Whistler's Schreyer Construction Company has been recognized for its "green building" by BC Homes Magazine and the Canadian Home Builders' Association of BC.
It's the company's first try at a green building award entering a home it built in Spring Creek area, known as the "Kyber Home," a 3,470-square-foot, four-bedroom home at 1572 Khyber Lane.
Axel Schreyer of Schreyer Construction said the main component of "building green" is "material selection." Your building materials have to be locally sourced within a 500-mile radius as much as possible. You can't use paints or glues that have a heavy discharge of what's known as volatile organic compounds (VOC), chemicals that have high vapour pressure and strong smells.
"You get all the materials evaluated that you choose," Schreyer said.
Put these materials together and a home is capable of achieving a high "EnerGuide" rating, a federally mandated program that measures energy consumption or efficiency in various products.
An EnerGuide rating of 100 would mean that a home was at "net zero," meaning it produces no greenhouse gas emissions or else produces as much energy as it emits. The Khyber Home got a rating of 85.
Designing and building an environmentally sustainable home wasn't Schreyer's only priority. Also important was ensuring that the building looked good.
"Our main goal was to design a home that's very high-end design, very attractive, with big windows," he said. "We didn't want to give anything up on the design and the views and so on, and still achieve that rating. It can be done. The mantra there was, a Built Green home doesn't have to look like a Built Green home. It doesn't have to look different."
Completed in April, the Khyber Home took about 16 months to build and is now on the market at a listed price of $3,590,000. Built Green features add an extra three to four per cent to the cost of the home. Asked whether there's much market demand for Built Green features, Schreyer said: "Unfortunately it's not strong enough yet.
"We just did a survey for the Canadian Home Builders' Association. The thing is people think it's more expensive and they'd rather spend it on a more expensive countertop. Green or energy savings is not very high on the radar yet.
"It's coming and we have to do more education, it does not have to be very expensive."
Maurice Povoden, the realtor currently working to sell the property, said the home is drawing "average to good" attention from buyers. He said Built Green features draw interest once you get a prospective buyer to check out a home.
"Once people become aware of what's involved in a Built Green property, and once people become aware of the calibre in a property, they become more and more inadvertently attentive to it," he said.
"In a sense, once they start learning about it, they want to learn more about it."