Our Plainsview Townhomes project in Regina has won the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association’s 2021 Sustainability Award for its commitment to energy efficiency and affordability! The Sustainability Award recognizes organizations that have undertaken a new build that advances sustainable development. 

Watch the Sustainability Award video:

We’ve long built EnergyStar® certified projects that are rated energy efficient, but Plainsview Townhomes will offer our first Net Zero Energy affordable rentals. The Net Zero rentals will be available for six of the 48 units as part of a pilot project that will help us increase our environmental stewardship through affordable housing by allowing us to apply our learnings to future rental projects.

While construction on the project was completed last fall, due to supply chain challenges, we weren’t able to get the solar panels installed ahead of the winter snowfall. The panels will be installed in spring or summer of this year. 

Once the solar panels are installed, however, it will be the first affordable housing development in Saskatchewan to achieve Net Zero Energy. Reaching the Net Zero standard is about more than just solar panels though; there were also significant building upgrades, and energy monitoring devices were installed to track the building’s performance and inform future projects.

Watch the award acceptance speech from Stacie Beever, Chief Operating Officer at NAHC:

These Net Zero Energy affordable rentals were made possible through support from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund Sustainable Affordable Housing program.

Jen Arntfield, the Sustainable Affordable Housing lead at Federation of Canadian Municipalities, said the Plainsview project demonstrates the types of innovative solutions that can be used in real-world conditions.

“We saw Plainsview as one that exceeded expectations for a pilot and was poised to generate significant environmental, social and economic benefits that could be replicated by affordable housing providers and their communities,” Jen said in the CHRA Sustainability Award video.

“It provides an interesting opportunity to assess the cost savings and other benefits of Net Zero pre-fabricated material against a standard development.”

The Plainsview project also uses a mixed-market housing model with 22 affordable rental units. Of these, four units are wheelchair accessible and available with even more heavily reduced affordable rents. Affordable rents were made possible with support from the City of Regina, Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, and CMHC. 

About the CHRA Award

The Canadian Housing Renewal Association (CHRA) is a non-profit dedicated to supporting and strengthening the social housing sector. Their mission is to ensure all Canadians have an affordable, secure and decent place to call home — which is closely aligned with our own mission: To help all Canadians find a great home that’s affordable in their community.

The CHRA Awards celebrate excellence in the Canadian housing and homelessness sector by honouring exceptional people and programs that help ensure a safe and affordable home for all. The awards are given at the annual National Congress on Housing and Homelessness, which was held April 26-28, 2022.