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Scott Subaru’s Passive House makes the cover of Canadian Auto World!



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  • Scottsville has been pretty busy lately with their new environmentally friendly Passive House for their Scott Subaru dealership located on the North end of Red Deer on Gaetz Avenue.

    This unique building has been capturing the hearts and attention of people all over Canada and even Canadian Auto World has expressed their interest! See below to read their article in the Canadian AutoWorld magazine as they interview Garrett Scott, COO and dealer principal of the Scottsville dealership family.



    RED DEER, ALTA. – For Garrett Scott, this is about legacy.

    It would have been far easier for Scott and the Scottsville Auto Group to build a traditional facility for its Subaru franchise in the north end of Red Deer, Alta. Putting up a “normal” dealership would have cost less, required less work, induced fewer headaches and probably been done by now.

    But building a regular dealership would have made Scott Subaru just another Subaru store; what his team is constructing instead will likely be the only one of its kind in the entire world.

    “As an Albertan, I think we get a bad rap because of our reputation and track record when it comes to the environment. I like to think building this in Red Deer is an important statement to the industry and the country,” Garrett Scott told Canadian AutoWorld.

    “I don’t consider myself an avid environmentalist, but I know there are better ways to design and construct buildings. As an industry, we should look at all of these options before just automatically going with whatever has been done before.”

    Scott and his team are roughly halfway through building what will likely be the only passive house (from the German term passivhaus) automobile dealership in the world. Passive house is a rigorous standard for energy efficiency that aims to reducing a building’s total ecological footprint. Through design and construction, these buildings require very little energy for things like heating and cooling.

    According to the Passivhaus Institut, certified buildings must be designed to have an annual heating and cooling demand of no more than 15 kWh/m2 per year or be designed with a peak heat load of 10 W/m2.

    In addition to that, total primary energy (source energy for electricity, etc.) consumption must not exceed 60 kWh/m2 per year. Certified buildings must not leak more air than 0.6 times the volume per hour, or alternatively, when looked at the surface area of the enclosure, the leakage rate must be less than 0.05 cubic feet per minute.

    Scott summed up the standard he is shooting for in far more understandable terms: “Our 15,000-square foot building will essentially have an area for air to get out that is smaller than a hockey puck; that’s the total exposure of the building. There is almost no air getting in our out, minus what comes in through the doors.”

    To put that in perspective, experts estimate all the gaps in a small house – around the windows, doors, foundation, attic space, etc. – are equal to a hole the size of a basketball. So stringent are the passive house requirements that of the uncountable billions of buildings in the world, it is estimated that fewer than 25,000 are certified passive house structures.

    The Scottsville Group, which has been operating in Central Alberta since 1968, is comprised of Kipp Scott GMC Cadillac Buick, Gord Scott Nissan and Scott Subaru. Scott said they spent two years planning the project and had input from the Passivhaus Institut out of Germany. He said these types of builds are usually reserved for residential use and that many questions arose related to the normal use of the dealership.

    The dealership group has partnered with Sublime Design Studio, Cover Architectural Collaborative and the Peel Passive House Consulting to help design and execute the project.

    Ground was broken in October and he hopes to complete construction sometime this fall.

    At just under 15,000 square feet, the list of unique qualities on this one-of-a-kind project starts with the walls. The exterior walls are composed of three layers and are two feet thick. The outer layer is a breathable membrane that takes moisture out of the building while the second is thick, non-breathable layer aimed at separating the exterior temperatures from the inside.

    There is a collection and redistribution system for rainwater and snow melt and Scott said they are still looking at the potential of installing solar panels on the roof. Sitting on just over two acres of land, Scott Subaru is using porous concrete for the parking lot that will have a moss bed underneath to help collect and hold water.

    “It’ll look a little weird in the middle of summer as we’ll have a perfectly green moss bed on our lot, but people can drive on it. It will be a point of differentiation, for sure,” he noted.

    The thick walls will combine with expensive glass, thermal reflective blinds and custom doors with specialty frames to provide a very quiet experience inside the building. Heating the store through Red Deer’s traditionally long and cold winters (the city averages -11 degrees Celsius in February), will be a highly efficient heat pump system used only when the internal passive heat and solar gains are not enough to cover the heating demand in the depths of the winter season.

