Front Page: Toronto Star New- In Homes & Condos- Energy Efficiency At Hampshire Mews Towns

RICHMOND HILL, ON – February 15, 2014 – With Hampshire Mews, Heathwood Homes introduces their new Green Home Energy Program standard, a marriage of Energy Star high-efficiency appliances and a range of environmental measures focussed on water/power conservation and environmental protection.
By: Duncan McAllister Special to the Star
When long-time Richmond Hill residents Michael and Karen Sullivan began looking to downsize, they didn’t specifically search for a green home.
But the couple liked what they saw at the Hampshire Mews’ sales office with builder Heathwood Homes’ new Green Home Energy Program.
“As we leave an older home, and as we put in new toilets, new doors and windows, a new high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner so that we could save on energy, we know the value of that for sure,” said Michael about upgrades that were made to their 30-year-old home.
“Over the years you do these things. So here it is, it’s done for you. That’s a nice perk for us,” he added. “I must say we didn’t enter it looking for that particular package, but it certainly makes good sense.”
“We bought the Oakley model which is an end unit. It’s a smaller unit, and it’s all on one level which is good for old folks,” he said, chuckling.
Hampshire Mews is a new community of 60 townhomes — one- and two-storey urban, and three-storey traditional — located on Yonge St. north of Elgin Mills Rd., in Richmond Hill.
The 60 townhomes at Hampshire Mews include oak pickets and handrail, designer kitchens and preview incentive packages.
The brick and stone homes are highlighted by arched and accent windows, keystones and peaked gables. Interior layouts include features such as oak pickets and handrail , designer kitchens, ceramic flooring and quality carpeting. Preview incentive packages include granite kitchen countertops, central air-conditioning, five stainless steel appliances and an upgraded stainless steel range hood.
Public GO and VIVA transit are nearby, and Hampshire Mews is also minutes from three highways as well as golf courses and the Oak Ridges Moraine.
With Hampshire Mews, Heathwood introduces their new Green Home Energy Program standard, a marriage of Energy Star high-efficiency appliances and a range of environmental measures focussed on water and power conservation, and environmental protections. (An Energy Star-rated fridge, for instance, uses 75 per cent less power than one built in the 1980s and could net $100 a year in savings.)
From permeable pavements to dual-flush toilets, PET carpets made from recycled pop bottles, low-E argon-filled windows and under-slab insulation, Heathwood has picked the best from a long list of initiatives based on their experience as an environmentally-aware builder. These elements are intended to lower homeowners’ utility bills, provide better air quality and reduce the overall environmental footprint.
Heathwood Homes’ founder Hugh Heron explains an experiment that got underway three years ago and began with Heathwood constructing the first “Green House” in Canada that would be evaluated for its energy and water conservation features as well as environmentally-friendly building systems and materials. For comparison purposes, an identical home was built to international Engergy Star standards a mile away at Heathwood’s Forestbrook community.
A graduate student-led team from Ryerson University’s Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering has been monitoring and measuring both homes for the past three years. They’ve studied the use of electricity, natural gas, and cold and hot water in the homes.
“The logic for doing another house in the same location to Energy Star was to find out whether any, or if all, of these way-out, energy-green items worked, and some of them didn’t work,” said Heron. He added that he believes green initiatives become popular with buyers and then the building industry follows that trend to incorporate them into their projects. But, said Heron, what’s popular may not be the most energy-efficient nor cost-effective.
Preliminary results have been revealing: “The initial information is that the Energy Star house is saving more money than the Green House with all the bells and whistles on it,” said Heron. “What that really tells you is that even with all the energy-saving features on there, it’s how the people within the home themselves take care of the home and utilize it.” The complete results of the Ryerson study will be presented in a soon-to-be-released report.
And although green features didn’t top their initial home-shopping list, the Sullivans found the offerings an added bonus at Hampshire Mews.
“We’ve been gearing up for a change of lifestyle. We were looking for something smaller, and we wanted to stay in Richmond Hill because we love it so much,” said Michael. “We kind of grew up with Heathwood. We bought our first house in ’76, and at that time they were an upstart organization.
“I’m a retired principal and I’ve always thought that the culture you establish in a school is very important and when we walked into their sales office, we just had a good feeling. In fact an ex-student was working behind the desk,” added Michael
Hampshire Mews
Location: Yonge St., south of Gamble Rd., Richmond Hill
Developer: Heathwood Homes
Units: Three-bedroom urban and traditional townhomes
Sizes: From 1,037 to 1,475 square feet
Prices: Starting from the low-$400,000’s
Sales centre: Yonge St. and 19th Ave., Richmond Hill. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon. to Thurs.; closed Fridays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Sun., and holidays.
Info: 416-637-3520 or visit

Leave a Reply