Westhills Neighbourhood in the City of Langford: Creating a Community in the Fullest Sense
The meet-and-greet for Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in Langford starts at 8:30am on September 26. Program concludes at 2:30pm after a walkabout. To download the agenda, click here. To register, contact Suzette Chapman at either 250-474-0068 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration will be capped at 40. ONLY A HANDFUL OF SPACES REMAIN.
Doing Business Differently
Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) is collaborating with the Capital Regional District and the Green Infrastructure Partnership to present Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Capital Region: The 2008 Series. The second in the series will be held on September 26 and will be hosted by the City of Langford in collaboration with Westhillls to showcase its 'green' community.
The focus of Showcasing Innovation in Langford is on how to create neighbourhoods that integrate both good planning and innovative engineering designs, for overall greater sustainability (i.e. environmental, social and economic).
Westhills is British Columbia's largest LEED-Neighbourhood Development pilot project, with design elements and community initiatives that create and nuture a strong sense of community; and a plan that incorporates leading-edge environmental technologies.
The morning session has two interactive segments, first by the City and then by Westhills, that set the scene. A walkabout will follow, and is also organized in two parts. First, there will be a walking tour from City Hall to the Westhills Presentation Centre where lunch will be served. After lunch, a bus will take participants to the Westhills job site to view a selection of their ‘green’ show homes that are at various stages of construction.
Westhill's part of the program will provide Showcasing Innovation participants with an overview of what characterizes and/or distinguishes the Westhills 'green' neigbhourhood; and will cover seven topics:
- Overview of the development
- LEED-ND, Built Green & LEED-NC
- Traditional Neighbourhood Development
- Fee Simple Townhomes & Carriage Houses
- Edible Landscaping / Community Gardens
- Reclaimed Water System
The Westhills goal is to create socially supportive, healthy neigbhourhoods and promote urban design excellence throughout the public realm.
Overview of the development
“Westhills is a new neighbourhood designed to foster a strong sense of community, encourage human interaction and satisfy the needs of daily living within a few minutes of every front door,” explains Kathy Hogan, the Marketing and Community Relations member of the Westhills project team.
“An array of measures has been put in place to protect and enhance the natural environment in ways that allow residents to enjoy and appreciate all that nature has to offer,” adds Kathy Hogan.
The 20-year plan on 517 acres features 6,000 homes and approximately 6,000,000 sq ft of commercial, retail, educational and cultural offerings arranged in a pedestrian friendly environment that encourages walking and cycling on sidewalks, dedicated lanes, shared streets or via a myriad of interconnected paths and trails.
“A variety of home styles, sizes and ownership options will ensure a diverse community that welcomes people of all ages and income levels,” concludes Kathy Hogan.
LEED-ND, Built Green & LEED-NC
Leadership in Energy and Enviromental Design (LEED) Neighbourhood Development integrates the principles of smart growth, new urbanism and green building into a system for neighbourhood design.
“The benefits of LEED-ND are to reduce suburban sprawl and create more livable communities,” explains Kathy Hogan. “LEED-ND encourages healthy communities by emphasizing compact, walkable, vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhoods with alternative transportation connections to nearby communities.”
According to Kathy Hogan, LEED-ND protects threatened species by encouraging compact development patterns and the selection of sites that are within or adjacent to existing development to minimize habitat fragmentation and also help preserve areas for recreation. LEED-ND increases transportation choices and decreases automobile dependence.
“Westhills is using Built Green standards to build single-family and town homes in the first neighbourhood,” continues Kathy Hogan. “Built Green adds value to new home construction by promoting and recognizing the use of practices and products that represents resource-efficient and environmentally friendly construction.
The primary purpose of Built Green is to encourage homebuilders to use technologies, products and practices that will:
- Provide greater energy efficiency and reduce pollution
- Provide healthier indoor air
- Reduce water usage
- Preserve natural resources
- Improve durability and reduce maintenance
- Promote responsible construction waste management practices
The program concentrates on four areas of environmental concern:
- Energy Efficiency
- Indoor Air Quality
- Resource Use (including Waste Management)
- Overall Environmental Impact
Built Green™ is an industry driven voluntary program that promotes “green” building practices to reduce the impact that building has on the environment.
