One of the only such ecologically sensitive and sustainable developments in Atlantic Canada. The initiatives taking towards environmental sensitivity and sustainability go far beyond the requirements of its Environmental Impact Approvals.
The land purchased in 1999 was in the early stages of development by the vendor. All of the traditional environmental impact items defined below were present as were additional problems.
3.5 Acres of 6.8 Re-Transformed.
¾ of an acre of the land was re- transformed into a manmade wetland. 1.5 acres of waterfront land was indigenously vegetated, 1.2 acres of the land was committed to indigenous green space.
Our strategy in developing this parcel of land was
- Mitigate pollution surface water & shoreline sediment issues.
- Envelop the homes with as much natural coastal environment as possible.
- To develop a sustainable environment.
- To provide architecture which fosters the habitants to connect and celebrate a natural coastal experience.
The following initiatives are key to the eco- friendly aspect of this vacation home project.
#1 Sustainable shoreline protection
Our shoreline plan consists of providing a sloped land water connection in the riparian zone. This required reducing the human footprint by over 2000 lineal feet of water frontage. We have also heavily vegetated this area with indigenous shoreline grass, which calm wave action / currents, retain sands, quickly re-vegetate themselves and provide a natural coastal environment for wild life. Large sand stones, vegetated with coastal shoreline grass have been placed in a small shoreline area exposed to North -Easters. Not a typical stonewall, but rather a sloped rock surface to disperse wave action in all directions along with grass vegetation to retain sand between and beneath the rocks.
#2 Surface water control
Traditional developments transfer roadway & surface waters directly or indirectly to the oceans.
Our Eco -Plan consists of;
- Grading building site surface waters away from the ocean to shallow retention swales between homes and behind indigenous grass berms. The retention swale typically consists of 4-5" of top soil or sand over 2'- 3' of medium drainage sand stone.
- Indigenous grassland berms are placed between the building site footprint and the waterfront
- Driveway and some lawn area waters are directed to the roadway which is drained by French drains which allow contaminated surface waters to drain into the earth and not the ocean.
- The use of pesticides is prohibited by our covenants.
#3 Sewage waste
Sewage from all homes is directed to our sewage system. This water is gravity fed to a lift station, directed to a Sludge Tank, then to the Rotating Biological Contactor treatment plant, it is then directed to a Clarifier, then Ultra-Violet Light treated, then discharged into a man made indigenously Vegetated Submerged Wetland. This system provides high quality test water results between the Ultra Violet treatment and the submerged wetland. (Excess sludge is re-used in soil composting)
#4 Home Construction
- Copper Arsenic / Pressure Treated Wood has been minimized and for the most part substituted with cedar or spruce wood with capillary breaks. Bitchumen is not used on the foundations.
- The construction is energy efficient including Low E Argon Thermo glass, and takes advantage of southern solar gains. Foundations are well insulated with R24 Walls and R7 foundation floor perimeters, exterior walls have from R22.5 - R25 and Ceiling are R42 - R50.
- The claddings are of local, natural re-producible solid wood products.
- Homes are equipped with low flow showerheads, low flush toilets and low energy lighting.
Planned architecture is based on the quality of living spaces. It fosters connection, respect and celebration of the natural environment. Functions include experiencing the evolution of the natural day & night. Interiors are themed in
coastal elements from Spanish vessels, Surf rooms, to Sailing yachts. . .Natural ventilation substitutes' energy intense cooling with fresh sea breezes.
#6 Light Pollution
Natural Habitat is adversely affected by artificial lighting. Such lighting prevents the tenants from experiencing the exceptional nighttime spatial views.
• All our street and exterior home lighting is limited by a downward directional position and brilliance.
#7 Coast land Urban Sprawl Comparative;
There is a tremendous demand for coastland properties. Under the current government requirements, growth represents individual homeowners each developing 200' -400' of waterfront land into mono lawn cutlers with riprap stonewalls. Land surface, road ditch and foundation water is graded to the ocean carrying with it Nitrates, Phosphorus, Pesticides, Soil Sediment, Hydrocarbons from vehicles/ building foundations and Sewage Grey Water from Septic Systems. In addition the traditional development requires very significant amounts of land clearing, roadways, pave/ tarred gravel, salts, ditches and Electrical/Tele communication infrastructures. Traditional development also requires far more significant maintenance, servicing, and impac's a much larger footprint.
The Human Footprint & Eco Impact on Waterfront properties.
The traditional new coastal house site footprint is three to four times greater per home, then that of our eco- community. The environmental impact of traditional land development is estimated to
be 8 - 10 times greater per home. Our planned eco- community allows 22 families to enjoy access to the coastal land ownership in an area, which traditionally would allow for only 4 families. This represents a human footprint reduction of approximately 30 acres. Whereas many of the homes are rentals, over 220 families per year presently enjoy this coastal living experience, thus better satisfying societies demand for coastal living experiences while significantly reducing the traditional foot print and impacts.