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Stories Tagged - Environment

Mattamy unveiled its first net-zero home in Cityscape late last year. Pictured, from left, is Andy Goyda of Owens Corning Canada with Mattamy Homes representatives Don Barrineau, Brad Carr and Warren Saunders, as well as Donna Moore of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association - Calgary Region and 
Salvatore Ciarlo of Owens Corning Canada.

Oct. 24, 2018 | CREBNow

Homebuilder among finalists for environmental award

Finalists announced for 25th annual Emerald Awards

Mattamy Homes is among 70 organizations and individuals who have been named as finalists as part of the 25th annual Emerald Awards, which recognize environmental excellence in the province.

The homebuilder has been recognized under the Large Business (more than 100 employees) category for its Cityscape community in northeast Calgary.

As part of the federal EcoEnergy Innovation Initiative, Mattamy will build five net-zero homes in CityScape – the first already revealed late last year.

Courtesy Manjit Minhas

Oct. 24, 2018 | Marty Hope

Doing the right thing

Canmore's Spring Creek uses geothermal to lessen its environmental footprint

As the Alberta government doubles down on solar power alternatives through policy and rebates, some wonder if geothermal will also receive the same kind of attention.

Frank Kernick, developer of Canmore's multi-million-dollar Spring Creek hopes the provincial government will help offset geothermal installation costs through a rebate program, similar to the Residential and Commercial Solar Program.

Jeannette Wheeler is a believer in the power of trees to improve our urban lives.

Feb. 10, 2017 | Gerald Vander Pyl

Socialize with trees

Beyond beautification, trees provide a bevy of benefits for urban dwellers


Even before the turn of the century, early civic leaders envisioned Calgary as an urban oasis, with broad tree-lined streets connecting numerous parks. In 1894, the City of Calgary started planting trees along major boulevards in the city, beginning the effort to create an urban forest that continues today.


But aside from beautification, what's the point of an urban forest?


An example of a double-skin facade that could address solar challenges in multi-storey buildings., according to Caroline Hachem-Vermette, an assistant professor of architecture in the Solar Energy and Community Design Lab at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design. Illustration courtesy Caroline Hachem-Vermette.

Dec. 16, 2016 | Gerald Vander Pyl

Reaching for the sun

University research looks at solar solutions to multi-storey challenges

New research at the University of Calgary could lead to condominium and apartment high-rises being retrofitted to become energy-efficient and green-energy-producing buildings.

Caroline Hachem-Vermette, an assistant professor of architecture in the Solar Energy and Community Design Lab at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design, is looking at new ways to optimize solar capture on multi-storey buildings to help offset their energy use.

"Most of the buildings that exist now will be existing in 50 years, so we really need to move in this direction," said Hachem-Vermette, whose interest in the area came out of wider research she did on the design of mixed-use solar communities.

The provincial Residential No-Cost Energy Savings Program will supply and install — at no charge — simple products that save energy in homes such as LED light bulbs, efficient showerheads and faucets and various other components.

Dec. 16, 2016 | Miles Durie

The upside of carbon tax

New programs could see homeowners coming out ahead

milesIf you've been paying attention, you're aware that, starting Jan. 1, we'll be paying $1.01 more per gigajoule for natural gas to heat our homes and a few extra cents a litre to fuel our cars.

It's the provincial carbon levy, and it's inevitable.

If you're like me, you want to know what the government is going to do with the revenue.

For starters, it's setting up an agency whose goal is to reduce our utility bills, decrease emissions and save energy in general.

Denim pine comes from trees that have been infected by mountain pine beetles. The name stems from its distinctive blue streaks, which are caused by a fungus the beetles introduce while attacking the tree. Photo courtesy BeetleWood Industries.

April 21, 2016 | Tyler Difley

Singing the blues

Colourful wood can add character to any home

It goes by many names: denim pine, blue-stain pine and "beetlewood," to name a few.

No matter what you call it, this little-known wood could be the centrepiece of Calgary's next big interior design trend.

Denim pine comes from trees that have been infected by mountain pine beetles. The name stems from its distinctive blue streaks, which are caused by a fungus the beetles introduce while attacking the tree.

Solar has also increased in popularity as people have become more informed about the technology, added SkyFire Energy CEO David Kelly, whose company has designed and installed grid-connected and off-grid solar power systems throughout Western Canada. Photo courtesy Skyfire Energy.

April 21, 2016 | Tyler Difley

Rising sun

Solar energy making strides in Calgary area

Long considered a darling of the green energy industry, solar technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that many experts predict it will soon become commonplace in our everyday lives.

David Silburn, a researcher at SAIT who specializes in green building technologies, said the popularity of solar systems, especially photovoltaic, in residential and commercial applications has skyrocketed in the past seven years as prices have plummeted.

"In 2009, I was paying $10 to $12 a watt installed, whereas now you're spending $2.50 to $3 a watt installed on the same scale of system," he said.

CalgaryNEXT would include a 
19,000 seat arena/event centre and a 30,000-seat ‘multi-sport fieldhouse stadium.'

April 15, 2016 | Cody Stuart

What's NEXT?

Soil contamination a major hurdle for any West Village development

The Calgary Flames' season may be over, but that doesn't mean hockey talk in the city has come to a close.

In addition to fans' usual examination of how things could have gone differently, the question of where the team is going to play its home games in the not-too-distant future remains.

Part of that answer will come to light April 25 when Calgary Municipal Land Corp. (CMLC) reports findings to city council from its six-month environmental assessment of land in West Village where Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corp. (owner of the Flames, Calgary Stampeders and Calgary Roughnecks) is proposing to build the much-debated CalgaryNEXT project.

While he sees the province’s $5-million Municipal Solar Program as a positive first step, Greenenergy Renewable Energy Ltd. president Geoff McArthur says the new program may result in some Albertans sitting on the fence awaiting similar incentives for those in urban areas. Photo by Cody Stuart/Manging Editor/CREB®

Feb. 12, 2016 | Cody Stuart

Ray of sunshine

Residential homeowners left in the dark as province rolls out solar energy incentives

While the sun is set to shine a little brighter on some Albertans with news the provincial government will be offering increased incentives for solar power, others in the province are saying they're being left in the dark.

The Alberta government recently announced a $5-million Municipal Solar Program as part of its Climate Leadership Plan. Included in the plan are rebates of up to $0.75 per watt, to a maximum of $300,000 per project, to communities that install solar panels or set up solar panels in fire halls, community centres and offices.

Another $500,000 will go toward Alberta farmers who wish to generate their own electricity.

However, with the program largely ignoring the vast majority of residences, critics of the new incentives say they don't do enough to encourage more Albertans to go green.

Francisco Alaniz Uribe, co-manager of the Urban Lab Research Group in the Univeristy of Calgary’s faculty of Environmental Design, says transit-orientated communities are one way Calgary can look to reduce its carbon footprint. Photo by Wil Andruschak/For CREB®Now.

Oct. 16, 2015 | Alex Frazer Harrison

The $17-trillion question

How Calgary is contributing to low-carbon living

It's a number so big, it's hard to comprehend: $17 trillion US.

According to the New Climate Economy report released by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, that's how much cities worldwide could realize in direct energy savings by 2050 by investing in low-carbon technologies. This includes public transportation, efficiency in building design and waste management.

Is such a target obtainable?

In 2014, the City of Calgary spent $140 million on energy, just for its own facilities, "to keep our pools warm, our street lights on and our LRTs moving," said Arsheel Hirji, leader of sustainable infrastructure with the City.

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