LEED for New Construction:
The LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) Rating System is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance commercial and institutional projects, including office buildings, high-rise and multi-family residential buildings, government buildings, recreational facilities, manufacturing plants and laboratories.
According to Kathy Hogan, all Westhills multi-storey residential and commercial buildings will be built to LEED-NC standards. T”he building aspects looked at in LEED-NC are sustainable site locations, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resource use, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design process,” she explains.
Traditional Neighbourhood Development
“Traditional Neighbourhood Developments (TND) are human scale, walkable community’s with moderate to high residential densities and a mix-use core,” notes Kathy Hogan. “TND’s also have a higher potential to encourage and accommodate alternate modes of transportation.”
“An interconnected network of pedestrian friendly streets is fundamental to TND,” adds Kathy Hogan. “This network serves both to slow and disburse traffic and provide a safe and inviting pedestrian atmosphere. TND neighbourhoods tend to favour design elements from a time before automobile use became the dominant design directive.”
According to Kathy Hogan, diverse neighbourhoods where streets are considered an extension of the home, combined with a variety of gathering places are more vibrant, interesting and compelling.
Fee Simple Townhomes & Carriage Houses
“Westhills will be one of Langford’s first neighbourhoods to implement fee simple town homes where owners can enjoy the benefits of private ownership,” reports Kathy Hogan. “Carriage Houses – rental suites that are in free standing dwellings set apart from the main house will also represent design innovation at Westhills.”
Edible Landscaping / Community Gardens
“Edible landscaping, simply put, replaces plants that are strictly ornamental with plants that produce food,” comments Kathy Hogan. “Edible landscaping will allow Westhills residents to create a multi-functional landscape that provides a harvest of fruits and vegetables alongside the beauty normally associated with tended gardens.”
“A community garden is a piece of land gardened by a group of people,” continues Kathy Hogan. “Community gardens are designed to benefit and build community by providing gardening opportunities for the physical, social and health benefits of the participants and adjoining neighbourhoods.”
“Westhills is committed to establishing community gardens to benefit residents who live on small lots, townhomes and condominiums – or whoever wishes to partake of a more vibrant, community atmosphere while growing their own food,” concludes Kathy Hogan.
Geothermal energy is energy generated by heat stored beneath the Earth's surface. According to Kathy Hogan, the Westhills development will contain a District GeoExchange system that will supply all the buildings on the site with heating, cooling and hot water.
Reclaimed Water System
“Reclaimed water will be returned to all homes and buildings for toilet flushing and irrigation which accounts for 46% of water use in typical households,” states Kathy Hogan.
Previous Water Bucket Stories
Four stories about Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the City of Langford and the Capital Region Series as a whole were posted previously:
Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the City of Langford: Transforming the Community: City of Langford hosts second of three showcasing events in the 2008 Vancouver Island Series organized by CAVI
“2008 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series on Vancouver Island” features community-scale projects: Series builds on 2007 Georgia Basin program successes to demonstrate what “The New Business As Usual” means
Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2008 Capital Region Series — CAVI announces partnership with CRD to deliver program that builds capacity for Climate Change Adaptation
Goal in Showcasing Innovation
The goal of the Showcasing Innovation Series is to promote networking, inform and educate practitioners, and help local governments move ‘from awareness to action’ in doing business differently — The New Business As Usual — through sharing of approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned that will ultimately inform a pragmatic strategy for climate change adaptation.
The Showcasing Innovation Series enables local governments to tell their stories in a way that no other forum currently provides. The purpose of the presentations in the mornning is to whet the appetites of participants for the site tour that follows. The real learning then takes place on the bus or during the walkabout.
Registration for Showcasing Innovation in Langford:
For a program overview and registration details, click on the image below to download a copy of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in Langford. To register, contact Suzette Chapman at either 250-474-0068 or email@example.com Participants are advised that it is mandatory to wear a safety vest, hard hat and safety boots for the walkabout. At the time of registration, please advise whether you will need to borrow any of these items.
Who is CAVI?
The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Development, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery. For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here
Posted September 2008