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Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Spring Creek Canmore Autumn from Opera House Bridge

Pilot program launched by Built Green Canada issues first certifications for sustainable communities.

When Built Green Canada, an industry-driven organization offering third-party certification programs for sustainable practices in the residential building sector, introduced its BUILT GREEN® Communities Pilot Program, Spring Creek owner and president Frank Kernick jumped at the opportunity to put an entire community through certification.

Spring Creek Mountain Village and Averton, a homebuilder and community developer active in Edmonton and Ontario, were the first to participate. The new program provides a holistic framework, led by a steering committee, which targets the optimization of health, resiliency, lifecycle sustainability, new urbanism, greenhouse emissions, green spaces, and resource consumption at the community level.

“Considerable planning has gone into the development of our Communities program, with ongoing input from industry professionals, including engineers and energy advisors, as well as consultation with industry. And, with the leadership of Averton and Spring Creek, the pilot is already being put to use to create greener, healthier communities in Canada,” says Built Green Canada’s Chief Executive Officer, Jenifer Christenson.

Creating a greener, healthier community has been a steadfast motivation for Frank since the early days of breaking ground at Spring Creek.

“We were one of the first to adopt geothermal technologies in Alberta to meet our goal: to create a truly sustainable mountain community,” Frank says, “this is a nod to my parents and grandparents and to Canmore—a legacy for the town in which I grew up.”

By Frank’s estimate, that geothermal heating and cooling system eliminates 600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year – a notable achievement in producing clean energy.

Other contributors to Spring Creek’s achievement as a sustainable community include:

  • Healthy waterways and banks, which have been designed to maximize riparian habitat standards.
  • Perimeter trail system that integrates public access to the creek and trail connections.
  • Bridges for pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the town of Canmore, including schools, vpublic transit, and healthcare.
  • Green spaces that exceed those of the Canmore Municipal and Environmental reserve standards.
  • Ground-water-only irrigation system which does not pull from the municipal water supply.
  • Diverse residential planning, designed for all ages and stages of life, including facilities for active senior living, and affordable housing offered to Spring Creek employees at half price.
  • The development of the Canmore Opera House, a space for gathering the community and preserving Canmore’s mining heritage.

“Building communities goes beyond built structures,” Frank says.

Sustainability in community development is about continual optimization to meet the needs of its residents – health, social, and economic – while protecting the ability of the environment to provide the foundation. Spring Creek continues to lead with environmental advancements in the community – most recently with the incorporation of solar panels to The Tamarack Lodge.

The heart of Spring Creek Mountain Village beats on in this continuous, cyclical effort to be a green and healthy place for people of all ages to live, work, and thrive.

Spring Creek uses geothermal heating and cooling systems in all its buildings. The blue pipes seen in the Jack Pine Lodge mechanical room are part of that building’s geothermal system.
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