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sustainable bc lodges

Stunning West Vancouver Island Lodge is a Model of Sustainability

By Wayne Groszko Rise Renewable Energy Expert
Aug 18, 2017

Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada, is a world-class paradise of natural beauty, wildlife, and beaches. The Ucluelet First Nation knows this well, as they have lived in and enjoyed this place for more than 10,000 years. Now you can enjoy this magical place too, in the beautiful and inspiring lodges at Wya Point Resort. The whole resort, which includes the lodges, yurts, and a camping area for tents, was designed from start to finish with sustainability front and center.

bc lodges side front

Sustainability for the long term has always been a deeply held value of the Ucluelet First Nation, and it shows in the way they have designed this resort to fit into the wild landscape with a minimal ecological footprint.

bc lodge entrance

Being light on the land

Wya Point resort is perched on the shore of a sheltered cove of the Pacific Ocean, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, with a beautiful sand beach and rocky headlands. The islands in the bay are often seen covered with resting sea lions. The forest on the shore is lush and green, with cedar trees so big it takes two people to stretch arms around them.

bc lodge front step

This place is also the site of an ancestral village, where the Ucluelet people traditionally gathered each summer. When they designed the resort and lodges, they decided to raise the lodges off the ground on poles, not to dig out foundations, so they could minimize disturbance to cultural and archaeological artifacts.

bc lodge family room

The lodges are also clustered together near each other. This makes it convenient to walk from one to another and leaves more of the land undisturbed. Only a few trees needed to be cut down to make space for the lodges, and these trees were milled to provide a portion of the lumber for the construction of the lodges.

bc lodge coat hanger

Local materials

The magnificent cedar beams and posts for these lodges were harvested and milled locally, with respect for forest biodiversity. The natural cedar shingles are also local. This minimized transportation distance and supported local and indigenous forestry workers.

bc lodge lights

LEED Platinum

The lodges at Wya Point are built to meet the LEED Platinum standard (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), one of the most well-known sustainability standards for buildings. The designers used all the sustainability features listed above, plus energy-efficient construction, Energy Star appliances, LED lighting, and low-flush toilets, showers, and other water fixtures to meet this standard.

bc lodge ceiling 2

Cultural Sustainability

The Ucluelet First Nation involved their community in the design of the lodges to ensure that they reflected the indigenous culture of this place and its people. The elders liked the aspect of the ‘longhouse,’ a traditional community-dwelling with long beams and heavy pillars, while the youth liked the clean, modern look with large windows for a lot of daylight.

bc lodge great room

Each lodge features wonderful and unique artwork. The showpieces are wood carvings by resident artist Clifford George that represent various culturally significant spirit animals. Some of the lodges are named after their spirit animals – Raven, Killer Whale, and Thunderbird all make their appearances.

bc lodge sky light

Inspiration

If you are looking to design a cottage or home, you can take inspiration from the beauty of these lodges, especially the way they feel right at home in the landscape. They are made to fit into their surroundings, to reflect the spirit of the place and the people here. Visiting Wya Point is truly an inspiring experience.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2021-11-30T14:54:27+0000
Wayne Groszko

Article by:

Wayne Groszko

Wayne Groszko is a consultant, researcher, and teacher in Energy Sustainability with 13 years of experience. He has taught at Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Community College, in the Faculties of Engineering, Environmental Science, and Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology. Wayne is also President of the Community Energy Cooperative of New Brunswick, and has worked as Renewable Energy Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre in Nova Scotia. He holds a B.Sc. (Hon.) from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. from Dalhousie University.