About Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society 

Founded in 1978, the Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society (VSCHS) has been a cornerstone in providing affordable senior living in Valemount, British Columbia. With an increasing demand for sustainable housing options, VSCHS initiated a feasibility study for adding 18 new units equipped with the latest sustainable technologies, ensuring that seniors could continue to live within their community near family and essential support networks. 

Evaluating sustainable construction methods 

The feasibility study was designed to evaluate innovative construction methods and energy-efficient features aimed at significantly reducing the facility's energy consumption and enhancing the well-being of its residents. The study focused on optimizing the site layout to maximize sun orientation for natural heating and lighting, integrating a high-performance building envelope with advanced glazing and insulation to minimize energy loss, and incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels. Water and energy conservation were also prioritized with the installation of LED lighting with occupancy sensors and earth tubes for efficient heating and cooling. The design included biophilic elements to improve indoor environmental quality and strengthen residents' connection to the natural environment. 

Emphasis on ecological design and resident engagement 

VSCHS's approach emphasized biophilic design to foster a healthier living environment for seniors. The project also planned for tenant education on energy conservation and sustainable living practices, featuring communal energy feedback monitors to engage residents actively in energy-saving efforts. 

Enhancing resident comfort and community engagement

The study aimed to establish a model for enhanced resident comfort through better thermal comfort, improved air quality, and optimized building acoustics. It also sought to increase community and environmental engagement by introducing community gardens and dedicated electric vehicle charging stations. 

Funding and support for the project

Supported by a mix of local and national funding sources, including BC Housing, CMHC, the Community Housing Transformation Centre, Columbia Basin Trust, and local municipal stakeholders, the project's funding framework highlighted its feasibility and the potential for replicating this model in other communities. 

A blueprint for sustainable senior living  

The feasibility study undertaken by VSCHS represents a proactive approach to meeting the needs of senior living through sustainable and replicable design principles. With the support of the REC program, this initiative laid the groundwork for a project that promises not only to enhance the quality of life for seniors in Valemount but also to serve as a blueprint for energy-efficient and environmentally responsible housing developments in rural areas. 

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