News release/case study provided by Built Green Canada
In 2011, Edmonton-based Bedrock Homes responded to demand for energy efficiency and green options for homeowners. After researching green building programs, they considered Built Green Canada their best option. When they started going through the checklists, they realized there was a lot they were already doing, but there was still work to do.
The BUILT GREEN® programs are set up in two ways. The first allows builders to use pre-fabricated checklists towards bronze, silver, gold or platinum certification. The second allows builders to pick and choose points from within each of the seven areas of the program’s focus: energy efficiency, materials and methods, indoor air quality, ventilation, waste management, water management and business practices. As such, builders can produce sustainable homes through the program, whether they want to dive in and research each item to tailor their build or use checklists set up to put them at a certain certification.
Kyle Beatty, purchasing manager at Bedrock Homes, was of the former mentality. Prior to enrolling homes in the program, Beatty went through the checklist point by point, met with tradespeople, and researched items that had the greatest green benefits for the lowest cost to clients. Since then, Bedrock Homes has completed 275 homes in the BUILT GREEN® program with the majority being Gold or Silver certification.
Producing affordable homes is important to Bedrock Homes, and their partnership with Built Green Canada further enables affordability for homeowners after the home is sold. The BUILT GREEN® programs are designed not only to benefit the environment, but to lower on-going monthly costs to the homeowner. With less energy use there are fewer utility bills. With water efficient appliances, water bills decrease. The house is treated like a system, so features act on each other to a better overall result. For example, super-efficient appliances can go only so far to overall home energy efficiency. If your home has massive heat loss because it isn’t air tight, the appliances may help to balance your carbon footprint, but your home remains inefficient.
There are many ways the BUILT GREEN® programs encourage sustainable homes. Beatty has found that low-flow toilets, triple-paned windows, and HRV systems are some of the best green features with great results. The triple-paned windows, for instance, have more than one job: they help with air tightness, noise pollution, and energy efficiency through less heat loss. It’s features like these that BUILT GREEN® builders, like Bedrock Homes, use to make their homes more comfortable and sustainable.
“We are to the point where sustainable development should not be considered different or new; it is essential, and it needs to be the standard.” Beatty says he’s finding this is the mindset of his customers. He says that homeowners are past being excited about green features, as this is something they don’t consider a bonus, but rather necessary elements of a home. They’re asking for specific features—like triple-paned windows—which means they’re doing their homework and ensuring that their builders are following through on their requirements. This is good news for everyone.
Bedrock Homes is committed to giving back to the environment and their clients. They have a whole list of ways they’re giving back to customers even after their homes have been purchased! Gift certificates for a celebratory dinner, free moving service, and a catered house warming party are all part of buying a Bedrock home.
Bedrock is also giving back to the community on a larger scale. In 2011, Bedrock founder, Ken Ferchoff created the Changing Futures Foundation. This Foundation is about recognizing the need for safe and affordable housing in Edmonton and avoiding the segregation of lower income families by creating balanced, diverse communities. This is a plan to help others help themselves, with the understanding that sometimes people need a hand up, not a hand out.
Last summer, Changing Futures and the Terra Centre unveiled Project Touchdown. This is a safe, secure, and affordable housing solution for teen parents completing their education, while raising their children. The resulting four-plex is located in the Edmonton neighborhood of Montrose. The start of a promising future began on Aug. 28, 2014, when the first four families moved into the Changing Futures Four-plex.
With a strong focus on quality, affordability and cultural vitality, Bedrock Homes is about offering a lifestyle their clients and community can comfortably sustain.