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Healthy spaces solve big problems

Written by Land Ark


August31, 2023

We’re helping solve major issues facing Canadians by building beautiful, spacious homes that promote health, wellness and connection in a walkable community.

Multiple levels of government in Canada are recognizing that we’re in a housing and energy crisis. The CMHC says we need to build 5.8 million homes by 2030 to restore affordability. 

We need more homes in Canada. But no one wants the lifeless tract developments crammed full of cookie-cutter, obsolete, energy-consuming houses. Unfortunately, this type of development makes up the majority of the new homes built in Canada.

At Watercolour, we believe that healthy homes and communities need space to breathe in generous lot sizes. We’re one of the few places you can buy a new, right-sized bungalow on a full-size lot. 

Since its inception, Watercolour has been different. Land Ark Homes co-founder Stephen Rolston was heavily influenced by innovative land planners and architects such as Andrés Duany, founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Sarah Susanka is another creative thinker who has inspired Rolston and the Land Ark Homes team (you can read more about our inspirations here). She is the originator of the “Not So Big” philosophy of residential architecture, which aims to “build better, not bigger.” 

This new way of land planning and home building is centred around the idea that life is better and healthier in a walkable community with earth-friendly homes. 

The housing crisis isn’t the only situation we’re facing. Canada is also suffering the effects of climate change. Energy prices are higher and weather events feel more intense and unpredictable. We can’t keep building the same homes we were 50 years ago. The building code hasn’t changed significantly since the 1970s so most new homes are leaky and inefficient. We need to do better.

The Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) cares deeply how the 5.8 million new homes are built. The CHBA promotes Net Zero Ready home construction. A CHBA qualified Net Zero home produces as much clean energy as it consumes annually, using on-site renewable energy systems.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the 286,000 new homes in Canada are being built to an obsolete building code that hasn’t changed much since Rolston started in construction in 1982. Of the new homes built in 2022, only 425 were Net Zero or Net Zero Ready.

Every home at Watercolour Westport is certified Net Zero Ready and fossil-fuel free. These high-performance homes are being built to a code that won’t be enforced until 2035.

The housing crisis is real. So are the effects of climate change. It will take creative solutions to solve these problems while keeping our communities livable and healthy.