The 1,624-square-foot townhouse in Blatchford is selling in the low $600,000s. It comes with three bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a real brick exterior and options for both a secondary basement suite and a garden rental suite.
Developer Kim Gibbons, executive vice-president of Encore Master Builders, is proud of the company’s product. “It sells itself,” says Gibbons. “It really is top-of-the-line.” She’s referring not only to the granite countertops, nine-foot ceilings and rooftop patio, but also the townhouse’s environmental bona fides. It is heated and cooled using geothermal energy. It has highly insulated walls, roofs and floors, high-performance windows and an airtight envelope, allowing it to consume less than half the energy of the typical house in Edmonton. With a few solar panels, it would be carbon neutral. “Now that we’re finally here and developed and people are able to see it, it’s very popular,” Gibbons says.
“Here” is the 536-acre Blatchford development, one of the City of Edmonton’s signature environmental initiatives. Initially conceived in 2009, Blatchford is the repurposing of the former city-centre airport to become a carbon-neutral, affordable community for 30,000 Edmontonians. The initial prospectus assured that education, employment, entertainment and recreation will all be within a 15-minute walk of every front door. It also committed to powering Blatchford from a utility that provides heating, cooling and hot water services using geothermal, solar and other sustainable energy sources.