Verdant: A LEED Gold Building at UniverCity on Burnaby Mountain
When UniverCity – the Community at Simon Fraser hosted the third event in Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in Metro Vancouver: The 2007 Series, one of the featured projects was the Verdant building.
Heather Tremain told the story of the Verdant project, a multi-unit strata building, which is currently seeking to be the first LEED Gold woodframe residential building in North America. Heather was the project manager for the VanCity project at UniverCity, as well as the green building consultant on the project.
According to Heather, “The many innovative environmental features in Verdant include the strategies utilized to ensure a greater than 60% increase in energy efficiency.” In addition to explaining the technical aspects, Heather will showcase the integrated childcare facility for children living in Verdant and the neighbourhood.
“The Verdant building is also a non-market project that was built for SFU faculty and staff with an innovative land transfer and sales component that will ensure affordability throughout the life of the project,” reports Chris Hartman.
To maintain housing affordability for SFU's faculty and staff, Verdant will come with an innovative pricing program which will allow owners to purchase their residence at 20 percent below fair market prices, with three key conditions: The first is that they will be living in the residence, not purchasing to rent out; the second is that on re-sale, the residence must be sold at the same percentage discount below then-current market prices. Yes, purchasers will still be able to benefit from any price appreciation – it just means that they will start at a price below market and then, if they sold, resell at a price that is also below market. The third is that the residence will first be offered to SFU faculty and staff with children before being offered to the general market.
In the future, and for the term of the 99-year ground lease, when purchasers decide to sell their suite, they will first have to have their suite re-appraised to the then-current market conditions. The same 20 percent below-market discount will then still apply. This allows a return on the initial investment just like any other real estate purchase, and the re-sale control agreement ensures that affordability relative to market is maintained for the community and that savings will be passed on to subsequent owners.
Posted November 2007