A Charlottetown development firm has secured the rezoning it needs to build a neighbourhood of energy efficient homes in the city.
The houses, planned for a currently undeveloped property off Upton Road in West Royalty, would incorporate a number of measures to improve energy efficiency. But they would still be sold at competitive market prices, said Tim McHatten, co-owner of Vy Build Inc., a new company started in January.
"We're hoping that this can set a standard and more developments can be done this way," said McHatten.
'Better for the environment'
McHatten said the main motivation behind the development is simple: "It's better for the environment, period."
The company plans to build 12 townhouses, each with four units. McHatten said energy efficiency will be central to the design. Some of his plans include incorporating solar power, as well as air to water heat pumps.
He said the houses will also have extra insulation and triple pane windows, in an effort to create a "complete energy envelope" — a very well sealed home that keeps energy in.
McHatten said he hopes the units will appeal to people who want to be environmentally conscious, but are wary of costs of upgrading an existing home.
"I found over the years that it's hard to upsell a home to be efficient to the consumer," said McHatten.
"When you're talking solar and all these additives, it gets very expensive and people don't want to step outside that box."
He noted most sustainable housing options offered on P.E.I. allow people to "pick and choose" what efficiency measures they want to include. He said this development will be different since it will have everything included.
"With this development, we're kind of pre-setting the standard," said McHatten.
In March, Charlottetown city council approved Vy Build's rezoning request for the land. The company still needs to sign a development agreement with the city before moving forward.
McHatten said he hopes to have the agreement completed within a month. He hopes to break ground on the development this summer.
He expects the development to take three years to complete.
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Holland College offers free rent and more to tenants forced out by residence
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Islanders can now draw EI while in school