Apparently the buildings we work and live in use approximately 35 to 40 per cent of the world's energy and are therefore responsible for emitting 35 to 40 per cent of the world's green house gasses! According to a Vancouver Sun article, Vancouver development management company reSource Rethinking Building is aware of these statistics and is leading the battle to fight conspicuous energy consumption and emissions on the home front.
Heather Tremain, CEO of reSource Rethinking Building (http://www.rethinkingbuilding.com) was given the mandate to build the most energy efficient building possible with their new Burnaby Mountain development Verdant. In order to fufill their mandate the new 60-townhouse development uses in-floor geothermal heating.
While geothermal heating systems are not a new technology, their use in buildings has been limited by their more expensive installation costs. Tremain chose to use the geothermal systems because they are more energy efficient and once the system is paid off "homeowners will witness a significant drop in their monthly heating bills".
Other energy-saving measures used in the townhouses, that we can all use to make our residences more energy effiecient, include energy-efficient appliances and water-efficient fixtures; high-efficiency double-glazed, thermally broken windows; and compact fluorescent lighting.
The townhouses are also being developed as part of the larger Burnaby Mountain community, which plans to house over 10,000 residents. The developing community will have its own grocery store, dry cleaner and restaurants so residents won't have to use their cars to run errands or go out.
It sounds like the end result of Verdant's enegy effienct building methods may be something we can all aspire to. The townhouse's energy efficeincy is 60 per cent better than national code or the equivalent of taking 72 cars off the road!
Origional artical By Maurice Bridge, Vancouver Sun