Walking the Talk > Overview of the Guidelines

A habitat where people, plants and birds  flourish: this is our goal. To achieve it, the guidelines for Larch Park emphasize connections — connections between homes, yards, community green spaces and adjacent protected areas. They encourage thinking beyond the property line.

The full comprehensive set of guidelines, intended for builders, architects and designers, is housed on a separate website. Ahead you'll find an overview.

Architecture

When we visited Edmonton's best-loved communities to research what gives them enduring value, we discovered:

  • neighbourhoods that mix modern and traditional buildings;
  • local materials used in creative, colourful and innovative ways; and
  • homes that fit central Alberta's climate and topography.

Three styles, Craftsman, Prairie and Capital Modern — Edmonton's unique contribution to architecture — best capture these desirable characteristics. While visually different, they are surprising similar in the way they emphasize large windows to capture views and light. All three are typically asymmetrical. This is an advantage as it means designs respond to their building site; the finished homes look like they belong in the surrounding landscape.

Sustainability

As developers, we are taking a number of steps to create a more environmentally intelligent subdivision: a smart division, if you will. These include LED street-lighting, narrower roads, and a construction waste management program.

We recognize that there are many interpretations of what constitutes “green” or “sustainable” home building. For example, you may be interested in energy performance. Other builders and homeowners may prioritize indoor air quality. Others may want maximize recycled content.

Larch Park’s sustainability guidelines are ambitious, but flexible. Homes can either meet BuiltGreen Gold, LEED for Homes Gold or R2000 with a minimum Energuide rating of 80. Or, achieve an Energuide rating of 87 with no third-party verification.

Landscape

In a typical suburb, plants tend to strictly ornamental. Little thought is given to invasive species, how  much water and time different plants require, or how plants might affect local birds, bees and butterflies.

Larch Park instead celebrates the plant communities that grow naturally in the Sanctuary next door. We are planting the boulevard islands with indigenous species, and  ensuring you have the resources you need to make similar choices in your own yards.

In addition to plants, the  guidelines address the other elements of a successful year round landscape: views, fences,  garden walls,driveways, garages and walks. They consider the experience from inside a home as well as the impact landscaping has on the house.