Green Developments Receive Federal Funding
A south Ottawa community has been named as the second of six winners that will receive federal development funding toward their sustainable community development project. In a national push to raise environmental standards and encourage energy efficiency, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation(CMHC) and Natural Resources Canada(NRC), under the Government of Canada’s ecoACTION program, launched its EQuilibrium Communities Initiative in June, 2009.
Equilibrium is a three-year, $4.2-million national competition that will “select projects that will work to improve community planning and develop healthy sustainable communities that are energy-efficient”.
Ottawa’s Ampersand neighborhood was recipient of $550,000 October 5, 2010, which will go toward a project that aims to create a compact community of energy and water efficient homes, commercial spaces and parks in close proximity of rapid transit.
The contest’s first winter, the Station Pointe neighborhood of Edmonton, learned in September that its project, which will tear down an assortment of rundown shops and replace them with a modern, mixed-use community development, was the recipient of $481,000 of EQuilibrium funds.
“Building sustainable communities that use clean energy technologies and energy-efficient designs will help create high-quality jobs for Canadians while protecting and preserving our environment,” said Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis of the initiative.
Project submissions are evaluated by an external panel of industry professionals on the basis of the following criteria:
- Energy efficiency: the project balances energy supply and use to minimize greenhouse emissions
- Land efficiency: the project balances housing, commercial, recreational, industrial and institutional land use
- Water efficiency: the project minimizes water use and waste and negative watershed impact
- Transportation: the project provides transportation alternatives to reduce community fossil-fuel usage
- Environment: the project restores, enhances and protects the natural environment it is located within
- Financial viability: the project, through its design, operation, financing and integration, will yield a marketable community, financially sustainable for the long-term
EQulibrium’s funding cannot be applied to capital construction costs. It must be applied toward the implementing, and making affordable, protective environmental measures and energy-efficient upgrades.