From design all the way through to completion, this was a very rewarding and challenging
project, as we’re sure any of the builders on our team would attest to.
By Mike Reynolds and Emmanuel Cosgrove
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We wanted to build something affordable but of high quality, and something that reflected global energy and climate issues, and the changing needs of families – home size, health, quality of life and affordability in both purchase and operational costs. That may sound like a tall order, but a house that serves the true best interest of the occupants will usually serve the best interest of the planet at the same time.
When you undertake something like this, and do it under a spotlight, you invite scrutiny and feedback of all kinds, so to be clear ….
We are not declaring this to be the best designed house, the best built house or the most efficient house ever. There is simply no such thing on soil or on paper because there is always going to be room for improvement. Would we build the exact same house again? Of course not. If you finish a project and wouldn’t change a single thing about it, then you learned nothing from it.
We learned a lot here. This is a great house and we are happy with the results, but we look forward to building something even better. And we would likely say the same thing after the next one.
There are things we wouldn’t do again, there are things we tried along the way that worked great, and some that are fledgling ideas which merit further development. We certainly hope that the Building Guide pages on our website and the video series documenting the construction of this house will be of value [see ecohome.net], but we are not so presumptuous as to think this house ends the discussion about what a house should be. The Edelweiss House is just us adding our two cents to that discussion and hoping it continues.
The materials sponsored for this project were products we intentionally sought out for their characteristics and performance. We were fortunate that those manufacturers chose to participate. We would like to thank them for taking part, and our partner ecoHouse Canada magazine for giving us a place to share what we’ve done.
Mike Reynolds and Emmanuel Cosgrove are co-founders of ecohome.net.