Wesbrook Village, a developing neighbourhood abutting the UBC campus and UBC Farm, welcomed Adera’s new building SAIL into the community yesterday with an open house and guided tours. Norm Couttie, Adera’s President, and Al Poettcker, UBC Properties Trust’s President & CEO, were among those in attendance.
A celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony indicated the official “opening” of the development, despite many of the units being already occupied.
The 172 units offer one, two, and three bedroom homes ranging from 665 – 1,152 sq. ft at roughly $399,000 – $900,000 plus package upgrade options. This seems affordable (for some) and reasonable (I suppose) considering the location’s natural surroundings such as Pacific Spirit Park and Wreck Beach, and developing community, as well as it’s accessibility to educational institutes and downtown Vancouver.
Of those 172 homes, there are also penthouse units with a rooftop patio, a lanai loft, and a hot tub option. The view from the Western facing units isn’t great at the moment (see below), but once the second building in this project is constructed the surroundings will presumably be beautified with ponds and trees, just as they’ve done with their other buildings in the Pacific Spirit collection. Keep in mind that there will be another six storey building there instead of the current patch of dirt.
While many will shrug this off as “just another condo development”, this particular project stands out because of Adera’s outstanding sustainability efforts. It is the first development at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to be awarded the Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP) Platinum certification.
REAP is a green building initiative that was formulated by UBC to ensure that new developments were constructed and operated using less resources, and offered higher-quality indoor environments. Furthermore, it is projected that with the green technology used in the SAIL buildings that there will be a direct saving in energy costs up to 75% higher than that of traditional buildings.
SAIL is built using sustainably sourced wood from Penticton’s Structurlam, Energy Star windows and appliances, motion sensor lighting switches and, my favourite, in-floor radiant heating.
Wood is the only natural, renewable building material with lower embodied energy than alternative building materials. Not only does it take significantly less energy to process, manufacture, and transport wood – due to cellular structure, wood is 400 times more effective than steel and eight times better than concrete at resisting thermal heat loss.
It’s hard to not be enticed by SAIL’s show units as they are meticulously laid out to cover every detail imaginable: rugs, chandeliers, art, throw pillows, designer furniture, and even clothes hanging in the closet and tables donning plates and wine glasses. But, beyond the staging, it’s the open concept layouts, spacious closets, neighbouring parks and the plethora of occupied bike racks that pique my interest. I cycled from Coal Harbour to UBC to revisit the route, and was glad to see that I wasn’t the only cyclist on the block. Healthy body = healthy mind!
Today, September 7th, marks the 3rd annual Wesbrook Village Festival. From 11AM – 3PM there will be live music, free yoga and trail running, a free BBQ, a rock climbing wall, and a kids zone equipped with bouncy castles and face painting.
It also provides the opportunity for the public to explore the different restaurants and shops in the village. During my visit I popped into Blenz for a delicious dark chocolate soy mocha (hold the whip), before having a #1 (Champion beef tendon with flat noodle – extra spicy) at Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle for lunch with Rick Chung.
Other notable shops: Menchie’s, More Bikes, TOGO Sushi, BC Liquor Store, Wesbrook Seafood, Mozart School of Music, Jugo Juice, and University Barbershop.