Intentional community in Nelson, B.C., wins efficiency award

FortisBC recognizes Heddlestone Village for energy conservation

Heddlestone Village has a pedestrian common path with homes on both sides. A woman is using a community cart and a boy is playing roller hockey.

Heddlestone is a pedestrian-only community, so residents rely on community carts to move goods between homes and the parking lot. Resident Bessie Wapp is pictured here. — Jon Steinman photo

FortisBC recognized 10 B.C. organizations for conserving energy, and Heddlestone Village, a co-housing community in Nelson, won in the multi-family category.

Collectively, these Top 10 saved enough natural gas to heat almost 150 homes and enough electricity to power close to 340 homes for a year.

Heddlestone’s 24 homes (or 12 duplexes) are constructed with high levels of batt and cellulose insulation, triple-pane windows and mini-split air-source heat pumps.

“We were able to achieve EnerGuide ratings of 83 to 84 in all the homes,” said Jon Steinman, strata president at Heddlestone and a resident. Nelson’s Go 2 Builders constructed the homes.

The community has numerous other “green” features including:

  • Homes have smaller footprints because there is a 4,000-square-foot common house with a dining room/kitchen, kids’ room, laundry, craft room, two guest rooms, lounge, teen room and games room;
  • Six meals per week are prepared and shared in the common house, with between 30 and 50 people on average attending;
  • Residents are developing community gardens, orchards and compost facilities;
  • Ridesharing and tool lending are encouraged;
  • Only Energy Star appliances were installed.

“The community was intentionally designed with only electricity as an energy source,” said Steinman. “This was to help encourage an easier and eventual transition to alternative energy sources such as solar.”

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and copy editor with Koocanusa Publications. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for 10 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and a copy editor of scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to Kootenay Business. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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