Rising sun

Solar energy making strides in Calgary area

Long considered a darling of the green energy industry, solar technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that many experts predict it will soon become commonplace in our everyday lives.

David Silburn, a researcher at SAIT who specializes in green building technologies, said the popularity of solar systems, especially photovoltaic, in residential and commercial applications has skyrocketed in the past seven years as prices have plummeted.

“In 2009, I was paying $10 to $12 a watt installed, whereas now you’re spending $2.50 to $3 a watt installed on the same scale of system,” he said.

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Singing the blues

Colourful wood can add character to any home

It goes by many names: denim pine, blue-stain pine and “beetlewood,” to name a few.

No matter what you call it, this little-known wood could be the centrepiece of Calgary’s next big interior design trend.

Denim pine comes from trees that have been infected by mountain pine beetles. The name stems from its distinctive blue streaks, which are caused by a fungus the beetles introduce while attacking the tree.

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It takes two

Dual-master homes occupy important niche in Calgary market

Dual-master homes aren’t a new phenomenon in the Calgary market, but they have long been popular among a growing cross-section of homebuyers whose needs cannot be met by a standard three-bedroom layout.

According to Wendy Jabusch, president of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association-Calgary region, Calgary homebuilders have been building dual-master suites for roughly a decade, primarily in smaller home offerings.

“They would typically be in the small single-family homes, townhomes and that kind of thing,” Jabusch said. “Certainly, in the apartment product, we’ve seen dual-master bedrooms for many years.”

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