Keeping it Green

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Keeping it Green
A12
jul 27 to aug 2 2012 |
GREEN LIVING
KEEPING IT GREEN
Tips, tools and supplies for the
eco-friendly homeowner
KELSEY HIPKIN
reporter/photographer
F
rom energy efficient light bulbs
to Net Zero neighbourhoods
to cleaning supplies, ecological
friendly products are making their
mark with homeowners.
As far as eco-friendly homeowners go, CREB® HomeSmarts — an
extension of the Go Green project —
familiarizes REALTORS® with energy
standards as well as allowing them to
use green features as part of property
searches for potential homeowners.
“HomeSmarts broadens our
view of what sustainability means,”
said Lisa Roberts, manager of
CREB® Member Programs when
HomeSmarts was launched this
spring. “It focuses on the home itself
and what homeowners can do in
terms of ease and affordability; so
there’s something for everybody,
regardless of comfort level with
going green and your financial
circumstances.”
Included in the current going
green revolution are a number of
cleaning products available on the
market. Green Calgary recommends
several products including Cascades
recycled toilet paper, Claudia’s
Choices laundry powder, Seventh
Generation facial tissue and Squeaky
Clean Scrub.
After rapid expansion in
Vancouver, AspenClean, products
developed especially for cleaning professionals, is opening its first satellite
office in Calgary.
“We chose Calgary because of its
proximity to Vancouver, its booming
economy and its growing awareness
of the importance of environmentally
responsible businesses,” said Alicia
Sokolowski AspenClean president
and co-CEO. “We know Calgarians
like to look after their own health and
that of the planet and so do we.”
AspenClean products are 100 per
cent natural as well as the only cleaning products certified by Ecocert,
‘‘
xeriscaping landscaping.
Xeriscaping is a form of gardening
using a minimum amount of water
and energy and includes techniques
such as grouping plants by their
water needs, testing your soil, utilizing mulch and planting native species.
The northwest community of
EchoHaven includes a net-zero
home used for demonstrating
energy efficiency and sustainabil-
ity between November 2010 and
June 2011. Prospective buyers to
the community can build their own
home or select a green builder and
guidelines have been laid out to
ensure architectural and performance standards for solar access
and a minimum EnerGuide rating of
84 for all homes. Landmark Homes
recently unveiled a net zero home
in the community of Cranston and
the Okotoks community of Drake
Landing became the first solar community in North America in 2007.
There are several eco-friendly cleaning
products on the market today including
AspenClean, a company opening a Calgary
office after success in Vancouver.
WE CHOSE
CALGARY
BECAUSE OF ITS
PROXIMITY TO
VANCOUVER, ITS
BOOMING ECONOMY
AND ITS GROWING
AWARENESS OF THE
IMPORTANCE OF
ENVIRONMENTALLY
RESPONSIBLE
BUSINESSES.”
ALICIA SOKOLOWSKI
ASPENCLEAN PRESIDENT AND CO-CEO
are vegan, have not been tested on
animals and use only pure essential
oils instead of fragrances. AspenClean
products are currently available at
Amaranth and Sokolowski said they
will be added to other natural and
green markets soon.
Net-zero homes — homes that
produce as much energy as they
use — or close to, are popping up
all over Calgary. In 2010, Avalon
Master Builder created the netzero Discovery 4 house, located
in McKenzie Towne. Discovery 4
includes hardwood floors constructed
of reclaimed wood, solar panels and
Photo Courtesy AspenClean
COMMUNITY
CITY APPROVES MASSIVE KEYSTONE HILLS PLAN
Area will eventually house 60,000
people, employ 18,000
CODY STUART
managing editor
O
utlining the path of development for land annexed in
2007, the City of Calgary has
approved a development plan for a
massive section of land on the city’s
northern outskirts.
Sitting on 1,080 hectares bordered
by 160 Ave N, Stoney Trail, 14 St NW
and the expanding Calgary airport,
the Keystone Hills Area Structure
Plan calls for a mixed use develop-
‘‘
In addition to three separate communities, the Keystone Hills plan
calls for a “major activity centre”
based around a future LRT station,
which would serve as “a mixeduse anchor” for the area. The plan,
which was presented to the Calgary
Planning Commision in April, is the
first to be approved since the City
adopted the Plan It Calgary document in 2009.
Plan It Calgary is the city’s longterm direction for sustainable growth
to accommodate the estimated 1.3
million people over the next 50 to
60 years. The plan promotes higherdensity living by encouraging communities that make it easier for
residents to walk, cycle and use public transit, while still preserving open
space, parks and other environmental
amenities.
“Keystone Hills is structured around neighbourhoods,
each of which in turn contains a
Neighbourhood Activity Centre
which serves the local needs of
the neighbourhood.
Detailed
design guidelines dictate the built
form and mix of land uses in the
Neighbourhood Activity Centres,”
said John W. Hall, senior planner,
Land Use Planning & Policy for The
City of Calgary. “The focal point of
Keystone Hills is the Major Activity
Centre, which will be served by a
future LRT line, and will serve as a
mixed use ‘downtown’ for Keystone
Hills and surrounding communities,
with the highest intensity of jobs and
people in the area.”
One of the main challenges for
developers in bringing the plan for
the area to fruition will be providing
ample infrastructure. As of now, the
area is not serviced by sanitary, storm
and water utilities – which means it
could be some time before the area is
ready for Calgarians to move in.
“The big challenge that’s affecting
the industry as a whole is funding and
financing of inventory infrastructure,
but we’ve working on that along with
some other developers in the area
for some time now, working concurrently with the planning approval to
try and figure out how that can be
financed. We’re not quite there yet,”
said Chiacchia.
“What has to happen is we still
have to go through an outline plan
and land use process. To get that
approved is a nine to 12-month process, depending on how things work
out. By the time we do engineering
work and whatnot, it’ll be about 2014
by the time we get some serviced land
up there.”
Located in Calgary’s north end,
Keystone Hills comprises more than 1,000
hectares – an area which will eventually
be home 60,000 people and employ
60,000 more.
BY THE TIME WE
DO ENGINEERING
WORK AND WHATNOT,
IT’LL BE ABOUT 2014 BY
THE TIME WE GET SOME
SERVICED LAND UP
THERE.”
MARCELLO CHIACCHIA
GENERAL MANAGER FOR
GENSTAR DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
ment that will eventually be home to
as many as 60,000 people and employ
as many as 18,000.
“It’s just another step towards
servicing and bringing more product for that North Central area,” said
Marcello Chiacchia, general manager
for Genstar Development Company.
“Genstar was very active in central Calgary with Panorama Hills,
Coventry Hills, Harvest Hills and
Country Hills. We developed a couple thousand acres in that area, and
that area is coming to an end approximately by the end of next year. So this
is a step closer to bringing on further
product.”
Already Calgary’s largest ward
by population (Ward 3, 96,228), the
Keystone Hills Plan will bring even
more development to an area that
includes the city’s fastest growing
community. According to the most
recent Calgary Civic Census, the
population of Panorama Hills, grew
by 2,396 in 2012, more than any other
community in the city.
CODY STUART, Managing Editor