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Georgie meets The Beav


Housing authority building wins four Georgie awards

The Beaver Flats complex is up for yet another set of housing prizes, the Georgie Awards.

The Whistler Housing Authority building, located in Creekside, has been awarded silver in four categories: Best Technical Innovation, Energy, Efficiency and Environmental Consideration, Excellence in Public/Private Partnerships in Creating Affordable Housing, and Excellence by Local Government in Co-operation/Leadership with Industry.

There are several silver finalists in each category of the awards, presented by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. In February 2003 a gold medallist will be chosen from amongst the silver winners.

"We are so excited," said Tim Wake, general manager of the Whistler Housing Authority.

"The award says we are demonstrating leadership, we are building award-winning housing for our community."

The Beaver Flats complex is restricted to those who live and work full time in Whistler.

Not only is the building part of the municipality’s on-going commitment to employee housing, it also uses green technology designed to keep tenant utility costs down.

The building is heated geothermally. It is hoped there will be up to $30,000 a year in savings to heating costs.

The system usually pays for itself in four to 10 years, depending on the cost of installing it. In this case 80 pipe systems had to be put in 200 feet beneath the building.

Water and a non-toxic antifreeze flow down the U-shaped pipes then back up into a heat pump inside the building.

The ground temperature that far down doesn’t change much. For Whistler that means it stays around 6.1 degrees Celsius.

The fluid picks up heat out of the ground, and although it sounds like it is barely warm, the fluid goes into the building and into the heat pump which raises the temperature (intensity) of the heat.

In the process of doing that it cools the fluid, heats the building, and then the cooled fluid goes back down into earth, at a cooler temperature than it came out at, and picks up heat in a constant circulation.

Each entry was judged on its own merit by a panel of qualified judges from outside British Columbia. The panel included judges from both Canada and the U.S. who are selected for their expertise in their field. An accounting firm chosen by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia will monitor the judging process.

Several other Whistler building companies were nominated for Georgies.

Vision Pacific homes won silver in several categories, Munster and Sons Development, received three silver awards, Kyber Developments received one silver and Pomar Building Projects also received one silver.

The Georgies salute the professionals of B.C.'s Housing Industry for "bringing excellence home."

Entries for this year’s awards included individual homes and projects that were built, renovated, developed, created and/or marketed between July 1, 2001 and Aug. 31, 2002.