Our vision for the Solair development is to build the largest “green” renewable energy based, sustainable community in Canada. Solair will provide an unparalleled opportunity for innovation and development of solar technology, stormwater management, and home building innovation to create a high-quality community that will set a new standard to the way suburban development needs to be built. We are driven to showcase how careful and creative planning and development practices can be geared towards ecological, environmental and quality of life goals while remaining economically viable.
The Solair development is a joint venture between Arbutus Properties and the Franko family of Saskatoon. The community, when complete, will consist of over 2,200 homes and approximately 7,000 residents living in condos, townhomes and single-family homes at a variety of price points.
The Solair project will result in a $350 million investment over the next 5 to 7 years that will create up to 200 jobs. This is a master planned neighbourhood with design and technical guidelines.
Urban Eco Living
We are committed to building a green and sustainable neighbourhood. To reach a goal of being Canada’s largest sustainable community, we are committed to the Six Pillars of sustainability developed in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Regional Planning department.
LOCATION + LINKAGE
Solair will be located on a Greenfield site in the city’s south-east corner, adjacent to Saskatoon’s newest neighbourhood, The Meadows. The Solair community will rely upon existing municipal services making it more efficient and avoiding the need to make an additional significant investment in major trunk service extension by the city. Active transportation and transit services can be readily expanded into the community from adjacent development as well.
PATTERN + DESIGN
Sustainable communities allow for and promote interaction between neighbours and those living in a community. Streets are designed to calm traffic and make biking and walking comfortable and enjoyable. Offering a mix of single family and higher density cluster housing will allow for more green space, trails, bikeways and pathways all within a standard city grid system. A community retail “High Street” will enable residents to live, shop and work in the neighbourhood.
Focus will be given on a more sustainable water management strategy to maintain gardens and parks. Solair will be designed to retain and manage stormwater on site to reduce the installation of deep underground pipes. This will result in the creation of swales, rain gardens and ponds. The use of indigenous plants will avoid the need for irrigation and constant use of a scares resource. Natural wetlands will be preserved and integrated into the water management system.
HUMAN HEALTH + WELL BEING
More green space and reduced paved surfaces will encourage a pedestrian-oriented environment with full connectivity to the existing communities of Saskatoon through bike networks and public transportation. Use of lighted pathways and trails throughout the community will support walking and riding in safe and green environments.
SOIL + VEGETATION
The development of Solair will focus working on retaining as much natural vegetation as possible. Should disturbance occur, all re-planting will consist of indigenous trees, plants and grasses to re-establish prairie landscape. Maintaining and working with existing soil regimes, plus avoiding imported and foreign plant species will minimize disturbance of heritage plant species.
Building technologies are rapidly changing. Sustainable communities will focus on self-generation of renewable energy and well-built, efficient homes that will use less energy for heating and cooling. Solair will harness the power of the sun through a community solar photovoltaic system. Each home will be equipped with solar panels to contribute to a district solar renewable power source.
Saskatoon is one of Canada’s most rapidly growing cities. Currently the demand for housing is largely being met with typical suburban subdivisions that rely upon historic and rather traditional land servicing principles. These typical car-oriented, cookie-cutter suburban housing environments are rapidly expanding the city’s footprint, both from an ecological and geographic perspective. This may result in the city incurring significant financial costs to extend major infrastructure systems. There is an opportunity to change the development pattern with an innovative land planning approach that incorporates the latest thinking in ecological and thoughtful site design. The city of Saskatoon is supportive of the project and ready to take the lead instead of settling for the status quo.
Located in Saskatoon’s periphery, the Franko property is currently farmland that is ideally located to leverage the existing topography, pond and stream water system with the opportunity to retain key aspects of the natural, prairie vegetation.
The Franko family’s roots run deep in Saskatoon, providing inspiration for the Solair neighbourhood’s traditional residential grid fabric updated with a multitude of social and environmentally sustainable features. Arbutus and the Franko’s believe the time is now to show that a sustainable development is possible, and Saskatoon is the place to do it. Read history...
Time For Change
Current suburban development which has become ubiquitous in most Canadian cities rely on 50 year old land servicing techniques and technologies that are based solely on the use of non-renewable energy sources. Arbutus Properties’ Solair neighbourhood will demonstrate that large-scale sustainable neighbourhoods can not only be built, but done so in a way that is financially viable and competitive with traditional greenfield development. As cities continue to face the growing impacts of climate change, Solair will create a quality community that is served by low impact and resilient infrastructure and provide its resident’s greater comfort and security. Where we are now seeing the limitations and lack of adaptability of tradition infrastructure design and construction, Solair will utilize leading solar technology resulting in the independence of a renewable power source for its residents.
The evidence is clear that a new way forward is needed and it’s our view that Solair will provide that model community for others to follow. It’s the right time to blaze a new path and break ground for sustainable green living in Canada, one that is built for people rather than the private automobile.
“Inaction is no longer acceptable.”
- Eric Lowett; Futurist
Saskatoon is one of Canada’s most rapidly growing cities. Currently the demand for housing is being met with the same type of sprawling suburbs that surround more developed cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. These typical car-oriented, cookie-cutter suburban subdivision on are rapidly gobbling up Saskatoon’s surrounding farmland. There is an opportunity to change the development pattern with an innovative development that incorporates the latest thinking in ecological site design. The city of Saskatoon Council is supportive of the project; ready to take the lead instead of settling for the status quo.
Located at Saskatoon’s periphery, the Franko lands greenfield site is the ideal location to leverage the existing topography and retain the natural, prairie vegetation.
The Franko family’s roots run deep in Saskatoon, providing inspiration for the Solair neighbourhood’s traditional residential grid fabric updated with a multitude of social and environmentally sustainable features. Arbutus and the Franko’s believe the time is now to show that a sustainable development is possible, and Saskatoon is the place to do it. Read more...
Time For Change
Current suburban development relies on 50 year old servicing and non-renewable energy. This urban sprawl increases automobile dependence and costs taxpayers more. It’s time to lead the way and break ground for sustainable green living in Canada.
Arbutus Properties is taking the lead to show that a large scale sustainable neighbourhood can not only be built, but work economically and thrive.
“Inaction is no longer acceptable.”
- Eric Lowett; Futurist
CANADA’S LARGEST SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY PROJECT
Looking for more information about Solair? We’d love to hear from you.