    Scott said the store would have a heat recovery ventilation system that recovers the heat from body heat and the mechanical functions and passes it to the incoming fresh air. An air exchange system will move the air around the building and ensure that no matter where you are in the dealership, it will always have fresh air at a comfortable temperature.

    One of the biggest challenges was incorporating service bay doors. Scott said they had to track how many times the bay door went up and down for a whole year and factor those large air exchanges into the modeling.

    Assuming everything goes according to plan, the estimated annual cost to heat and cool the 15,000-square foot dealership will be less than $200 a year. Scott said his bill for the current Subaru facility is roughly 20 times higher.

    But what does all this cost? The short answer is that it isn’t cheap.

    He confirmed his passive house store would cost more than a normal build would have, though an exact final cost won’t be known until the project is complete.

    Experts with Cover Architectural Collaborative said this type of construction standard historically carries a 20 per cent premium, though they noted it is yet to be determined how that applies to this project as it is being built as a cost plus contract rather than a stipulated sum contract.

    Despite the added cost, the dealer said he’s confident the concept lends itself well to the site, the brand and its customers.

    “We were also inspired by the plant in Indiana,” Scott added, referring to the Subaru of Indiana Automotive assembly plant in Lafayette that became the first zero-landfill factory in the U.S.

    “We have been to the facility a few times and that really led to us wanting to do a building that is a little different. We wanted to be leaders in Alberta.” Grant Patterson, manager of dealer development at Subaru Canada, said the company is excited about the project.
    “Subaru within Canada and globally works to promote its strong environmental strategy, be it with our production facility in Indiana or with our PZEV technology in our cars,” he said.

    “We think it’s a nice commentary to see a retailer take that environmental stewardship to the next level and build a dealership aimed at reduced energy levels, heating costs and include things like rainwater collection.”

    Patterson confirmed head office completed a facility review with the dealer to ensure the design still met image guidelines and that they were able to satisfy Subaru’s requirements and the standards for passive house construction.

    And while the question of cost did come up, Patterson said it was something the dealer was comfortable with so it wasn’t an issue for the factory.
    “I know it would have been easier to not go with this passive house design, but we are thinking long term,” Scott said.

    “This is a big year for us as we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of our GM store in Red Deer. Now with our Subaru project, we’ll have a structure here that will truly be a legacy project that will cost us virtually nothing to heat and cool the building. That’s pretty cool.”

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    Local Business

    High Performance Leaders Need Rest and Play



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  • It’s’ spring!

    With the change of season, it’s a great time to reflect on how you might want to adjust using your time and energy.

    How many of us have forgotten how to REST? How many of us have forgotten how to PLAY?

    I am guilty of not being aware of play or creating the rest I needed. I spent YEARS breathing way too fast, racing from task to task and event to event.

    I somehow believed that my worth was attached to what was accomplished. Leaving something undone was actually painful.

    Rest and play are not just important, they are critical.

    Researcher Stuart Brown says that the opposite of play isn’t actually work, it’s depression. Sadly, I know this all too well too.

    What happens to us when we don’t rest and play? Creativity suffers. Relationships suffer. Effectiveness suffers. Clarity and purpose suffer. Decision making ability suffers. Our overall capacity for resilience suffers.

    Can you relate?

    There is one simple metaphor that helps me choose when REST and PLAY are important: an elastic band.

    When we work so hard, give and parent, the elastic band is stretched with each new effort. Some elastics have far more “give” and can stretch great distances, much like each persons ability to work.
    Be careful to not let pride and ego take over here…. elastics have a breaking point. So do we.

    It’s impossible to know when an elastic has reached it’s breaking point. There are clues, but sometimes they surprise us.

    What clues are in your life? Are you paying attention to the clues? Have you already learned this lesson, but need to learn it again?

    Better than stretching an elastic to breaking point, is a the use of an elastic to stretch and release. Work and rest. Play.

    Referring back to the body of research by Dr. Stuart Brown, play is time spent without purpose; time spent when we can lose track of time and self consciousness.
    For me, that usually involves being in nature or in water…. and that is where I find hope, rest, creativity and a tonne of joy.

    Where do you feel like you lose track of time and self consciousness?

    That’s your zone.

    Find it and make sure you refuel.

    The purpose of an elastic is to stretch. For that it must contract.

    Work can be immensely satisfying. For that we must find rest.

    We cannot give something that we don’t have.

    What do you find restful? Where do you lose track of time?

    What resources do you have to employ a period of rest?

