A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY

Sustainability has always been top of mind for Whistler. From the early pioneers first attracted to the region to the individuals who built the resort community, all have been aware of Whistler's most important and beloved asset – its natural environment.

Cheakamus Crossing’s housing units are being developed with the Whistler Green Building Program in mind. This municipal program is intended to encourage sustainable and environmentally friendly building practices.

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In general terms, the project is showing environmental leadership in adopting forward-thinking practices like the district energy system and a site-wide, integrated approach to storm water management. By balancing affordability, livable density and advanced green practices the village is demonstrating real leadership.

Cheakamus Crossing was one of twenty pilot projects  assessed under a new LEED N.D. (Neighbourhood Development) rating system. 

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Initiatives

Site and Landscape

Consideration is given to the environmental impact that the development has on the site and surrounding lands.

  • The neighbourhood is developed on a “brown field” site making use of lands that were previously a landfill and preserving non-developed areas.
  • A new transit route is in place with direct access to pedestrian and bicycle trails. The implementation of a car share program will reduce vehicle dependence.
  • Steep slopes and wetlands have been protected and maintained. Natural habitats have been restored.
  • Approximately 30% of the site is being developed for parkland and recreation.
  • A sophisticated storm water management system has been installed. All ground water is initially directed to rain gardens or bio-filtration channels to maximize infiltration and minimize particulate matter before entering a closed pipe system. The piped system is only constructed to ensure that clean storm water is directed into the natural existing water courses without the possibility of leaching any potentially harmful material from the former landfill.
  • Ecologically sound landscape design throughout the project incorporates natural low maintenance and drought-resistant planting materials.

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Energy

Consideration is given to the energy requirements of the development and the initiatives that are implemented to reduce energy use.

  • The neighbourhood is serviced by an innovative District Energy System (DES) that provides up to 90% of the energy needed for heating and domestic hot water requirements. Heat exchangers in the treatment plant capture the heat from the effluent flow and pump temperate water through an insulated underground distribution system to heat pumps in each building. The DES substantially decreases the electrical and natural gas requirements in the community.
  • Each strata unit is heated by a hot water radiant system. The temperature of the water supplied through the DES is increased by individual heat pumps in each unit for domestic hot water and heating requirements.
  • All kitchen appliances are Energy Star-rated.
  • The focus is on energy efficient lighting, with most in-suite lighting being compact fluorescent.
  • All windows are rated with a maximum overall u-value of 0.46 or less.
  • The Cheakamus Crossing multi-unit buildings will achieve energy savings of 40-45%

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Water

Consideration is given to water usage and the initiatives that are implemented to reduce water requirements

  • The use of low-flow plumbing fixtures and dual flush toilets minimizes water consumption up to 50%.
  • All clothes washers are water efficient and Energy Star-rated.
  • Landscape focuses on drought-tolerant materials, and all irrigation is highly efficient.

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Indoor Environment

  • All paints and finishes carry an Ecologo label or were approved by the Master Painters Institute as being low VOC.
  • All interior wood products were urea formaldehyde-free or all surfaces were sealed.
  • All floor coverings met the standards of the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Indoor Air Quality Test Program or carry the Canadian Environmental Choice certification.

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Materials

  • 90% of the aggregate used in construction originated from waste material on-site.
  • All framing lumber had a CSA rating and was non old growth forest product. Structural framing materials from local suppliers were from engineered wood products with no urea formaldehyde resins.
  • Exterior siding and paneling was from durable, engineered and low maintenance materials.

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