Check out some European ‘smarts’ in Vernon at Henk Bosman and Tanneke Oordt’s downtown home during the Eco-friendly Home Tour May 4. (Submitted Photo)

Eco-friendly home tour builds support for Okanagan students

Canadian Federation of University Women host fifth annual fundraiser

Frances Warner

Special to The Morning Star

Varied is the most apt word to describe’s this year’s Eco-friendly Home Tour. Four generous couples have volunteered to be home hosts for the Canadian Federation of University Women’s 2019 scholarship fundraising event. Brent Bowyer and Janice Larson of Carrs Landing will show participants the energy features of their innovative net-zero energy home as well as their efforts to fireproof their property. Previously the Director of Renewable Energy Development with the BC Ministry of Energy, Janice now sits on the Board of Directors for the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council. She and husband Brent have always wanted to build a home guided by energy efficiency, renewable energy and using passive house principles.

See: Vernon’s eco-friendly home tour returns

At the home of Henk Bosman and Tanneke Oordt participants will experience the benefits of living in the pulse of downtown. As you enter their home the first thing you see is a beautiful stairwell with two handy bicycles waiting beneath it. It seems they have brought a little European ‘smarts’ to Vernon. It’s a short two-block walk to their own accounting business, right past our city’s new organic bakery. Henk and Tanneke will share their experience of adaptive re-use; how they purchased a commercial building on 30th Avenue and renovated the second floor to create a 2,300 square foot three-bedroom home. In addition they have a generous-sized roof terrace, a garage, and more storage in the basement.

On East Hill Richard Pearen and Sue Young did something that a lot of others just think about; retrofitting an older home. Their home needed new siding and basement drainage tiles but instead of simple replacement they decided to wrap the existing house with a continuous six-mil poly vapour barrier and exterior wall trusses. The new wall trusses were staggered to avoid thermal bridging and filled with insulation – creating a wall two feet thick. Instead of relying on a furnace and an air conditioner their home now has an air exchanger and two pellet stoves. In addition Richard and Sue harvest rainwater from the roof and have a xeriscape garden.

See: Take a tour of eco-friendly homes

The tour runs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Afterwards everyone is invited to Ed and Marian Wilson’s net-zero energy home in the Foothills for coffee and a talk on Lessons Learned After Five Years. The owners of three electric cars will bring their vehicles to the Wilsons for those interested in learning how they perform.

The Tour takes place on Saturday, May 4. Tickets will be available for $25 (cash only) as of Monday, April 1 at Vernon’s own Bean Scene. If you are travelling with others on the tour, make sure you all purchase the same colour of ticket, as each colour represents a different tour schedule. For more information email or call 250-307-3113. Please bring your own maps or GPS as there will be no Tour Guide provided this year.


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