In a recent Holmes on Holmes HGTV episode, host handyman Mike Holmes ended up tearing an entire home down in order to build from scratch a home using new technologies and features that he called environmentally conscious and energy efficient.
Greener homes are becoming mainstream as technology becomes more accessible and less costly. In Holmes’ view, it is wise to build a home which will endure for years while saving you money through approaches incorporating green-friendly systems, materials and appliances. It is a win for the environment and the homeowner, he added.
In terms of going green, WinnipegREALTORS® has teamed up with the local chapter of the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) and Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU) to create a Your Greener Home brochure and website offering homeowners helpful tips on greening their home. While not as dramatic as that done for Holmes’s TV show, it is a start to educating Manitobans on the steps required to make their homes greener. Smaller projects and how you live within an existing home can often be done in a more energy saving and conservation manner, which do not have to be a life-altering experience.
Representatives of WinnipegREALTORS® attended last week’s Manitoba Chapter of the CaGBC’s annual meeting and dinner, during which Bruce Kuwabara, one of Canada’s leading architects and the 2006 recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada gold medal, spoke on the process undertaken by his firm to design the Manitoba Hydro tower. The hydro building is now held up as a showcase of innovative design and green building technology.
Acknowledged at this dinner were ACU and WinnipegREALTORS® in partnering with CaGBC on the Your Greener Home brochure and online resource guide. The ACU has made a major effort to have all of their employees informed about the program, and are actively encouraging their 108,000 members to take advantage of the on-line resource guide.
The ACU has already built a LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) branch on Pembina Highway.
As a true quality of life initiative, the following article prepared and written by Assiniboine Credit Union goes into more detail about what greener homes are all about.
Live better in your greener home
Whether you are building, buying or renovating, now is the perfect time to make your home a greener home ...
Your Greener Home resources were developed to inspire more environmentally sustainable housing choices by linking people to information that can help them save money while reducing their environmental impact.
“A greener home is one that provides a healthier and more comfortable living space and has features that reduce its impact on the environment,” explained Duane Nicol, manager of corporate social responsibility at Assiniboine Credit Union. “A greener home uses energy and water more efficiently. It uses materials that protect human health and the natural environment, and it is located within walking or biking distance to schools, transit routes, grocery stores and other essential services.
“Whether you want to lower your utility bills, increase the value of your home, lessen your family’s impact on the environment or improve the quality of your life through healthier living space, greener home choices will benefit you,” added Nicol. “The Your Greener Home resources can link you to the information you need to make greener choices.”
Your Greener Home represents the first time that home builders, home sellers and home lenders have combined forces for the benefit of both the consumer and the environment.
“By bringing together experts in these fields, home owners have good information and the support they need to do the research and make informed choices,” said Nicol. “It’s a unique partnership.”
Even the smallest investment in greener home features can make a difference.
“Your Greener Home has been designed with continuous improvement in mind,” said Nicol. “We believe that every step, big or small, makes a home greener.”
Making Your Greener Home resources available at all Assiniboine Credit Union branches and on their website is a natural fit for a financial co-operative that is committed to doing business in a way that contributes to the well-being of their employees, members, the communities they serve and the environment.
“Combining these resources with Assiniboine’s products, services and financial expertise is one more example of what makes ACU different from other financial institutions,” Nicol said. “We strive to minimize our own ecological footprint, and we support and engage others who are working to find positive solutions to environmental concerns. We think it’s a better way to do business.”
If you’d like to learn more about Your Greener Home resources, visit www.assiniboine.mb.ca or call 1-877- 958-8588.