"On January 29th, 2016, Scott Butler, President of Highstreet Ventures Inc., called a team meeting to discuss company updates, strategic priorities, and next steps. On the surface, this would appear as any other meeting at Highstreet. Since its inception in 2005, one of the company’s key principles has been driven by their commitment to creating aligned interests for employees, partners, and investors. Highstreet has stayed true to this and maintains their commitment to aligned interests, in part, through an inclusive and transparent corporate culture.
Though Highstreet was the first to build a multi-family development in Yellowknife with an EnerGuide Rating (ERS) of 80, and completed 190 multi-family homes at an ERS at 80 or above, their focus had initially been on energy efficiency in their builds. On the belief that they were already pushing the boundaries on green initiatives, Scott challenged the team to pursue a certification for their green initiatives on future builds. Despite some hesitation on the part of the development team, due to the belief that the additional burden of time and cost would rule this out as a goal, once the alternative forms of green certification were evaluated, it became apparent that with very little modification to their design and company practices, Highstreet could achieve a Built Green certification. The development team, led by Jeff Gallant, became big converts and put their full effort behind this initiative. In short, they were “all in”.
On June 7, 2016, Highstreet announced their next projects: Mission Flats and Carrington Ridge, which will see 520 BUILT GREEN® SILVER certified rental apartments coming to Kelowna and West Kelowna. Projects certified through Built Green Canada take a holistic approach to sustainability including energy efficiency, and then going beyond to include materials and methods: indoor air quality, ventilation, waste management, water conservation, and overall business practices. For the tenant, they will enjoy a healthier, more durable home with a lower environmental impact, that comes with the added benefit of reduction in monthly operating costs, , and more.
These projects are at the intersection of affordability and sustainability. As affordable housing increasingly seems elusive; buying a home is far less attainable than it used to be. The federal government's recent changes to mortgage lending rules, which include an expansion of a stress test for borrowers may make it even more difficult for first-time homebuyers. This makes affordable, quality rentals an attractive, viable option. Sustainable features that reduce utility costs further increase the value of the inherent affordability."