Infill Development

Beachaus II SOLD

Now that’s a great sign. After a few months on the market and a number of interested parties we are pleased to announce that Beachaus II has now been sold. Please note that there will not be any further open houses at this property.

Congrats to the new owner of Beachaus II, welcome to the InHaus family! We hope you enjoy your brand new LEED Platinum home.

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Canada’s Most Walkable City

Walkscore recently ranked all of the major Canadian cities for their walkability, and Vancouver came out #1. Check out this link for an interesting interactive “heat map” showing walkable corridors throughout the lower mainland.

Did you know that the average resident of a walkable neighborhood weighs 6-10 pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood? Cities with good public transit and access to amenities promote happiness. Over 82% of CO2 emissions are from burning fossil fuels, your feet are zero-pollution transportation machines.

Research also shows that a single point of Walk Score can be worth up to $3,000 of increased value for your property. Read the research report here.

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So what is “LEED” anyway?

Over the past few weeks we’ve been asked the question “What is LEED®” when discussing the homes we are building in White Rock. In a nutshell, LEED® is the most stringent green home rating system in Canada/North America. In simple terms it is a bit like a building code, but of a much higher standard, requiring strict monitoring and documentation. The LEED® rating system take everything into consideration from the site selection & recycling of the existing house, right through to analyzing every screw, nail, material and mechanical system, that goes into the project. The projects are then rated using a points-based system to determine the final ranking. Certification can simply be “certified”, meaning the project met all the prerequisites, or can be one of the higher levels called “Silver”, “Gold” and the highest level, “Platinum”. For those who have been following the current project in White Rock, both homes have met all of the preliminary criteria to achieve a LEED® Platinum rating, something our team is very excited about.

So how does the LEED® rating system work? During the design phase, the independent LEED® rater produces a detailed energy model of the house in a computer, allowing them to estimate and analyze the energy usage of the prospective home, while providing the designer and architect with suggestions on ways that the design could improve. This system allows the design to be finely tuned for efficiency, long before the first drop of concrete is poured on the jobsite.

The LEED® system also considers many factors outside the home, things like irrigation and landscaping, plant species type, runoff mitigation, solar orientation and even proximity to shops, services and transit. The LEED® program takes a wide view of sustainable development, and approaches their ratings from a holistic point of view that goes well beyond the structure of the home.

The rating system also requires that every step of the project be documented, from “team meetings” amongst the principals, and background history / accountability documentation for all products and materials used in the home. Teams are asked to justify and explain their methodology and reasoning behind every design decision, thereby forcing dialogue and improving the final product. It is a far departure from the “old days” where the contractor stood on the jobsite with his level, and made many of the critical decisions “on the fly” while the home was being built.

Once the initial modeling and ratings have been completed, the LEED® raters check in on the build at regular strategic intervals. Much like a building inspector, they come to the site to view details and ensure that the original plans are being adhered to. They also produce a wealth of photo documentation throughout the build, used to verify the project at a later time. Once the project is virtually complete, the LEED® raters conduct blower-testing of the final product. This process is much as it sounds – they literally force air into the home and measure the leakage and air-tightness. After the blower door testing, and once construction is complete, the rater will return to the site yet again, and inspect the landscaping, irrigation and other exterior items to ensure that the original plan’s guidelines are met.

Then and only then, the house is given an official “Energuide” rating, much like an appliance would get. The enitre process, and every inch of the build is then complied and presented to the Canadian Green Building Council for their approval. The houses then become part of the permanent LEED® registry worldwide which maintains a database of the most sustainable building projects, both residential & commercial. Now say that 10 times fast.

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What is a “Smart Home”

By definition, a “smart home” is a house that uses technology to integrate the various systems within the home, allowing them to function as a whole. By bringing together the systems so they function as “one”, you can dramatically increasing the operating efficiency and reduce the environmental impact and energy usage of the home.

Our home automation systems go one step further by not only adjusting to your schedule changes automatically, but controlling both your heating, air conditioning, and lighting simultaneously, from a single interface.

A study for the American Lighting Association determined that household lighting accounts for 12-15% of the average household’s utility bill. An even more frightening statistic suggests that of the electricity annually used for lighting in North America, up to 50% is wasted due to inefficient lighting sources and lighting unoccupied spaces.
A smart home combines preprogrammed dimmers, timers and occupancy sensors to manage the lighting systems, maximizing efficient usage while you are at home, and saving energy while you are away. With these controls managing a typical 3-bedroom home, over 850 pounds of CO2 emissions could be eliminated each year, from your lighting systems alone! That savings in emissions roughly equates to not driving a car for over a month!

You can get even more savings on your electrical bill by controlling the wattage used by the light bulbs you currently have. These dimming devices use less electricity, extend bulb life, and add extra flexibility to create a wonderful aesthetic in your home. Dimming your bulbs by 25% can reduce consumption by 20% and quadruples the lifespan of your bulbs.

Heating & Cooling
A smart home system allows you to  maximum energy efficiency based on the seasons, by programming your shades (blinds) and thermostat to automatically adjust for time of day or outside temperature. In a home that is optimized for passive solar heating, a smart system is an integral part of keeping the home both efficient, and comfortable, without the need for energy-hungry artificial heating and cooling systems. The smart home system also allows easy access to your home’s controls, even from your smartphone.

Audio Video
The features and convenience of a smart home system not only end up saving the owners money and energy, they also can integrate a seamless audio & video experience into their day to day life. Built in speakers, centralized media storage, and themed presets that work in conjunction with your lighting controls and other systems bring a whole new level of comfort to the home. At the touch of a button, your home can dim the lights, close the blinds, start the fire, and begin playing the perfect movie on a Saturday night. Perhaps you are entertaining? Switch over to the entertaining mode, and soft, quality music fills the home, while the lights dim in all of the important spots. Let your guests in as they arrive via the remote controlled door locking system, and welcome them up to the perfect gathering. A smart home is so much more than efficiency and energy savings, it is about improving the lives of the homes’ owners as they live in their space.

We are pleased to be integrating smart home technology into the White Rock BeachHaus project. To ensure that we have the best system on the market, we have partnered with Harry Sani at Digital Smart Homes Inc. to help plan, install and program the ultimate system. Our motto is “Live Smart, Not Large” and the homes at the BeachHaus project will be by far the smartest homes in the White Rock area.

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Land Use & Planning

Last night we attended the monthly meeting of the White Rock Land Use & Planning Committee, where our subdivision / lot line adjustment application for the upcoming White Rock project was on the docket. We brought the 1/8 model of the project proposal for the committee’s viewing, and the project was well received. The planning department and the committee brought up their concerns about parking in the area, and we confirmed that each single-family home would have two individual off-street parking spots in order to prevent adding any more cards to the area. The committee was also reminded that we will actually be reducing the density of the site from 4 single family units to 2 single family units, thereby further reducing the number of cars that will be parked in the area.

We are proud to announce that our proposal was approved by the Land Use & Planning Committee, and that our next step will be a public hearing to be held on March 7th, at 7:00pm. We invite anyone who is interested in our project to attend, and anyone who attends is welcome to voice their support or concerns about our proposal.

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