5 points. »

The chalet, made up of two 1,100 sq. hold the Carbon Neutral certification. However, Benoit Lavigueur did not have time to complete all the paperwork to obtain the demanding Passive House certification. As he puts the house on the resale market in order to carry out other even more ambitious projects, he promises himself to finalize everything. “It’s 98% complete,” he reveals. The building meets all the criteria. It is technically perfect. But I want to close this file, which required so much love and so much research work. »

The country house has served as a family cottage, office and temporary accommodation for the past five years. The two superimposed dwellings, which allow great flexibility, have fueled the entrepreneur’s reflection on living together and co-housing (coliving).

“There is a difference between cohabiting with anyone and cohabiting with friends, with people you love, who share the same values,” says the consultant and speaker, who founded the company Les Éco-Bâtisseurs, in the fall of 2020, in order to share its expertise and have a greater impact.

“I accompany a lot of couples, families and groups, in their 50s and 60s, who don’t want to be dependent on the government as they get older,” he adds. They say they will create it, their CHSLD! The pandemic has accentuated this desire to live in more communal and thoughtful buildings, by choosing to live with others. »

The first in North America to be awarded the title of “Climate Hero” for his action against climate change, nearly 20 years ago, Benoit Lavigueur still feels the need to go higher, further.

“What drives us to sell the chalet is that I am building another model building in Eastman,” he explains. The chalet has been visited by over 3000 people. Knowing that you create buildings that make a difference in people’s lives is really interesting. More and more entrepreneurs are consulting me. There is still work to be done, but we have succeeded in showing that an ecological house can be made without compromise. »

The housing crisis worries him greatly and leads him to seek solutions. “Every morning, I wake up wondering how we can house as many people as possible in quality, ecological and healthy buildings,” he reveals. I consider co-living to be one of the solutions. On the one hand, there is a lack of housing and on the other hand, I believe that there have never been so many empty rooms and sections of houses as there are now. »

He recently partnered with Spa Eastman and Solution ERA for a project officially launched shortly and which will once again serve as a laboratory. Two pavilions, initially, will allow the Spa Eastman to fill a need for accommodation, while giving the opportunity to experiment with the concept of cohabitation. “Each house will have six 300 sq. ft. suites, each with a bedroom, a bathroom and a small office area,” says Lavigueur. It’s as if six couples each had their tiny house and shared 3,000 sq. ft. of common space, including a solarium, a greenhouse, a large kitchen and a dining room. »

The construction has already started and is ambitious. LEED Platinum certification is targeted and, this time, Benoit Lavigueur would like to amass more than 106.5 points in order to obtain the highest score in Canada. Net Zero certifications, proving that buildings produce as much energy as they consume, as well as Carbon Neutral are also targeted.


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