New York City developer George Aridas turned a few heads among Vancouver’s condo builders with his presentation earlier this year to the Urban Development Institute. Mr. Aridas’ talk was funny, sported great visuals, and brimmed with financial and technical facts.

But the real reason many Vancouver developers were on the edge of their seats was the New Yorker’s details on how his company made a lot of money building an environment-friendly residential tower. Now that got their attention!

Sounds like a big win all the way around.

Aridas’ project, the Solaire, uses 35 percent less electricity and half the water of a typical residential high rise. Plus, it takes a great approach to affordable housing:

[T]here is a mandated sprinkling of “affordable” housing on all building floors, rather than on physically separate sites. “They are integrated through most parts of the building,” says Mr. Aridas of the Solaire’s affordable housing units, “so riding up the elevator, nobody knows if the person standing next to you is paying one fifth the rent for almost the same apartment.”

Seems like Vancouver’s paying attention. How about Seattle and Portland?