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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.”


Celebrate National Small Business Week October 16-20, 2023!

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From Community Futures Central Alberta

National Small Business Week is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that has been celebrated for over 40 years.

Did you know:

  • Canada has over 1 million small businesses currently in operation!
  • For statistical purposes, a small business has between 1-99 employees, but most have less than 10.
  • These small businesses employ over 8 million Canadians.
  • By comparison, only 2.5 million Canadians are employed in medium sized businesses (100-500 employees).
  • In 2019, Canadian small businesses contributed 36.7% of our gross domestic product (GDP).

*Statistics taken from Statistics Canada – Innovation, Science and Economic Development website.

Time is running out to apply for the
Catalyst Incubator!

Calling local entrepreneurs! The Catalyst Incubator, funded through the Central Alberta Innovation Network (CARIN) and provided by Community Futures Central Alberta, is nearing its registration deadline.

Both Fall and Winter registration dates for this unique, cohort-based program helping to foster new ideas, make critical connections, and help start-up businesses are now open. The Catalyst Incubator is 100% FREE and focuses on supporting start-ups in manufacturing, agriculture, technology, energy innovation, and more.

Learn more about how to register

Increase your business’ online presence with free help from the Digital Service Squad

The Digital Service Squad (DSS) is designed to help small businesses take their businesses online. This program, a partnership between Business Link, Community Futures and Digital Main Street, will help small businesses in Alberta undergo digital transformations and adopt eCommerce practices. DSS is open to home-based or commercial small businesses registered in Alberta with less than 50 employees.

Digital Service Squads guides businesses through digital transformation. Small businesses can apply to participate in the program, free of charge.

Book your free consultation today

Lending Spotlight: Flex Loans

In this edition of our Quarterly Update, we shine a spotlight on the Community Futures Central Alberta Flex Loan. Flex Loans are available to clients in all industries, including home-based and storefront. The loans can be used for equipment, inventory, renovations, marketing, working capital, etc.

According to CFCA Business Analyst Kelsey Krieger, “Flex loans offer our clients a lower interest rate and a lower barrier to entry to qualify for financial support for their small business or startup. This product allows clients to make near-term plans for purchasing needed equipment or doing important upgrades to their business.”

•    Qualification for unsecured (will still take GSA and personal guarantee) will be based on credit history and net worth.

Learn more about Flex Loans today – call us at 403.342.2055 and make an appointment!

CFCA introduces Tyler Harke as its new Community Economic Development Coordinator

Community Futures Central Alberta is pleased to welcome Tyler Harke as its newest staff member.

Tyler is a life-long Albertan who comes from a family of entrepreneurs. He is excited to serve in both the Community Economic Development role as well as part of the Digital Services Squad.

Tyler brings over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications roles and looks forward to playing a key role in helping small business thrive in this great region!

Contact Tyler and discuss your community’s involvement with CFCA

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CFR Rodeo, live music, street dancing, art, theatre and more downtown celebrations..

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Live Music at The Velvet Olive

Mike Szabo at The Velvet Olive

October 26th @7:30

Join Mike Szabo on a journey of stories and songs he wrote and the covers that inspired him. Mike is promoting the release of his debut vinyl LP, Take My Heart 2020. Cover for the show is by donation and guests will be seated first come, first served.

Fish in a Birdcage at The Velvet Olive

October 28th @8:30

Dustan Townsend AKA “Fish in a Birdcage” is a young and passionate musical virtuoso. Townsend is originally from Red Deer, Alberta and is now on a two year long busking/street performing adventure around Europe with Spain being his next destination.

(2) The Velvet Olive Lounge | Facebook

Family Street Dance October 29th

(2) CFR Family Street Dance | Facebook

Grand Opening Celebration

October 29th

Yep, you heard that right! We’re hosting a Grand Opening celebration for Red Deer’s largest music store! When Long and McQuade bought the business in February of 2020, plans to renovate the store were made but had to be postponed. Fast forward to 2022, renovations are now finished and we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the occasion with YOU, our amazing customers!

Come to the store on Oct. 29 for some awesome giveaway prizes, live music, and free food. Our BBQ will be fired up from 12 to 2 and we have live music scheduled from some excellent local musicians!

(2) Long & McQuade (Red Deer) | Facebook

Trick or Treat Downtown Red Deer

October 31st

Trick or Treat October 31st-

12-4 pm

Trick or Treat with your little one at your favorite businesses and stop by the Ross Street Pation for a photobooth!

Contact Carbon + Oak for location information.

Carbon + Oak | Facebook

Rodeo on Ross

November 2nd, 3rd ,4th

(2) CFR live Screening | Facebook

Celebration 6 Years Arts & Culture

November 4th

A + Art Gallery & unique collections

Celebration 6 Years Exhibition


Opening Reception

Date: Friday, November 4th

Time: Noon to 4 pm

FREE Event

(1) Celebration 6 Years Arts & Culture | Facebook

The Games of Love and Chance

November 10th to 27th

Prime stock Theater

@ Scott block theatre

November 10th to 27th.

Thursdays – Sundays 7 pm

PLUS 2 pm Matinees on Saturdays

Love must conquer clever disguises in this delightful comic masterpiece.

The Games of Love and Chance was originally written by Pierre de Marivaux at the height of opulence and extravagance during the reign of Louis XV in France. This playful and witty comedy has been newly translated and adapted by Artistic Director, Richard Beaune and this is it’s world premiere! Indulge in an evening (or afternoon) of love, laughter and decadent silliness as Red Deer’s only professional theatre company brings this sumptuous story of love and deception to life on stage.

(2) The Games of Love and Chance | Facebook

Starpainter w/ Curtis Phagoo at The Velvet Olive

The Velvet olive

Starpainter is a folk rock band from Lethbridge, Alberta. They wear their influences on their sleeves, showcasing strong songwriting and an affinity for gently psychedelic alt-country tones. The band has been growing a following on the strength of their debut full-length titled Bury Me By My Family (2020). Their imaginative, guitar-heavy live show is built on a foundation of prairie-born craftsmanship with a pop sensibility that defies their youth.

(2) The Velvet Olive Lounge | Facebook

Follow along with our NEW mural map, to enjoy the amazing murals that Downtown Red Deer has to offer!

Looking for a paper copy? Head to the Downtown Business Association office.

120, 5009 50 Ave.


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