Residential Energy Conservation:
An Evaluation of the Strategies for the Proposed Eco-City,
Bamberton, British Columbia
Andrea E. Hallman
British Columbia has one of the highest energy uses per capita in the world. For some time, energy planners have recognized that energy conservation is a valuable resource and can be achieved without the loss of energy services. Up until very recently however, British Columbia has made little effort to develop and support conservation programs. The proposed eco-city of Bamberton, located thirty-two kilometers north of Victoria, British Columbia, has developed a coordinated plan to become a model for energy conservation in British Columbia.
Reduced energy consumption in the residential sector is a major part of the conservation efforts in British Columbia. Unfortunately, a multitude of barriers have historically prevented the adoption of energy efficiency measures in the residential sector. Architects and designers, buildings, consumers, utilities, and all levels of government, are confronted with barriers which impede the adoption of conservation measures. Addressing these barriers and implementing conservation strategies that foster energy efficiency will be crucial in the planning for new communities.
Bamberton has developed a list of strategies to overcome many of the barriers preventing the adoption of conservation measures in the housing sector. Mandatory energy efficiency building standards, utility and site-specific planning have been developed at Bamberton to achieve efficiency in the design, construction, and operation of the residential sector. In addition, Bamberton planners have made the connection between housing, transportation, economy, and urban design as it relates to energy consumption.
Community-wide energy conservation at Bamberton can be achieved if the developers and planners carry through with implementing the residential energy plan for conservation. The strategies which Bamberton has developed are consistent and supportive of Bamberton's goals to reduce energy consumption in the residential sector up to 40% of conventional building practices.