Homes with a small foot­print

Ge­or­gia Green: eco-friendly touches abound

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By Mary Frances Hill

WHEN they move into their new homes in east­side Van­cou­ver later this year, the four Ge­or­gia Green house­holds will re­side in an ar­chi­tec­tural stand­out.

The homes will be the most en­ergy ef­fi­cient, eco­log­i­cally sen­si­tive homes in the city, says Nick Sully, the Ge­or­gia Green ar­chi­tect and a fu­ture Ge­or­gia Green res­i­dent.

In fact, the homes’ wa­ter and en­ergy ef­fi­cien­cies, their con­struc­tion with re­new­able ma­te­ri­als and a sym­pa­thetic site treat­ment qual­i­fied them for a plat­inum cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from Built Green Canada. Sully says the project is also on track for a LEED plat­inum cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The ra­di­ant-heat floors are warmed by the so­lar pan­els on the roof. Toi­lets are flushed with rain­wa­ter. Win­dows are triple-glazed, con­crete floors re­flect light, and the ar­range­ment of the homes on the prop­erty al­lows for each home to share the nat­u­ral light em­a­nat­ing from a sky­well.

We un­der­stand the chal­lenge of build­ing su­per high-per­for­mance green de­sign. It’s not easy. If it was, ev­ery­one would say they’re LEED plat­inum, and most peo­ple can’t say that, says Sully, an ar­chi­tect with Van­cou­ver’s Shape Ar­chi­tec­ture.

Al­lisa Arnold, who is de­vel­op­ing the build­ing with hus­band Damian Stathonikos and Sully, de­scribes the prop­erty as be­ing a case of many shades of green.

For Arnold and Stathonikos, Ge­or­gia Green ful­fils an ex­pec­ta­tion they first voiced when they de­cided to re­turn to Van­cou­ver from Helsinki.

We didn’t want to move back to B.C. and buy the biggest house we could af­ford in a sub­urb and drive our SUVs into the city ev­ery day, Arnold says.

We wanted to find a vi­brant neigh­bour­hood where we could walk ev­ery­where. That’s the mo­ti­va­tion for a smaller foot­print.

The Arnold-Stathonikos fam­ily will, in­deed, be able to walk ev­ery­where.

A small park, Wood­land, lies half a block away to the west. Bustling Com­mer­cial Drive is steps away, and piece of lo­cal his­tory stands next door: the for­mer Raj cin­ema is slated to be­come a Van­cou­ver East Cul­tural Cen­tre venue.

De­sign­ing the in­tri­cately meshed col­lec­tion of homes took some work.

Ceil­ings and party walls are for­ti­fied for sound and fire safety. The homes are a com­po­nent of a struc­ture that would move in an earth­quake and not the struc­tures that would move.

We don’t want to hear our neigh­bours, we want to be fine in a fire, but we’re also safer than any other house in Van­cou­ver in case of a seis­mic event, says Sully, who will move into his new home with wife Mariana Brus­soni. It put our en­gi­neers to the test.

The orig­i­nal home on the prop­erty housed one fam­ily. Ge­or­gia Green will house four fam­i­lies, and still have front and back ar­eas land­scaped with drought-re­sis­tant and in­dige­nous plants.

The two fam­i­lies’ Au­gust move-in date has been a long time com­ing. Their next task: sell­ing the other homes.

Not a prob­lem, says Arnold. We’ve seen Nick’s work be­fore and we had con­fi­dence in it. We put to­gether our dream and Nick’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties and we made it hap­pen.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit geor­gia­green. ca or shape-arch. ca on the In­ter­net, or call re­al­tor Rick Stone­house at 604-255-7575.

— Postmedia News

STEVE BOSCH / POSTMEDIA NEWS

From left, Damian Stathonikos, wife and co-de­vel­oper Al­lisa Arnold, ar­chi­tect’s wife Mariana Brus­soni and ar­chi­tect Nick Sully.

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