Real Estate Foundation of BC

For grants to be awarded to recipients of the Vancity/Real Estate Foundation Green Building Grant Program in 2011.

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Green Building Grants 2011

In 2011 four organizations received Green Building Grants totalling $100,000, which was the maximum available for this grant cycle.

Project Descriptions

Community Energy Association - District Energy (DE) is the distribution of thermal energy (i.e. hot/chilled water, steam) from a central plant to multiple buildings. This process then heats or cools buildings depending on the season and building requirements. DE has relatively low operational costs, and low carbon emissions. The District Energy Ready program will work with five to ten local governments on pilot projects to implement the DE-ready building requirements, including policies, financial tools, and legal instruments. Focusing on multi-unit residential buildings, the District Energy Ready program seeks to enable a greener source of climate control in BC communities.

Lasqueti Community Association - Lasqueti Island is not connected to BC Hydro’s electrical power grid; the community relies completely on fossil fuel for heat and power to its vital public buildings and infrastructure. This project plans to “green” the system by implementing an integrated power system using solar panels, wind turbines, solar and biomass thermal energy. A back-up generator that operates on fossil fuels will also be installed; however, heat recovery will be employed to integrate some waste energy back into the system. The new, grassroots-initiated, community-backed system will support the False Bay School and other public buildings such as the Lasqueti Fire Hall & Recycling Centre, the Internet Centre, the Nursing Centre, and the TELUS telecommunications unit.

O.U.R. Ecovillage - As an approachable way to educate people about green building, O.U.R. Ecovillage in Shawnigan Lake is retrofitting its office and turning it into a restaurant/meeting place. The project will incorporate natural construction techniques as well as organic, local, and recycled materials. The intent is to create a fully permitted, building code-approved natural building which uses passive solar and natural light, as well as rainwater harvesting and alternative wastewater, in a reclaimed timber frame structure, renovated with salvaged windfallen trees and earthen infill. This will give patrons a chance to experience the beauty of eco-friendly design, while learning about the positive environmental impacts of green building. This project will also be a hands-on learning experience for people involved in the design and construction process.

Salt Spring Island Land Bank Society - A dedicated non-profit housing developer, the Land Bank Society works with volunteers and recycled materials whenever possible. Their latest project, Brackett Spring Family Housing, saw houses from across Salt Spring Island that were slated for demolition moved to a site where they are being renovated into an eco-friendly affordable housing complex. In an effort to make the project even greener and to set a positive example in the community, the Society is retrofitting a greywater reuse system for irrigation of certain crops, toilet flushing, and even laundry. As the site is outside the water and sewer serviced area on Salt Spring, the new system will be especially helpful in summer when there are water shortages. Results of this pilot project will indicate whether or not the approach could be feasible across the island, and elsewhere.