Winner for Development: Dockside Green, Victoria, British Columbia

By Jacquelyne Froeber
March 12, 2009
Winner for Development: Dockside Green Victoria, British Columbia
Courtesy Dockside Green

The masterminds behind Canada’s Dockside Green community didn’t join the green movement; they expanded it. “This is a project bucking all the trends,” says Dockside developer Joe Van Belleghem. “It’s more than a collection of buildings―it’s a green way of life.”

Joe and his real estate developing company, Windmill West, teamed up with Vancouver’s Vancity Savings Credit Union to break ground on Dockside Green in 2000. When complete, the 15-acre mixed-use community with residential, office, retail, and commercial space looks to be among the first projects to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification for neighborhood development. So far, it’s on track. Last year, the first residential phase, Synergy, was completed and bestowed LEED Platinum certification, making it the highest scoring LEED project in the world.

Architectural firm Busby Perkins + Will used regionally sourced and manufactured materials for Synergy’s town houses and towers. Each building was constructed with durable, certified, and renewable provisions, such as emission-free tile and bamboo flooring. More than 95 percent of the total construction waste was ultimately recycled.

Each of the 95 units features renewable, energy-saving, and eco-friendly materials from top to bottom. Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint covers the walls, and the carpet is made from recycled materials. All kitchen appliances have an Energy Star rating, and the Pacific-view balconies contain their own rainwater storage system.

Dockside also aims to keep green in your wallet: Heating and cooling costs stay low thanks to blinds outside the windows. Advanced on-site water treatments and energy- efficient lighting also keep spending in check. And you can take a deep breath: 100 percent fresh air gets pumped into each building.

Residents of Dockside enjoy carbon footprint monitors, bike storage, a car sharing system, harborfront access, and rooftop gardens. Resident and PR representative Melinda Jolley says her rooftop plot encourages interaction with neighbors. “It’s the little connections―like trading peas for tomatoes―that make this a really nice place to live,” she says.

For more information on Dockside Green, call 877/382-7278 or visit

Winning Strategies!

• Residential car-share program

• Abundant sidewalks and community gardens

• Rainwater storage systems • Low-VOC paint

• Eco-smart concrete

• LEED standards and certification

• Energy Star appliances and low-flow fixtures

• Air filtration system

• Energy-use meter

• On-site water treatment