The concept of living in harmony with nature is something that appeals to many of us as we continue to spend more time at home, looking out at neighbouring buildings.
Creating spaces where residents can work, play, and live in harmony with nature is the vision of sustainable real estate development company Naturbana Properties. Founded by Bruno Jury, the firm’s philosophy is to give back more than it takes.
“About 10 years ago, I finished my MBA in London, UK, and I literally embarked on an exploration journey all over the world trying to find a place where I could make true my dream to become a sustainable developer,” Jury tells Daily Hive.
This led him to Vancouver, which would soon become the new home base for his family and the birthplace of an innovative residential project: Natura.
A forest-side collection of 73 homes in Abbotsford, built in partnership with Kerkhoff Construction, Natura offers a new way of condo living — in a building fully integrated into the surrounding natural environment.
Homebuyers have the rare opportunity to own real estate in a safe, gated community backing onto Abbotsford’s Horn Creek Park. This prime location puts prospective residents at the gateway to nature, the park, and forest trails, plus connecting paths to a discovery trail system spanning more than 60 kilometres.
“The first time I saw the site, I knew immediately this was the right place to make my sustainable development goals a reality,” says Jury. “Even if you look at my company logo (created more than 10 years ago), you’ll see that I knew what I wanted to achieve long before purchasing the land.”
He continues, “We’re all about finding harmony and the right balance between the natural environment and the built environment. Natura’s site is perfect to achieve that balance.”
In Abbotsford, residents have everything they need within one municipality, including Abbotsford International Airport, the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), Abbotsford Regional Hospital, and the US border just a short drive away.
Closer to home, Central Park Village is less than a four-minute walk from Natura, connecting residents to spots like The Trading Post Brewery, cheesecake haven Afterthoughts Dessert, Pharmasave, and SPINCO.
Although the project — a five-storey, wood-frame building — is estimated to be completed in early 2022, over 75% of homes have already sold. This is, in part, because Natura has the perks of North Vancouver immersion in nature at Abbotsford pricing.
Starting from the low $500,000s, the remaining configurations include two-bedroom condos, two-bedroom and den condos, three-bedroom and den condos, and penthouse homes — ranging from 847 sq ft to 1,458 sq ft. Meanwhile, outdoor terraces range from 137 sq ft to 910 sq ft.
Designing and building a community in the middle of an urban forest forced Jury and his team to take a unique approach. They engaged a sustainability consultant, a valuegraphics consultant, and a happy city consultant, who each helped create specific strategies and tools to transform the company’s vision into a realistic project.
“We started with a design charrette where the design team makes decisions based on our core values. The resulting design and construction process are holistically guided and integrated by the same principles of sustainability and respect for the environment,” Jury adds.
Naturbana Properties carefully selected locally-sourced materials for the project by considering their “embodied energy” and ensuring they meet strict sustainability criteria. And during construction, they try to “prefabricate as much as possible” to minimize waste.
Jury says the result of these efforts is that Natura meets Step Three of the BC Energy Step Code for new construction. “Natura is the first residential project in the Fraser Valley to achieve it,” he tells us.
“We are able to achieve this standard by building a high-quality and air-tight building as well as incorporating the use of heat recovery ventilators and eliminating the use of gas appliances in every suite.”
Additionally, the project has solar- and carbon-neutral features and ductless split system air conditioning. It will also have EV charging stations readily available for visitors and for homeowners to purchase.
“Overall, what this means to our buyers is that they live in an energy-efficient building (50% more efficient than any other residential building in the Valley).” This, Jury explains, translates to less energy consumption to cool and heat the building — “a win for the planet” and “lower utility bills for the residents.”
Amenities at Natura are inexhaustible and designed in such a way that people can establish meaningful connections with their neighbours and nature.
This includes forest-facing co-working and social spaces with a fireplace and a coffee bar, a terrace with sun loungers and a dining gazebo (with direct access to Horn Creek Park), a penthouse lounge for private parties, and a rooftop terrace with a BBQ kitchen and seating overlooking the village.
Every home purchased at Natura lets buyers do their part for the planet as $500 goes towards Natura stewardship charities, both locally and globally, via 1% for the Planet. Natura will also be planting over 200 trees to support new growth of the forest within Horn Creek Park.
“We offer an opportunity to belong in a community that takes pride in ownership,” says Jury. “At Natura, you will be happy where you live!”
To register your interest in Natura, visit liveatnatura.com or call their sales manager, Catelina Steijn, at 604-766-4588.