Avalon building on net zero momentum

Energy-efficient demand drives expansion of popular Zen townhome developments.

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Even before moving into the world of net zero construction, Avalon Master Builder was widely known for its Zen townhome communities, which have a reputation for being highly energy efficient and for selling out quickly.

The stacked townhome development of Zen Rockland Park, which was launched during the pandemic in the city’s northwest, is sold out, as is Zen Riverstone West, a beautiful multi-family community in Cranston’s Riverstone in the southeast.

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Dina Kalenteva and Oleksandr Ostapchuk purchased a two-bedroom Zen townhome in Riverstone, a community by Brookfield Residential, and consider themselves lucky. The couple moved to Calgary from Mississauga, Ont., in late 2022 and when they arrived had an opportunity to rent a quick possession unit in the community located on the east side of the Bow River.

“We rented for six months and loved it. We wondered how much they were selling for, so we went to the sales centre and found out how affordable they were. So, we bought it,” says Kalenteva, who immigrated to Canada from Russia in 2016 and met Ostapchuk, who immigrated from Ukraine, in Ontario.

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An artist’s rendering of Zen Livingston. Photo by Supplied /Postmedia

South of Cranston is another Zen community by Avalon and one of its last non-net zero developments. Zen Abrio features single-level and two-storey stacked townhomes, some with rooftop patios and garages. Seton, a Brookfield Residential community, was where Avalon launched its first net zero/net zero ready development called Sequel. The stacked townhome development also sold out very quickly and was the city’s first certified net zero community. Sequel was built as of a pilot program to validate net-zero technology in multi-family construction. The builder launched Calgary’s first net-zero net zero apartment building in last 2022.

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Zen Livingston and Zen Greystone in Cochrane are Avalon’s latest net zero/net zero ready townhome communities. The Livingston development by Brookfield Residential in northeast Calgary features one- and two-bedroom single-level flats, plus two- and three-bedroom two-storey homes. In Greystone, a new community by Burnswest Properties in the heart of Cochrane, northwest of Calgary, has three-bedroom 2.5 bathroom two-storey townhomes with fenced backyards. All homes will be built to a high standard of energy efficiency with features like drain water heat recovery, a fresh air system, double-coated triple-pane windows, Energy Star-rated appliances, LED lighting and a heavily insulated, air-tight building envelope. These features make a home net zero ready. The addition of renewable energy systems, like solar panels, will make each unit net zero, which means it will produce as much energy as it consumes.

Prices start in the low $400,000s for Zen Livingston and in the low $500,000s for Zen Greystone. The additional cost for net-zero ready/net-zero features can be recovered in the savings in energy costs when averaged out over a 12-month period.

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Avalon president Chris Williams says the next two Zen townhome communities on their radar will be in Mahogany in the southeast, a Hopewell Residential community, and in Crimson Ridge in the northwest, a new neighbourhood by Madlee Developments. These are communities that are close to amenities such as future transit. They’re also walkable, which means they contribute to a more carbon neutral future, in line with the builder’s mission.

“People want net zero in their communities, including our developer partners. The momentum is building and it’s exciting that we’ve gotten to this point,” Williams.

THE DETAILS

BUILDER: Avalon Master Builder.

COMMUNITIES: Livingston, in Calgary’s northeast, and Greystone of Cochrane.

DEVELOPERS: Brookfield Residential and Burnswest Properties.

PROJECT: Zen Livingston and Zen Greystone net zero ready/net zero townhomes.

UNITS: One and two-bedroom flats, two and three-bedroom two-storey units.

PRICE: From the low $400,000s in Livingston, from the low $500,000s in Greystone.

INFORMATION: Visit avalonhomes.com for sales centre locations and hours.

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