To achieve this goal, 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.
In a typical suburb, little thought is given to invasive species, how much water and time different plants require, or how plants might affect local ecosystems.
Larch Park instead celebrates the plant communities that grow naturally in the Sanctuary next door. A unique set of landscaping guidelines, including useful reference lists, help homeowners create a welcoming habitat.
Larch Park is modelled after Edmonton's best-loved communities, neighbourhoods of enduring value that:
- mix modern and traditional buildings;
- use local materials used in creative, colourful and innovative ways; and
- feature homes that fit central Alberta's climate and topography.
Craftsman, Prairie and Capital Modern architecture — Edmonton's unique contribution to the mix — 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 allows the design to respond to the site. The finished homes look like they belong in the surrounding landscape.
Larch Park is an environmentally intelligent subdivision: a smart division, if you will. LED street-lighting, narrower roads, bio-swales, soil preservation and a construction waste management program are/were just a few of its unique features.
Larch Park’s homes meet BuiltGreen Gold, LEED for Homes Gold or R2000 with a minimum Energuide rating of 80. Or, they achieve an Energuide rating of 87 with no third-party verification.
Visit-ability adds value to a home by ensuring it accommodates people with temporary or permanent disabilities and/or allow seniors to age in place.
At minimum, a visit-able home has:
- Wider doorways on all main floor doors (a minimum of 32 inches).
- A half bath on the main floor that includes a sink, toilet and the wider doorway.
- At least one zero-step entrance, ideally the main entrance.
All the homes in Larch Park have the wider main floor doors and half-bath. Many have accessible entrances with no steps.