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January 05, 2006

Gateway the greenest

Environmentally friendly condo from RESIANCE

Shelley Williamson

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While Kermit the Frog may argue it's not easy being green, Resiance's Gateway Southcentre is proving it is possible for home shoppers to net stylish new digs while also doing their part to improve the environment.

“This is probably the greenest project Resiance has done so far,” says Barry Chow, executive vice-president of Resiance, referring to the 500-suite concrete condominium building's “geo-exchange” heating system.

The state-of-the-art setup will save owners dough on their heating bills in the long run, while also contributing fewer fossil fuels and giving off far less greenhouse gas as compared to convent-ional boilers and heating systems.

“There is a benefit in knowing you're doing more than your share. A resident in the Gateway Southcentre is already two-thirds of the way to doing his part in the one-tonne challenge,” says Chow. “The whole idea behind the geo-exchange is we try to use heat from the ground - the tech-nology is actually quite simple.”

How it works is, on hot summer days, a series of bore holes in the earth allows an exchange of interior heat from the building with air stored in the ground to cool down units and common areas, says Chow.

Likewise, when the Mercury drops, residents net heat when the geo-exchange delivers warmer air from the ground and into their living spaces. And with Calgary's wealth of sunlight, convent-ional heat can leave half a building's residents cranking open windows, while the other half may be putting on heavy sweaters.

“This also has the benefit of acting as an air conditioner - it redistributes heat from south and west exposures to the north and east,” he adds.

Meanwhile, standard fare is anything but in Gateway suites, which boast stainless steel kitchen appliances, including a ceran cooktop, 18.8 cubic foot fridge, self-cleaning range and micro-wave/hoodfan combination - and of course, air conditioning. Meanwhile, first-time buyers are sure to appreciate not having to fumble for coins or trek stairs on laundry day, thanks to stacked washer and dryer included in-suite.

So far young singles and couples and “move-down” buyers are drawn to the value for their green and the overall smart look and construction of the building, says Chow.

“It's a very neat design in that we've tried to duplicate the post-Industrial Chicago warehouse, with solidly-built structures at the bottom and lots of glass … It's meant to look like it's been there for a while.”

The landscape of the six-floor, wraparound complex will don a formal, English-inspired court-yard with a fountain, and a rear pond, complete with an island gazebo connected by bridge to the main grounds.

Security and winter weather need not be a worry for would-be residents' cherished cars, as prized rides are kept warm and protected in an underground heated garage.

Also safe are workout regimes and social calen-dars in the Gateway Southcentre. A 2,400-square-foot club-level fitness centre, game area and owners lounges are among slated in-house perks allowing residents to maintain healthy social lives
and bodies.

Chow says location also weighs heavily into the project's popularity - 300 of 500 units are now sold, with first residents slated to take possession of their Gateway Southcentre addresses by summer.

“It is incredibly centrally located, and exists in its own little town centre,” says Chow, adding the C-Train, Southcentre shopping mall, a myriad of restaurants and major routes such as Anderson Road and Macleod Trail are a stone's throw away.

Two show suites  - a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom design - are open daily. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Fridays, weekends, and holidays from noon to 5 p.m.

And would-be buyers still have plenty of choice, with one-bedroom suites spanning 544 to 623 square feet, one-bedroom-plus-den addres-ses from 636 to 934 square feet, or 1,002 to 1,301 square feet, two-bedroom-and-den select-ions. One-bedroom styles start at $129,900, while two-bedroom-plus-den units (1,002 to 1,301 square feet) range from $204,900 to $271,900.  CL

For more info call 920-4669 or visit http://www.gatewaysouthcentre.com. To tour the presentation centre, at 11811 Lake Fraser Gate, take Macleod Trail south, then head east on Lake Fraser Gate, north on Lake Fraser Dr. and follow the signs Gateway Southcentre.

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