Sunny thinking on new homes
From solar panels to pollinator gardens, developers are going green.
Image From Jayman BUILT Everyone likes to moan about the weather, but when it comes to sunlight, Calgarians don’t have much to complain about. The city is the sunniest in the country, with some 2,396 hours a year. Put another way, the sun shines on some 333 days annually. Edmonton is not far behind us in that regard. The abundant prairie sunshine has prompted Jayman BUILT to incorporate solar energy. Beginning this year, all its new homes in Alberta will have 6 solar panels. The panels are not optional, but Jayman says they will not add to the cost of a house. Better still, once hooked up, the panels will begin saving residents money—at least of $200 a year. Jayman is working with SkyFire Energy to install the packages. The solar panels are new, but they are in keeping with Jayman’s longstanding commitment to energy efficiency. Solar energy will complement other standard features like high-efficiency furnaces, LED lighting and tankless hot water heaters. The company is active in several new communities in Calgary, including Belmont, Livingstone and Mahogany. Other communities in Calgary are harnessing the power of the sun in different ways. Rangeview is a community developed by Section23. It will sit east of the South Calgary Health Campus and will incorporate agricultural urbanism. This means there will be community gardens, an orchard and a village green as well as gardening workshops and classes. North Silverado will also harness nature. The community design preserves wetlands, drainage courses and other natural features. The attention to low-impact design practices also includes a pollinator garden that will provide food and shelter for various species. The City of Calgary has taken a similar interest in pollinators. The Bee and Butterfly Boulevard runs from Macleod Trail to Bow Bottom Trail. It features wildflowers, native plants and nesting habitats. There is even a bee bed across from St. Bonaventure School near the intersection of Acadia Drive and Canyon Meadows Drive in the southeast. Like other projects that incorporate the power of nature, it is producing a lot of buzz.