Office Phone: 250-338-5466
Courtenay, British Columbia
Posted: Mar 15, 2012
Turner Lane Development Corporation's current development, Kettle Creek Station, meets BuiltGreen standards, with homes achieving an Energuide 80 score. The project's successes are currently highlighted on the BC Hydro website.
Turner Lane Development Corporation has made use of various Power Smart programs, including an incentive supporting co-promotion of the Power Smart label, which Les Bjola, the owner and CEO, says “has been really good for us.”
Bjola says Kettle Creek evolved from his thinking that there was nobody building a nice quality affordable house.
“It’s like there’s this magic line where your house has got to be really big to get a high quality product, and I never believed that,” he says. “I thought that you could do a smaller house and give them that same quality of finish.”
The largest Kettle Creek home is 1,600 square feet with three bedrooms, while smaller floor plans range down to 586 sq ft.
Homes use the great room concept to maximize the sense of spaciousness, while the small footprint means less financial burden, and better energy efficiency.
Beyond the technical details, the real sustainability ethic of Kettle Creek lies in the sense of community Bjola has tried to develop there.
“I dislike sameness, so I wanted the street to feel like a nice warm friendly street, I didn't want it to feel like a whole bunch of garages. You’ll notice on every house there’s a little front porch to bring people back to being neighbours again.”
Other elements of the Kettle Creek plan include narrower street widths with larger setbacks from the street to create both community and space. Bjola works closely with municipal planning departments to gain agreement for his ideas about how community “feel” can be built into the design.
“Inherently it goes back to my master planning of communities, making them safe and inviting instead of cold and off-putting. So when I go in and I look at a neighbourhood, that’s what my objective is.
“You have to define affordability before you define your housing,” he continues. “It doesn’t have to be big to feel rich.”