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Living Locally

Envy Eco-Focussed Environments builds for the year 2216

September 22, 2016

For David Wilson, building green means thinking long-term.

“There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to build a home out of materials that are available now, that should easily last 200 years,” says David, president of Envy Eco-Focussed Environments, an eco-focused general contracting and consulting company that integrates renewable energy and sustainable materials, from design to occupancy.

“Durability is what defines a truly green home - a house that is going to last. When you’re making durable decisions, you extend the lifecycle of your home.”

To build or renovate green, David says the intuitive steps are to reduce electricity, natural gas, and water use. The less obvious but more critical step is designing for durability, considering the lifecycle of everything in the home and building an envelope that will efficiently endure for the long term.

For 15 years, Envy Eco-Focussed Environments has delivered custom solutions for residential retrofits and new home builds, and consults to help consumers maximize their renovation dollar, and reduce their environmental footprint.

Building durable involves asking a lot of questions. David examines all building materials for quality, origin, and “embodied energy” – the energy required to get the product to the home.

“We focus the conversation on durability and how we build, so that when people walk into our homes, we can point out specific elements that will easily last 200 years. We’re not exclusively driven by budget considerations; we’re driven by what we can do to make this a solution that will serve the homeowner for the very long term. It’s a different way to build.”

David’s belief in durability extends beyond home-building. He sees durability as an important consideration for a healthy life. “Durability decisions are a part of everything you do.”

According to David, now is a good time for Albertans to consider making changes to live greener. There is new support out there: the NDP government has pledged to invest $645 million in energy efficiencies over the next five years, starting in 2017. He says there will be opportunities to leverage government support to help with your improvements.

At work and play, David lives an eco-friendly life. This past spring, he volunteered to help build the Altadore School and Community Edible Garden. “That was extraordinarily rewarding. There’s a bumper crop of organic vegetables coming out of that this fall,” he says.

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Did you know?

Most net new job creation comes from businesses with 20 employees or less.