Innovative Financing Helps Cut Energy Use 60% in New Homes First residents move in this Earth Day weekend

    BURNABY, BC, April 20 /CNW/ - Just in time for Earth Day (Sunday, April
22), Verdant, a new townhome development on Burnaby Mountain in BC, has
started welcoming its new owners.
    As they settle in, they'll enjoy the benefits of living in one of the
most energy-efficient market residential complexes in Canada. And due to
innovative financing, they'll get these benefits for no additional purchase
    Verdant uses geothermal heat - heat drawn from the earth. While the
technology itself is well-known, most developers won't consider it because of
cost. Conventional heating systems are cheaper to install up-front - but
homeowners are stuck with higher monthly energy fees in perpetuity.
    "Verdant proves that what seems impossible, actually is possible," says
Heather Tremain, CEO of reSource Rethinking Building, the development manager
for the project on behalf of Vancity Enterprises. "Climate change is on
everyone's mind, but the perception is that the answers are out in the distant
future, and only the wealthy can afford them. We've shown that answers are
here now, and they can be affordable."
    By using energy modeling technology, plus a development loan that will be
transferred to the strata council, Verdant plans to achieve a 60% reduction in
energy usage over a conventional code building. That's the equivalent of
taking 72 cars off the road - permanently.
    The loan is the first of its kind in BC.
    "As development managers we proposed covering the additional costs of
this improved system with a loan from Vancity Capital Corp." says Tremain.
"The repayments are low enough to be repaid from the energy savings. Once it's
paid off, homeowners will see a significant drop in their monthly heating
bills," says Tremain. Meanwhile, even during the loan term, their energy costs
won't rise as quickly as the costs for conventional homes.
    "They'll save money from day one," she says.
    Tremain says the solution to radically reducing energy usage and costs at
the Verdant - while holding building costs down - was "not really that
    "As developers, we have to adopt a consistent mindset about building
green. The answers are available - we just need to put them together in
innovative ways."
    Energy use reduction in buildings is a critical component of combating
global warming. In North America, buildings account for:

    -   36% of total energy use / 65% of electricity consumption;
    -   30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Verdant's heating system will emit 374 fewer tonnes of greenhouse gases
per year, compared to a similar building developed to code.

    reSource Rethinking Building has been leading in green development in the
Vancouver area since 2001, when it was founded by Tremain and Robert Brown.
Tremain is co-creator of Healthy Home, a 39-part television series about
healthy and sustainable buildings, and past director of the Cascadia Region
Green Building Council.
    reSource Rethinking Building and Vancity Enterprises are the development
team for the Verdant project. SFU Community Trust has been key in ensuring the
affordability of the project and in supporting the green building and
sustainability features.
    Photos of Verdant available upon request.

For further information:

For further information: Heather Tremain, Co-founder and CEO, reSource
Rethinking Building Inc., Phone: (604) 678-9024, Cell: (604) 551-9755,,

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