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Green Commitment

Greater Victoria Housing Society strives for best practices in energy conservation.

We work with experts to access programs that increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in our buildings.

We provide healthy, efficient living environments to ensure tenant quality of life.

We engage and educate our tenants to encourage pro-environmental behaviors.

We use durable materials to reduce garbage.

We recycle where appropriate.

We consider the costs and benefits of all environmental products, installations and services in our operations.

Our new buildings are designed with high standards of energy efficiency and lowest greenhouse gas emissions.

We completed 6 lighting upgrade projects using BC Hydro Power Smart Partner Express and BC Housing Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program funding.

This program is designed to help tenants on low income save on their home electricity bills. We offered ECAP at 5 buildings where tenants received free home energy assessments as well as new energy efficient products and installation.  In addition to this, BC Hydro Power Smart and Fortis BC offered housing providers $10 for every tenant household that chooses to participate in the program.

In  2015 we made the decision to purchase and install high tech, energy efficient laundry equipment. In addition to saving energy, our tenants are benefiting from cost savings and convenience.  The new system uses Huebsch commercial front load washers and dryers as well as MiTech laundry cards and value transfer machines.

GVHS received several Carbon Offset Grants of $5000 each from Graphic Office Interiors which we used for varying projects, including lighting upgrades to increase lighting levels and safety and reduce our carbon emissions and maintenance costs.

When we plan for new buildings, we set out to meet and exceed sustainability standards set out by various levels of government.

For new building construction, GVHS uses Passive House methodologies. This includes building systems and solutions that are not common in standard construction practices. Some of these additions include constructing robust building envelopes, additional glazing on windows, highly efficient mechanical systems, and reducing embodied carbon in the selection of building materials.

A percentage of vehicle parking stalls will be provided with EV charging stations, with the remaining stalls having provisions put in place for future stations. All secure bicycle parking will be provided with outlets for charging electric bicycles.

An example of our building practices can be found in our plans for the redevelopment of our site at 2558 Quadra Street.   Step 3 for Part 3 buildings of the BC Energy Step Code is being targeted for building efficiency. This means the building will achieve a minimum of 50% increased energy efficiency compared to conventional buildings built under the BC Building Code. This is accomplished through a robust continuous building envelope design and highly efficient heat recovery ventilators (HRV) to service the building.  In addition, leading edge air source heat pumps (ASHP) are being selected as an alternative system to sourcing heat for domestic hot water (DHW) with electric boilers. This will eliminate the need for a traditional natural gas condensing boiler system. There will be no natural gas connection onsite. This means there will be no  greenhouse gas emissions, and the  building will have nearly zero carbon emissions.

No air conditioning will be provided on site. The building will be passively cooled through exhaust provided from the air source heat pumps.

In addition to the above, conduits and structural systems are being put in place on the roof of the building to allow for the future implementation of solar panels in order to reduce the building’s impact on the electrical grid.