SOURCE: Reid's Heritage Homes

Reid's Heritage Homes

September 02, 2015 16:49 ET

Preston Meadows Is the First Fully Certified Pilot LEED Neighbourhood Development in Canada

CAMBRIDGE, ON--(Marketwired - September 02, 2015) - After working with the US and Canada Green Building Councils for eight years, helping them refine and launch their LEED for Neighbourhood Developments (LEED-ND) program, Reid's Heritage Homes is proud to announce that its Preston Meadows community on Margaret Street in Cambridge, Ontario is the first pilot community to be fully Certified as a LEED Neighbourhood Development in Canada.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is a widely recognized global standard for Green Building, and now has a presence in over 100 countries.

Efforts began to define a version of LEED for Homes in 2004, and shortly thereafter for LEED-ND. The Canadian Pilot program was launched in 2008-2009. The LEED-ND program entered the pilot the same year and Preston Meadows was one of the first Canadian projects to apply.

Reid's Heritage Homes purchased 10 acres of land in Cambridge (Preston), Ontario and then invested three years working with the City of Cambridge and Region of Waterloo to clean the former brownfield site. The site is now home to 82 townhomes and two apartment buildings, including 117 apartment units of affordable rental and for-sale housing.

Preston Meadows is the first, and so far the only project in Canada to have successfully completed all three stages of LEED-ND Pilot Certification.

"Reid's Heritage Homes has been building communities in Cambridge for decades now, and has long established themselves as a leader," says City of Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig. "The Preston Meadows community has replaced a tired industrial brownfield site that needed a new life, and we are delighted to see what they've done with the land. Collaborating with them was a pleasure, and we hope to see them do many more leading environmental communities in the future."

Reid's Heritage Homes has been working on this project since 2005:

  • 2005: Reid's Heritage Homes enters into an agreement to buy the former Kanmet industrial site on Margaret Street, now a brownfield, and begins public planning process and clean-up
  • 2007: Project registered as Canada's first LEED community with The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
  • 2008: Project site declared "clean" by the Ministry of the Environment
  • 2010: USGBC approves the LEED-ND Pilot design
  • 2014:Completed construction
  • 2015: USGBC certifies the finished and fully constructed project as the first LEED-ND Pilot community in Canada!

Many other projects have LEED buildings or have gone through part of the process of the LEED-ND program, but Preston Meadows is the first to complete all three stages of certification, and is now the first (and so far the only) fully certified LEED-ND pilot community in Canada.

"Congratulations to Reid's Heritage Homes on receiving LEED-ND certification for Preston Meadows -- the first build-out certified in Canada," says Mark Hutchinson, Director of Green Building Programs for the Canada Green Building Council. "Greening a community is no small task as it involves not just green building, but design and implementation that encourages sustainability throughout. The team on this project really took that to heart by redeveloping a brownfield, providing affordable homes for sale and rental, and working hard to help residents reduce automobile dependency."

Some of the required items on the LEED-ND Pilot Project checklist included:

  • Better designed site: protecting sensitive local waterways and wildlife, protecting the floodplain, avoiding farmland (e.g.: by reusing an industrial brownfield)
  • Better connected neighbourhood: starting with a smart location, minimizing the impact on existing infrastructure like water and sewer, connecting well with the surrounding neighbourhood, striving for increased density, but in an open and connected way
  • Better coordinated buildings: having a good mix of housing sizes and types, including affordable housing, taking extra care to manage construction pollution (e.g.: dust), building highly efficient buildings, reducing water use, and using recycled content for buildings and infrastructure (e.g.: in the roads and sidewalks).

"This is an accomplishment we are truly proud of," says Blake Seeberger, Senior Vice President, Residential at Reid's Heritage Homes. "Innovation is always at the forefront of our priorities, and what better way to confirm our success than to have built the first certified LEED-ND pilot community in Canada."

Reid's Heritage Homes has a growing list of environmental awards and achievements that echo back to the 2007 LEED Platinum Home, located in Guelph's Westminster Woods Community - the first of its kind in Canada. This innovative home showcased an all season rainwater harvesting system developed in partnership with the University of Guelph, which captured rain water for irrigating and for flushing toilets, and which served as a research site for other water uses of rainwater in the home. This was the highest scoring home in the program at the time.

In 2007, Reid's Heritage Homes was later honoured by the Ontario Home Builders' Association with its first ever Green Builder of the Year Award.

Reid's Heritage Homes then built Ontario's first "Built Green" home in 2010, also at the top-ranking Platinum level. This third‐party certified home meets a checklist of criteria that includes the use of resource‐efficient, sustainable construction practices and products.

In 2013, Reid's Heritage Homes was named winner of the 2013 City of Guelph Water Conservation & Efficiency Award in the Business Sector. The award is presented to acknowledge Reid's Heritage Homes' continuing role as a proud partner and acknowledged leader in the City of Guelph's "Blue Built Home" program. Reid's Heritage Homes completed the construction of 30 Blue Built Bronze Homes, and one Blue Built Silver Home in Guelph in 2012. Westminster Woods' popular Enclave at Waterford executive townhomes were designed to reduce average household water use by a minimum of 20%.

Reid's Heritage Homes continues to embark on this journey of "firsts" and consistently raises the mark for sustainability. The company is currently nearing completion of the second of five Net Zero Homes in Guelph, as one of only five specially chosen builders across Canada to participate in the ecoENERGY Efficiency Initiative in partnership with Natural Resources Canada and Owens Corning Canada.

Tim Blevins, President of Reid's Heritage Homes is proud of the innovation that has driven the family-owned business to pioneer green building practices over the last decade. "We have a corporate commitment to energy efficiency in the homes and communities we build. Since our first Energy Star home in 2007 we have invested substantially in building green, leading the industry to make housing costs more affordable, and higher performance, today and for future generations. It is part of our culture and our pledge to build efficient, quality homes. We are proud of our reputation and past achievements from Energy Star to LEED Platinum and now Net Zero. This is only the beginning of the great innovation that lies ahead of us.

For more information on Reid's Heritage Homes' Net Zero initiative, please visit

About Reid's Heritage Homes

A modern approach to traditional homebuilding. Built on a solid reputation of quality, integrity and service, Reid's Heritage Homes is one of Ontario's leading builders, with a history of homebuilding that dates back to 1947. The same enduring values that motivated our founder, Orin Reid, inspire our many diverse communities today. Our commitment to these values applies across the Reid's Heritage Homes' family of companies, including Williamsburg Homes with a community in Kitchener, and Sherwood Homes, with communities in Collingwood.

About The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

The USGBC and its community are changing the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated. The US Green Building Council is made up of tens of thousands of member organizations, chapters and student and community volunteers that are moving the building industry forward in a way that has never been seen before. As a diverse group of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofits, teachers and students, lawmakers and citizens that share the same vision of a sustainable built environment for all within the next generation, USGBC is now 76 chapters, 12,870 member organizations and 197,000 LEED professionals strong, and growing.

About The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC)

The CaGBC is a not-for-profit, national organization that has been working since 2002 to advance green building and sustainable community development practices in Canada. Together with a membership of over 1,600 industry organizations involved in designing, building and operating buildings, homes and communities, the Council has made excellent inroads toward achieving our mission of reducing the environmental impact of the built environment.

About LEED

"LEED", or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. Since its unveiling in March 2000, the LEED green building certification system has singled out commercial, institutional and residential projects noteworthy for their environmental and health performance in the United States, Canada, and abroad.

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