Rededication of three single family houses form 16-unit sustainable townhomes, with retention of 1920’s façade
After spending time in the mid-2000s buying and renovating homes, Dave deBruyn became increasingly aware of the waste going into dumpsters. “We challenged ourselves to minimize waste and increase the material recycled with every project we did,” says deBruyn. “With some practice, we were wasting virtually nothing, however there was no industry recognition or value upon resale for minimizing construction waste”
With ever-increasing concerns over the environment, residents, business, and government have turned their attention to how climate change can be mitigated. In residential building, consistent with other sectors focused on sustainable business practices, significant emphasis is placed on energy efficiency. This is well-founded, and there’s little dispute on the impact of reduced energy usage.
There are however, other, less glamourous components of green building, of which waste management is one. The residential building sector is responsible for significant total waste generated in Canada. According to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, construction and demolition materials make up some 25 per cent of non-hazardous solid wastes across Canada. Addressing garbage and landfill capacity includes these wastes. Reduction, reuse, recycling and value recovery from these wastes also contribute to environmentally responsible development both during and after construction.
Fast forward to 2010 when deBruyn’s commitment to sustainable development resulted in the formation of InHaus Development, along with business partner Peter Kefalas. Their mission statement, live smart, not large, is reflected in their latest project Hayden Townhomes, located at 365 East 16th Ave. in Vancouver’s Mt. Pleasant community. The carefully crafted design includes an open courtyard, unique outdoor patios or rooftop decks, and sustainably crafted BUILT GREEN® Gold targeted homes. InHaus also worked with the City of Vancouver to preserve the façade of one of the original homes on the site, which will be re-built and integrated into the exciting BUILT GREEN® project.
The interiors at Hayden have been designed with everyday living in mind. Rooms have light streaming in from well-placed windows and interior lighting highlights the fine finishes. Durable engineered hardwood flooring anchors the living areas, creating a contemporary design that extends throughout the homes. Kitchens feature quartz countertops and tile backsplashes, along with efficient and elegant Energy Star® stainless steel appliances. The bedrooms have been designed to create a calm atmosphere, with warm carpeting and ample storage—a testament to sustainable projects being responsible without compromising progressive, leading-edge design.
InHaus’ commitment to building third-party certified homes remains intact since their origins. According to DeBruyn, “getting certification for InHaus projects is akin to publicly declaring our intentions—it keeps the company accountable and focused on delivering high quality, sustainable homes to our buyers.”
Beyond energy efficiency, waste management, water conservation, and ventilation have been carefully considered. Suppliers have been handpicked using only environmentally preferable materials, and have been mandated to use products with little or no VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). Focus has also gone into using manual air circulation (heat recovery units) and advanced air filtration techniques to maintain the highest possible quality indoor air for their buyers. “In general, homebuyers are increasingly interested in the occupants’ health—it isn’t just about the savings anymore.”
A healthier home environment means improved health and comfort for the occupants, as there is less stress on the respiratory and immune systems. For those with allergies, benefits can be significant. Increased insulation reduces temperature variation throughout the seasons, and higher quality windows reduce heat gain while also minimizing noise and air leakage. The homes are independently tested throughout construction, ensuring that they meet the high standards set for air tightness and quality.
InHaus is committed to delivering a higher quality product at standard market pricing. Building smart doesn’t have to mean expensive, it just means that each project has to be carefully planned, and every product used has to be selected with the end goal in mind. This in fitting with Built Green’s certification, which is affordable for the builder and the homebuyer. The program addresses energy efficiency, integrating Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide label, and then goes beyond for a holistic approach to sustainable building: homeowners will enjoy improved efficiency, translating into monthly cost savings on water, electricity, and gas bills. The Hayden Townhomes are slated for Gold/Platinum level certification with Built Green Canada.
In an effort to push the standards of home efficiency even higher, InHaus next project in North Vancouver will be targeting BUILT GREEN® Platinum while simultaneously being designed to meet the rigorous energy standards of the PassiveHaus program. More information on this project can be found at www.EightOnThird.com