Home Sustainable Okotoks 10 Branches of Sustainability 9. Building & Design
9. Building & Design
The encouragement (via the development community) of multi-family housing in an effort to create broad and affordable housing choice for all ages is a key initiative in moving the demographic agenda forward.
What is non-traditional housing? Most categories within this classification are multi-family, and include apartment buildings, condominiums, and second units in back yards - often above garages. Okotoks modified its Land Use regulations to allow for consideration of second units in established neighbourhoods, and has worked with developers to identify special second unit land use districts in new subdivisions.
Okotoks has almost achieved its 15 year mixed housing target in only six years as a result of some very conscientious and purposeful negotiation with the development community. Master planned communities have a 30% non-traditional target attached to them, and this is enforced.
This is a remarkable achievement that Okotoks is proud of given community context as a traditional bedroom community for Calgary. Non-traditional housing growth has averaged 37% of total residential development over the last five years. It is a foundational element of our ability to continue to generate housing affordability - a key criticism of development models such as Portland, Oregon's and Okotoks' - which have established development boundaries that can have the effect of significantly boosting real estate prices.
House assessment values have increased an average of 4.4% for each of the last four years, which is a "tame" number in light of the Calgary region's pronounced economic boom. It should also be noted that fiscal responsibility is a fourth pillar of Sustainable Okotoks. We need to build, create and manage resources and initiatives on behalf of people that have a keen focus on the bottom line. In this light, the bottom line is impact on taxes. Total taxes on the average Okotoks house have increased 1% for each of the last four years, a remarkable achievement considering inflation in Alberta has averaged about 2% a year in the same period.
30% of total housing stock is "non-traditional"
27% of housing stock is non-traditional, up from 17% in 1998.
Okotoks Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures Bylaw 16-02
The requirement for low-flow plumbing fixtures in all new retrofit/renovation applications for residential, commercial, industrial and institution applications was set on September 1st 2002.
The definition of a "low-flow plumbing fixture" was implemented as "a CSA certified toilet with a capacity of not more than 6 litres (1.6 US gallons) per flush or a CSA certified showerhead with a flow capacity of not more than 9.5 litres (2.5 US gallons) per minute."
In addition to the above requirement, all indoor faucets installed in new or retrofit/renovation residential, commercial, industrial or institutional applications shall be equipped with a tap aerator.
This bylaw applies to all new construction and retrofits in the Town of Okotoks since 2002 and has resulted in average 30% per capita reduction in water consumption.
Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE)
Energy Efficiency New Home Initiatives and The Regional Energy Efficiency Programs
R-2000 is a national initiative that requires homes to be built using environmentally friendly and renewable products. These homes must also achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of 80 on the EnerGuide rating scale. Developed over 20 years ago, the R-2000 initiative is established and comprehensive. Consequently, the R-2000 standard is the model that influences training requirements for the regional initiatives above.
A home can receive certification for more than one initiative if the homebuilder has followed the requirements to have the home built under those initiatives and if the initiatives are available in that region. Homes are often built so they receive the national EnerGuide rating label and the regional ENERGY STAR for New Homes label. There are also homes that have received the national R-2000 label and the regional ENERGY STAR for New Homes label.
(Information from Built Green™ Canada)
Built Green™ is an industry driven voluntary program in Alberta and British Columbia that promotes "green" building practices to reduce the impact that building has on the environment. It benefits the homebuyer, the community and the environment and is an opportunity for everyone to choose a "green" future. Built Green™ utilizes Natural Resources Canada's (NRCAN) EnerGuide program as a rating and labeling tool for the energy efficiency component of the Built Green™ Checklist. EnerGuide for New Houses is delivered in Alberta by EnerVision (a not-for-profit organization owned by the CHBA-Alberta. The EnerGuide label and Built Green™ seal are affixed to the furnace in the new home to provide assurance of its Built Green™ status to the new as well as future owners.
Only those homes registered in the program that successfully achieve the program criteria may receive the Built Green™ designation. Look for the Built Green™ seal to identify a Built Green™ home.
All Built Green™ homes must consider and mitigate the following sustainable check points:
1. Operational Systems
2. Building Materials
3. Exterior and Interior Finishes
4. Indoor Air Quality
6. Waste Management
7. Water Conservation
8. Business Practices
(Information from Natural Resources Canada)
The R-2000 standard is a energy efficient building system of Natural Resources Canada's (NRCAN) EcoEnergy Efficiency initiative. This system of building also utilizes the EnerGuide rating system as a tool for determining energy efficiency. The R-2000 system offers:
The benefits of living in an R-2000 home:
R-2000 is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada