The result? Six waterfront condominiums in the OceanVillas project that will meet LEED green-building standards for homes, achieving gold and perhaps even platinum.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an international program promoting standards for energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable buildings.
One of the six was purchased by a retired Calgary couple in the first couple of weeks the units were on the market.
Each of the condos is priced $400,000 below the original estimate.
Would-be buyers probably don’t care whether Behune is savvy or lucky — or both.
All that matters is that instead of paying between $1.4 million and $1.8 million for a two-bedroom-plusden condo on the Saanich Inlet, you can buy one for between $900,000 and $1.4 million.
In other words, what was once the starting price is now the highest.
The OceanVillas are similar in design to the Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa.
The same architect who designed the lodge — Ron Lea of Folio Architecture — also designed the villas. In 2005, the cedar and glass Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa won the Best Commercial Building award on Vancouver Island.
Though similar to the lodge and connected to its marina by a boardwalk, the villas are distinctive with a more contemporary look.
Massive Douglas fir posts and beams anchor the three-storey building, which is clad in cedar siding.
Each condo overlooks the Saanich Inlet, with views to the Malahat mountains beyond. You can watch the sun go down from your 200-squarefoot deck or — on those inclement summer days — from behind the 12foot sliding glass doors.
A double-sided fireplace will also warm things up outside on cool days, while making the indoors cosy in winter.
Inside, the condos are spacious and light-filled with natural materials and earthy colours.
The kitchen and great room have flooring of natural quartersawn wideplank oak. Cabinets are natural white oak, topped with solid quartzite countertops.
Both bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, but the master ensuites in each unit are “absolutely stunning,” says Behune. They have a deep soaker tub and a double-sized walk-in shower equipped with full-body jets and a floor-to-ceiling window looking out on the ocean.
For interior designer Sandy Nygaard of Nygaard Interior Design, it’s the “wonderful wall of windows that look out to the incredible view” from the main living area that is the highlight of each condo.
Nygaard, who also did the interiors at the Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa, says that “the simplicity of the millwork and other interior details, such as the concrete see-through fireplace, do not take away from this.”
To achieve the LEED gold rating, Behune and his team paid attention to details like the windows and doors, choosing Pella solid wood EnergyStar-rated insulated windows and doors with low E argon gas to reduce ultraviolet rays coming inside by up to 70 per cent. E stands for emissivity, a measure of heat loss.
The hardwood floors are locally made from certified sustainable lumber. As well, all interior paints, adhesives and millwork finishes meet LEED standards as they are low-VOC (volatile organic compounds).
All the major appliances are topof-the-line Jenn Air EnergyStar rated, lighting is energy-efficient and bathrooms have low-flow faucet fixtures.
The finishing green touch is the roof over the parking garage, which is literally green with native plants.
Speaking of parking, each unit has its own one-car garage, as well as an outdoor parking spot. Owners one floor up or down from the main level can access their homes via stairs or elevator.
No doubt a big part of the attraction for prospective owners is the marina and the possibility of tying up a boat not just within walking distance, but within sight.
Behune has recently received ap- proval from the B.C. and municipal governments to expand his foreshore lease, so in addition to slips for hotel guests arriving by boat, there’s room for each condo owner to have a boat.
The boat slip isn’t included in the purchase price, so if buyers don’t own a boat, they don’t pay for the space.
“We’re going to make it flexible, pay as you play, if you want to have a boat here, we’ll let you and set it up for whatever size you want,” Behune says, adding: “There’s room for six 70-foot boats.”
Those who don’t own a boat will be able to join the marina’s paddle club for a small fee. Owners will also have complimentary access to the fitness club in the lodge and can pay an annual fee to join the spa with its outdoor pool and hot tub.
Each of the condos is priced at $400,000 below the original estimate.