    Are your holidays restful and playful for you or are they a different form of work?

    Do you have any practices in place that allow you to shut off your phone?

    Give yourself what you need if you’re feeling stretched and ask yourself what is important. Get curious. Then breathe deep and make some choices.

    There may be hard choices at first. As you get better at playing and resting, you’ll become better at it.
    You’ll thank yourself.

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    Branded Content

    Todayville Top 5 features five facts about favourite fooderie… Earls



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  • Todayville Top 5 is a sponsored segment produced by Jock Mackenzie (learn more about Jock below).   In this feature we learn (you guessed it) 5 things about some really cool aspects of Red Deer that make this city, our home.

    If our very first segment, Jock features a staple in Red Deer’s dining scene since it opened in … well let’s leave that up to Jock.  Welcome to the Todayville Top 5 with Jock Mackenzie.

    Todayville Top 5 Featuring Earls Restaurant

    1 Heritage

    Earls in Red Deer was the seventh-ever Earls in existence. Bill and Rhonda Olafson purchased the franchise and opened the current restaurant in 1984. Chef at the time, Andrew Lam, is still involved. Over the years, additions to the west and north have been added as has the covered, heated patio. The patio is unparalleled by other outdoor dining facilities for comfort and its Hawaii-like greenery. Today there are over 70 Earls restaurants across Canada and the United States. The founder, Leroy Earl “Bus” Fuller, brought A & W to Canada and is also the founder of the Fuller’s and Corkscrew restaurant chains. 

    2 Community Support

    Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the Earls Red Deer philosophy. Those in need come first: rebuilding the youth camp at Camp Alexo, the Youth and Volunteer Centre, support for the Women’s Shelter at their annual gala, title sponsorship for the last six years at Rotary’s Black Tie Bingo, a 5-year ongoing plan to support the new Child Advocacy Centre, wine and wine service at the preview dinner for the Festival of Trees since the Festival’s inception . . . and many more.

    3 People

    With over 80 people on staff, Earls has provided employment for high school and college students over its 35 year history. The Earls philosophy, the practical skill set, and menu knowledge make up the intensive training each support staff and server undergo. Consistency is a hallmark. Numerous staff members have made life careers at Earls–and that’s one reason why you can count on a great meal every time. 

    4 Menu

    Fresh ingredients are key! The kitchen deals with “just in time” orders so that produce and proteins (delivered three times per week) come fresh to each table. The menu is becoming more and more inclusive–it meets an ever-increasing variety of dietary needs: numerous gluten free and plant-based options are available.             

    5 Interesting tidbits

    Beer? Earls brews its own Rhino beers (pale ale, lager and a seasonal beer) in Surrey, BC at Central City Brewery. There are also local products from Troubled Monk, Blindman and Snake Lake as well as a wide variety of domestic beer.

    Four Earls “Test Kitchen” chefs travel the world looking for new ingredients and dishes. A “Test Kitchen” in Vancouver will roll out a new dish and tailor it to an appropriate market in the 70 locations across North America–the furthest away is Miami. 

    Want to know more?  Click to go to 


    Todayville Top 5 features the freelance writings of Jock Mackenzie.

    Jock is an original Red Deerian!  Educated at Lindsay Thurber and Red Deer College (with a stint at the U of A), he became an educator himself, spending 31 years with the Red Deer Public school system.

    It’s safe to say Jock knows Red Deer about as well as anyone (OK.. maybe not Michael Dawe).   As a confirmed life-long learner, Jock never tires of getting to know his surroundings even better.  That’s where the Todayville Top 5 comes in.  In each feature, Jock shares a few ingredients that go into the mix that makes this delicacy called Red Deer the place we want to call home.  As a well organized person who knows you’re busy, he’s choosing just 5 juicy tidbits to share each time.

    If you’d like to be featured by Jock Mackenzie on the Todayville Top 5, just contact us at


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    april, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre(march 8) 5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

    tue23apr5:30 pm- 7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    thu25apr8:30 am- 4:30 pmApplied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Canadian Mental Health Association8:30 am - 4:30 pm

    fri26apr8:30 am- 4:30 pmApplied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)Canadian Mental Health Association8:30 am - 4:30 pm

    sat27apr1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    mon29apr1:30 pm- 4:00 pmWellness Recovery Action PlanningCanadian Mental Health Association1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

    tue30apr5:30 pm- 7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm