Q Is there a building commitment?
A Yes. You have 12 months from time of purchase to start construction, then 12 more months to complete your house.
Q Are there architectural design controls?
A Yes. The design advisor must approve your plans. Personalization and quality exteriors are encouraged. Asphalt shingles and vinyl siding are not allowed. Simplicity is encouraged, unnecessary bump-outs (that waste energy) and fussy stylized details are discouraged. Renewables such as solar arrays should be integrated with the architectural design.
Q What services are provided?
A The following services are ready at each lot:
- 200 amp power
- City water
- City sanitary
- Fiber optic cable
Q Why is there no natural gas?
A Homes at EchoHaven will need little energy for heating and cooling because of the requirement to meet EnerGuide 84. Electricity is a necessity and can be used for all needs but natural gas is not. The gas provider charges $550 per year in base service charges plus the cost of consumption. By eliminating one utility provider (gas), your overall utility costs are further reduced.
Q How are the homes heated?
A Passive solar heating is free and should be maximized for winter heating. Passive solar can contribute 25% to 60% of the winter heating loads in sunny Calgary. All lots in EchoHaven have guaranteed solar access. Other heating systems can include solar thermal (radiant floor heating or forced air furnace), or electric radiant heating which is 100% efficient. In the future, air-to-air heat pump technology may be another option.
Q Can I buy a lot and build my own home?
A If you are experienced in house construction building your own home may be an option. You can also purchase a lot and hire a builder who has experience with energy efficient construction. Local builders who have continually strived to create efficient green homes are recommended. Their experience benefits you through lower construction costs without sacrificing quality or design.
Q What will I save in utility costs?
A Utility costs depend on several factors. An Energuide rating of 84 (previous scale) can be achieved simply with increased insulation, improved air-tightness, superior triple glazed windows, an HRV (heat recovery ventilator) and DWHR (drain water heat recovery). Improving the building envelope with these strategies is your best investment in comfort and utility savings.
Other factors that will reduce your costs include efficient appliances and lighting, and being conscientious about things like: turning off lights when a room is not occupied.
If you further increase insulation values and add photovoltaic panels, you can reach net zero energy consumption. Your builder can calculate utility costs for each energy saving improvement.
Q What is the advantage of a Bare Land Condo?
A You own your home and lot plus an equal share in the woodlands, ponds and amenities. Annual fees are estimated to be $90.00/month and are used for life cycle replacement costs and property maintenance. There are other single family home developments in Calgary that are Bare Land Condo such as Elbow Valley Estates.
Q What will my taxes be?
A The City assesses homes based on things like size and the area of the city. Your property taxes will be the same as similar homes in Rocky Ridge.
Q What is the biggest difference I will notice in my home?
A Besides low utility costs the biggest difference is they feel great – comfortable and quiet, healthy indoor air quality, no drafts, no cold rooms and no hot rooms.