Policy at Bamberton
Bamberton is a proposed environmentally responsible new town
for 12,000 people, to be built on the site of the abandoned cement
works, 20 miles north of Victoria. The application for rezoning
was made in April 1991, was given 3rd Reading by the Cowichan
Valley Regional District in Sept '93, and is currently undergoing
review by the B.C. provincial government before returning to the
CVRD for Final Reading.
planning for the energy policy of the new community is taking
place within a global context which has shifted dramatically since
the energy-expansive post-war years. The world scientists on the
International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have called for a
60% reduction in CO2 emissions now, in order to minimize the risk
of global warming from the build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Here in British Columbia, with an annual population increase of
c.65,000 people, BC Hydro has adopted an aggressive policy of
demand-side management, emphasizing opportunities for increased
energy efficiency as an alternative to costly new investments
in hydroelectric infrastructure, such as the Site C dam.
is the goal of all involved that Bamberton should become a showcase
for sustainability, and for the proper stewardship of resources.
Bamberton is aiming to achieve a 20-year goal of 80% CO2 reduction
by an overall energy demand management strategy, by its traditional,
pedestrian-oriented urban design, and by appropriate sustainable
The BC Energy Council is due to submit its report in November
1994, and is expected to give energy efficiency and demand-side
management a prominent role. By demonstrating how a new urban
settlement can be a model of energy efficiency, it is hoped that
other new communities and subdivisions in B.C. will be able to
implement similar programs, and thereby assisting in achieving
the province's overall energy goals.
approved, Bamberton's village neighbourhoods will be built at
the rate of 250-300 houses a year over a 17-20 year period, starting
in 1996. Urban density in the neighbourhoods will be 7-8 units
per acre; higher in the town centre. 60% of the dwellings will
be single family dwellings (some may be row-houses); 40% will
be apartments, town-houses, and clustered housing. There is provision
for 12.8 hectares of neighbourhood and town centre commercial
space, and 26.6 hectares of commercial/industrial space in the
Environmental Technologies Park, giving 46,000 sq metres of commercial
Key Energy Features : Demand Management
houses will be built to the new April 1994 R2000 building standard
(or the equivalent level of energy efficiency), through which
homes will require 60% less energy for heating and hot water than
standard BC homes. This requirement will be written into the Design
Guidelines under the Registered Building Scheme, enforced by covenant,
and by the Bamberton Design Review Committee.
joint venture partnership with BC Hydro is being considered through
which Bamberton would be designated a Powersmart Community (see
below), in order to encourage overall energy efficiency, and to
take advantage of new developments in technology.
E-Star rating program, modelled on the Green Builder Program in
Austin, Texas, has been written to encourage builders to achieve
a higher level of energy, embodied energy and resource efficiency
throughout the home. (E = Energy, Environment, Efficiency). Individual
elements of the home (basement, flooring, sides, roofing, windows
etc) will be assessed on a self-scoring basis, with homes being
granted one, two, three or four-star status, depending on the
water efficiency standards (6 litre toilets, efficient appliances)
will reduce the amount of hot water required in individual homes.
Bamberton Utility Corporation has been established, and may play
a role in Bamberton's energy servicing, including demand-side
management and educational programs to encourage efficiency.
is anticipated that houses will only require a 60 or 70 amp service
to meet their needs.
Key Energy Features : Supply
basic source of energy will be electricity, generated hydroelectrically
by BC Hydro. When coupled with demand-side management, this is
considered an environmentally sustainable source of power.
prospects for cogeneration (district heating) are of interest,
using centrally-heated water piped under the streets to homeowners
for home-heating, if it can be shown to be financially viable.
prospects for a ground-source heat recovery system for the town
centre or sections of the town are also of interest, if it can
be shown to be financially viable.
prospects for wind generation are low, as the site is sheltered
from most prevailing winds.
the site is east-facing, both passive and active solar energy
systems will be encouraged.
stoves will be permitted as long as they are EPA approved for
prospects for gas as a source of heat-energy are under discussion.
Bamberton as a Power Smart Community
Hydro has expressed an interest in working with the South Island
Development Corporation, and in designating Bamberton as a Power
Smart Community, whereby a partnership would be established with
the intention of maximizing the opportunity for Bamberton to become
a showcase of energy-efficient living.
Island is interested in the opportunities for utilizing variable
rate structures to create consumer incentives for efficiency and
to encourage peak-shaving (reduced energy use at the time of peak
Island is also interested in the opportunities to use PowerStat
electrical consumption metering equipment to give useful user-feedback
to consumers, to encourage efficiency. The PowerStat has been
installed in the Saskatchewan Advanced House, and provides a digital
read-out on the amount of electricity being used at the moment,
by the day, by the month, and the price being paid per kilowatt
Other possible joint-venture services :
information on and/or the distribution and sale of energy
efficient appliances to homeowners and businesses at Bamberton,
aiming at a target level of 7,500 KwH/per house per year for
a 2,000 sq ft house, equivalent to the Green Home in Waterloo,
a similar service with regard to high performance windows.
education and information on energy efficient opportunities,
and new technologies.
a sales service for pre-wiring for home automation and intelligent
house design, to encourage energy-saving through peak-shaving
and power transfer between appliances, and to facilitate the
subsequent development of intelligent houses at Bamberton.
guidelines and advice on appropriate methods of wiring to minimize
the risks of electro-magnetic pollution, which is an item of
concern to some consumers.
for JD Tait/South Island Development Corporation by
Dauncey & Associates, & Rabnett Makaroff Planning Consultants