“Sustainability” and “green” are terms thrown around in marketing for housing developments every day. For many home builders and developers, these terms are the foundation on which they sell their homes—and in many instances, these claims can be misleading (read about some of the pitfalls of LEED certification here). In our view, the question of sustainability needs to include economic and social concerns as necessary components of healthy communities. At Hendrick Farm, we worked hand-in-hand with renowned urban planning firm DPZ Partners to create a genuine sense of place. As a result, a broader sense of sustainability has been built into our neighbourhood.
Hendrick Farm land was originally zoned for the potential of more than 600 homes. Through careful urban planning, clustering of homes, and a reduction in the overall number of units, over 50% of the land has been conscientiously preserved as green space (parks, trails, gathering places, and an organic farm) for use by residents and the public alike. The ownership of these green spaces will be held between the non-profit Hendrick Foundation and the various Homeowner’s Associations. These spaces have been deeded as protected properties and will remain green and available for community enjoyment in perpetuity.
Re-establishing onsite agriculture was the first step undertaken to begin the building of Hendrick Farm. This five-acre certified organic farm is now flourishing and remains a central focus of the neighbourhood’s urban design. The farm is a protected property and will remain farmland in perpetuity.
Learn more about the Farm >
Old Chelsea has a history of village-scale commerce dating back to 1802. We believe that supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs is key to ensuring a healthy community. Plenty of studies have shown that supporting locally-owned businesses offers many social and economic benefits. Chelsea already offers a variety of successful small businesses, and Hendrick Farm’s village centre is determined to build on that healthy foundation and increase Chelsea’s reputation as a destination for those coming from near and far.
All homes at Hendrick Farm are designed and built to substantially higher architectural and aesthetic standards than those found in typical new developments. We believe that specifying high-quality materials and attention to construction detail necessarily leads to better environmental standards. All builders engaged at Hendrick Farm must adhere to our strict standards and we invest heavily in monitoring compliance.
All our siding is Canadian-made and comes from Fraser Wood Siding. Their siding and shingles are made from Canadian softwood, sustainably harvested from 100% PEFC-certified forests in British Columbia. PEFC is the world’s leading forest certification organization. An international non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification is the certification system of choice for many small forest owners and ensures all wood is sourced with respect for the highest ecological, social, and ethical standards.
Hendrick Farm’s insulation levels are based on those required by Novoclimat 2.0 standards which exceed standard energy levels in order to achieve a 20% reduction in energy consumption per unit. Our poured basement foundations contain a continuous 4-inch-thick rigid insulation resulting in coziness levels rarely found in a subterranean level. Besides Formaldehyde-free batt insulation between studs, a layer of insulated structural sheathing (ISS) panel wraps the entire home. ISS panel is an oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing product with a layer of expanded polystyrene foam on the inside. Using this sheathing reduces thermal bridging through the studs, resulting in a much more highly insulated home. The R-Values* of Hendrick Farm homes are as follows:
Basement Floor: R7.5
Basement Foundation Walls: R20
Exterior Walls: R33
In order to further increase insulation and energy efficiency, Hendrick Farm homes include Low-E argon-filled double hung windows. Low-E coatings help minimize the amount of the sun’s ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted. Moreover, the air space between the glass layers is filled with argon gas to increase the thermal value. Our windows also combine warm edge and Superspacer® technology to reduce U-value** and increase energy ratings. What does this mean? Glazings in modern multi-pane windows are put together as an insulated sealed unit (SU). By sealing the panes together, you can fill the space with an energy-efficient gas, such as argon, as mentioned above. However, the material that holds the SU together (the spacer) is equally as important for energy efficiency.
Traditional window spacers are made of metal or aluminum, which are much more conductive and rigid. Warm edge Superspacer technology uses polymer foam spacers. While these spacers are obviously less conductive than metal, they also solve the issues of condensation flexibility. Unlike metal, foam spacers absorb moisture around the window edge and balance the SU’s internal temperature ensuring the edges of the glass are just as warm as the centre to prevent moisture buildup inside the window. And, as the temperature changes outside and your SU expands and contracts, so does the Superspacer attached to it. Where temperature changes can eventually result in stress cracks and SU failure in windows using metal spacers, the Superspacer ensures the window SUs remain uncracked and maintain their seal.
Our windows also include foam compression weatherstripping at all critical points for year-round comfort, and low-maintenance extruded aluminum cladding for weather resistant, beautiful exterior finishes.
*R-Value represents the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.
**U-Value indicates the amount of heat loss through a complete window product, due to conduction, convection, and radiation. Lower numbers indicate better thermal performance with less heat loss.
Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV)
HRV systems are full-home controlled ventilation systems that use fans, control systems, and heat-recovery elements to continuously exchange fresh outdoor air for stale indoor air. They also reduce humidity, indoor pollutants, and odours, and remove all water vapor that is produced in the home to ensure there is no moisture that will cause condensation and dampness.
Hendrick Farm homes are incredibly well-sealed and insulated and have thus been outfitted with HRV systems. In a well-sealed house, HRV systems are very effective at recovering a large percentage of the heat that would otherwise be lost by means of uncontrolled airflow through the house. They capture heat in outbound air and reuse that energy to heat or cool inbound air. HRV systems are designed to operate optimally at a low energy consumption level and can recover up to five times more energy than they cost to operate resulting in impressive cost savings.
Low VOC Paint
Typical household paint contains thousands of harmful chemical. Some of the most harmful of these substances are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These compounds readily vaporize into the air where they react with other elements to produce ozone, causing air pollution and a variety of health issues. VOCs continuing seeping out of paint for several years, with only 50 per cent of VOCs being released in the first year. In fact, paint-related products are the second largest source of VOC emissions into the atmosphere after automobiles. We believe building properly should include considerations about the environmental impact of the products we use, and so choosing to use only low VOC paints was a must.
Real Wood Flooring
Hendrick Farm’s wood flooring comes from Bizier, located in Wakefield, QC. All their wood is derived from eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States, which is as local as it gets in a high-production, quality-driven industry. Bizier’s chain of custody is FSC-certified so they can trace their wood all the way back to where a specific tree stood in a particular forest. The Forest Stewardship Council’s mission is to protect animal habitat, Indigenous peoples’ rights, worker’s rights, and areas of significant environmental or cultural importance.
Bizier’s wood floors are custom-made for each Hendrick Farm home—each piece of wood is examined and trimmed to size to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. Bizier keeps all waste material in-house to feed the wood-burning furnace that heats the radiant floor heating system throughout both their workshop and their outlying buildings (this even includes a chicken coop!).