Energy Award

Sterling Shines with Solstice
The Calgary Sun – October 9, 2005

You'll feel warm knowing you've not only contributed to the environment but invested in a beautiful, unique home in the quiet community of Drake Landing in Okotoks.

The Sterling Group of Companies offers The Solstice – an R-2000 and Built Green Alberta "Gold" constructed two-storey home warmed 90 per cent by solar energy, saving five tonnes of greenhouse gases a year.

Keith Paget, manager of special projects and product development at Sterling, says because solar energy is used to heat the home, each home requires an air handler, which takes the place of a furnace.

"It's still forced-air heating and the end result is heat consumers are comfortable with – instead of a natural gas heat exchanger found in a regular furnace, this simply uses a hot water heat exchanger," says Paget, adding it also includes an energy-efficient ECM fan motor.

"The end result is warm forced-air heating the entire home – very similar to today's furnace systems – and all homes in the solar community come with a heat recovery ventilator and that gives you constant fresh air 24/7."

The Solstice, which comes in either two (1,593 sq.ft.) or three (1,664 sq. ft.) bedrooms, is designed with two master bedrooms with their own full ensuites.

The upstairs computer loft, which can be expanded and used as an extra room, overlooks the dining room below, which is nicely separated from the living room by a three-way fireplace.

"All homes in the solar community come with a 22-ft. by 22-ft. double garage and 47 out of 52 also have a carport area, which you can use for parking a third vehicle or use as part of your backyard," Paget says.

"Every yard is fully landscaped and surrounded by a five-foot high vinyl fence, which can be adapted in the carport area dependent on whether or not you want to use it for or part of your backyard."

You can view the showhome at 110 Drake Landing Court in Okotoks from Monday to Thursday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. or weekends and holidays from noon to 5 p.m.