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On Site: Energy Star ‘upgrades’ standard at Brantford project Add to ...


Brantford, Ont.

BUILDER/DEVELOPER Empire Communities

SIZE Townhouses from 1,008 to 1,665 square feet; detached from 1,309 to 3,441 square feet

PRICE Townhouses from $218,990 to $271,990: detached from $258,990 to $425,990

SALES CENTRE 309 Blackburn Dr., off Conklin Road in Brantford. Open from Monday to Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.; weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

CONTACT Phone 1-519-756-4554 or visit wyndfield.empirecommunities.com

Installing green features is often an expensive upgrade – if available at all – in new developments. But one of the largest Energy Star builders in Southwestern Ontario is constructing every one of its homes with eco-friendly features as standard, saving buyers money both upfront and in the future at its low-rise community in Brantford, just 20 minutes from Hamilton.

“Because we’re building a whole community of Energy Star homes, we’re not charging a premium for it, whereas a lot of builders would have to include a premium,” says Paul A. Golini Jr., executive vice-president and co-founder of Empire Communities.

“Energy Star is really about a higher-quality product … but at the same time, there are energy-efficient savings so that the cost of running the home for the user is lower, so it’s a win-win.”

The builder has released the third and fourth phases within the west end of the master-planned community, called Wyndfield, where more than 1,000 green homes were completed over the past decade.

“Energy Star [homes] are the best in class when it comes to energy-efficiency. They’re 20 per cent more efficient than Ontario building code, so the fact it’s a standard and we’ve reached 1,000 is quite a milestone,” Mr. Golini Jr. states.

“Only 30 per cent of new homes in Ontario were labelled Energy Star.”

While green features will range from increased insulation to improved indoor air quality; water-saving fixtures to conserving natural resources, phase-four residents can walk to an existing school, park, trail and future retail space.

“It’s almost like you’re creating a mini town within a town,” Mr. Golini says.

Just outside the project’s brick and stone entrance are additional attractions. “We’re in a developing area of Brantford in the south end with easy access to [Highway] 403, so we’re appealing to both local residents, as well as people coming from outside Brantford,” Mr. Golini notes.

“[Plus] we have easy access to all the new great sports facilities at the Wayne Gretzky sports recreation centre, which is 10 minutes away.”

Five fully furnished model homes showcase features and floor plans available for the freehold townhouses and detached homes on 30-, 36- and 44-foot lots.

The Brunswick model, on a 44-foot lot, has a four-bedroom plan with two master suites with private bathrooms and walk-in closets, along with a main-floor family room, office, open eat-in kitchen and formal dining area.

A bungalow model on a 44-foot lot – the Sutton – highlights an optional loft area with one or two bedrooms, and an open kitchen with a walk-in pantry and adjacent family room with double height ceilings.

A sample of interior appointments for homes on 44-foot lots include nine-foot ceilings, extended upper kitchen cabinetry and ceramic tile finishes.

Occupancy for new purchases in phases three and four start February, 2015.

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