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GlenValley EnerGuide® development

A Kelowna developer is constructing affordable stylish homes with energy efficiency built right in.

Roland Nadon, in conjunction with Darter Developments, is developing an 86-unit multifamily community in Kelowna. And while there are many distinctive standard features —engineered hardwood floors, HardiPlank siding, stainless steel appliances, acoustically engineered walls — the townhouse development is unique because it combines energy efficiency with affordable price points without comprising on the finish.

The project, GlenValley, has achieved EnerGuide ratings between 83 and 85, which means the higher the number, the more energy efficient the home. Using a scale from 0 to 100, the EnerGuide rating provides information on the energy consumption of a home with higher scores indicating a well-insulated, energy efficient home.

Most new homes built to the standard building code are rated 72. This development has reached the optimal rating standards currently given in B.C.

Nadon says he considered building energy efficient components into the project right from the get-go. And with the proper amount of planning early in the process, reaching the EnerGuide 80+ rating is achievable for almost anyone building a new home.

“When you build a better product and put the time into it, you are rewarded by satisfied customers. We wanted to provide a product that other developers weren’t. Because we incorporated energy efficiency at the start of the planning process, it wasn’t cumbersome or cost-prohibitive,” explains Nadon.

“I saw it as an opportunity. People are increasingly more energy conscious and are looking for a product like this. We take great pride in it,” he adds.

The EnerGuide rating is based on the house as a whole. Not only do the individual energy efficient components contribute to the rating, but how all these components and the construction of the home work together.

To achieve the rating, a certified, independent energy advisor verifies the energy efficient upgrades and performs a series of tests to measure the energy efficiency of the home. After the data has been collected, the developer is provided with the evaluation report and official label that shows the EnerGuide rating.

This development will have the added benefit of a FortisBC-owned geoexchange system. These highly efficient systems work by using the solar heat stored in the ground or in a body of water to heat or cool buildings. A geoexchange system uses heat pumps to draw heat from the ground to warm buildings in colder months. In warmer months, the heat pump carries the heat away from your home, putting it back into the ground.

Often the assumption is that energy efficient upgrades like these are only available in higher end homes. Ranging from 1,240 sq. ft to 2,700 sq. ft, homes start at $279,000. He extensively studied the affordable housing market to understand what buyers are looking for.

“They want the upgrades like the hardwood floors, the tile, the open concept, the stainless steel. But they also appreciate energy efficiency,” he explains.

“There are a lot of similar price points on the market but they are not offering what we do.” For more information on building an EnerGuide rated home and energy saving technologies, please contact your local PowerSense representative.