September was a big month in the development of Blatchford as the Blatchford Renewable Energy Utility was officially completed and the first Energy Centre opened! The utility includes a 570 borehole geoexchange field and the Energy Centre, which holds the mechanical equipment for the District Energy Sharing System. Part of Council’s vision for this community was to make it a leader in energy innovation. The utility will replace traditional furnaces, air conditioners and boilers in homes and buildings with a centralized system that distributes and shares heating and cooling energy between all types of buildings in the entire neighbourhood. Council’s vision is to create a community that will be a leader not just in energy efficiency, but in people-centred design.
Blatchford will be based on exemplary placemaking, planning and architecture that will help deliver the sustainability criteria for the community. Urban design experts have identified a number of fundamentals for neighbourhood design that can lead to happier and healthier residents. For example, it has custom designed roads and sidewalks to encourage walkability. Blatchford will use people-first design principles to raise the bar on community design, prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists and transit users.
In order to reach Council’s vision privately, Blatchford had a rigorous builder selection process to ensure that the vision would be a reality. Last Friday we broke ground for the first homes to be built! The first homebuilders are now on site starting construction of townhomes and based on the homebuilders timelines for construction, we should see people living in the community next year.
Blatchford is centrally located, connected to transit, and steps away from downtown with many schools, restaurants, and amenities already in the area. This is a rare opportunity and as such we are committed to something special. Where planes used to take off, now we will see buildings rise from the ground.