Green living on Strawberry Hill
A new subdivision in Stratford features greener homes and a greener community for those who live there.
Gordon MacPherson, one of two partners in Strawberry Hill, said his model home there is unique.
"I think I'm safe in saying that it is the first of its kind on Prince Edward Island," MacPherson said. "We're setting a trend."
The home is heated by solar energy streaming in from the windows, solar panels on the roof and a heating system that doesn't burn oil. MacPherson explained it gathers the heat source from the air, while electricity powers the fans and other parts of the system. Energy-efficient doors and windows help keep heat in the home.
The wall insulation is made of soy, which MacPherson said works better and is also environmentally friendly.
It's also a requirement that the exteriors of homes in the subdivision must have natural materials, like brick and wood.
The Strawberry Hill subdivision is also greener than most: about 20 per cent will be dedicated to walking trails, an organic garden, and a vineyard.
"A lot of people I find that come to our development are very educated on the benefits of building green," MacPherson said.
MacPherson and his business partner came up with the idea after seeing similar subdivisions in the United States.
Building this way comes with a cost: it's about 20 per cent more expensive. The heating system in the model home, for example, is more than double the cost of an oil system.
"We're going to see a lot of changes take place in the approaches that are being used in constructing homes today," MacPherson said. "Maybe five years ago, it would have been a much harder sell."
MacPherson said he's already sold six lots, and he's had interest in the 44 others.
"Every day we are getting people calling, coming by, and they like what they see."