PROTOTYPE LANEWAY HOUSING – University of Toronto, ON

Residential (Small) Award

BSN Architects

Jury Comment: The municipality, the University of Toronto and the design team are all to be commended for attempting this kind of gentle densification in a heritage district. The success of the project enables faculty, staff and other potential residents to benefit from the transportation, commercial and cultural infrastructure already in place in this neighbourhood. The resulting livable lane environment and the remarkable achievement of Passive House performance in such a tight urban context, takes Toronto’s laneway housing to the next level.

These prototypes are the vanguard of 40 laneway and infill homes proposed for the Huron Sussex Neighbourhood, a historic precinct adjacent to the University of Toronto’s downtown campus. The project advances urban intensification in a location well served by public transit and existing municipal infrastructure, while revitalizing and helping to sustain its immediate heritage context.

Mandated to deliver affordable, sustainable housing for family living and co-habitation, the project utilizes a prefabrication approach to reduce community impacts during construction and enhance performance outcomes.

The three prototypes include: 3 bedroom + 2 study (2,100 gross sq.ft.), 2 bedroom + study, (1,100 gross sq.ft.), and 1 bedroom + study, (900 gross sq.ft.). Sympathetic to scale, massing, and neighbourhood context, the prototypes provide ‘accessibility through proximity’ and are clustered to create a shared outdoor courtyard and to initiate a ‘Living Laneway’ concept with homes accessed from the lane.

Designed using Passive House (PH) principles and all-wood construction, the project optimizes prefabrication and on-site assembly methods and utilizes PH-certified wall panels (R-45) with factory- installed windows (R-7), structural insulated panels (R-54) for the roof, and a shallow super-insulated GEO-Passive slab foundation system (R-24) that minimizes site operations.

Detail of Passive House certified window and thermally-treated ash cladding. Supplied by CFP Woods,  the ash cladding exhibits numerous grain patterns while displaying the natural beauty of its rich brown colour tones. Left to weather naturally, it will turn a beautiful patina grey.

Guelph Solar installed LG 365 Watt solar panels for the U of T Laneway Houses.

Legalett provided three engineered GEO-Passive Slabs with ThermaSill PH thresholds, as well as sub grade preparation supervision for this challenging high density urban fill site with zero clearance lot lines.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 47.3KWhr/m2/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 = 54%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 44,880 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 51%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 15.25%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 85%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Architect  BSN Architects
  • Owner/Developer  University of Toronto
  • General Contractor  Index Construction
  • Civil Engineer  MTE Consultants
  • Electrical Engineer  Runge Engineering
  • Structural and Mechanical Engineer  Local Impact Design
  • Photos  Tom Arban Photography

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

UBC OKANAGAN, SKEENA RESIDENCE – University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna BC

Residential (Large) Award (Sponsored by Inline Fiberglass)

Public Architecture + Communication

Jury Comments: Not only does Passive House certification take this building beyond Code in terms of energy performance; it achieves this while still addressing issues of context and community. The relationship to its surroundings is carefully considered, as is the design an organization of its common spaces. Making successive cohorts of students aware of the superior quality of a Passive House environment – and so raising their expectations, may be the most significant contribution of this project.

This new Passive House certified residence accommodates 220 students within five floors of light wood frame construction, above a concrete ground floor that contains common areas, amenity and service spaces. The building completes an ensemble of residence buildings encircling the central green space on campus – known as Commons Field.

The five identical residential floors include shared bathrooms flanked by two bedrooms. This layout allows space for quiet study when required. Additionally, each floor contains both a study lounge and a house lounge with views of the surrounding mountains, the latter equipped with a kitchenette, dining table and couches. Locating these spaces at opposite ends of the floor ensures that quiet study is not interrupted by noise from the social home lounge.

The first level includes a large laundry room adjacent to the student lounge. Separated by a glass wall, the relationship between the two spaces encourages chance meetings and spontaneous gatherings. Moreover, the transparency offers passive surveillance, or visibility that promotes a sense of security.

The Passive House goal of minimal energy use for heating and cooling informed many design choices. Given that irregular forms with multiple indentations and corners, or projections such as steps, overhangs, or canopies create challenges for insulation, airtightness and the elimination of thermal bridging, a simple and efficient rectilinear volume performs best.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

A BLANKET OF WARMTH – Star Blanket Cree Nation, SK

Technical Award

MacPherson Engineering Inc.

Jury Comment: “This simple, affordable and highly transferable design solution to the substandard indoor environmental quality in much of the First Nations housing stock across the country, is notable for its collaborative approach and the inspiration it takes from traditional Aboriginal structures. The transition from forced air to radiant heat brings multiple benefits, with a payback period of less than 10 years.”

To address the mould issue, MacPherson Engineering partnered with universities, industry leaders, psychologists, Knowledge Keepers, engineers, and businesses. The project needed to be affordable, ecofriendly, incorporate Indigenous knowledge, and create positive social values of inclusion, cooperation, and respect.

The project broadened responsible consumption and production with the installation of the hybrid heating system on 75% of the concrete perimeter basement walls.

Aligning with the United Nations goals, the retrofitting of conventional HVAC with a system that was simple to install and operate improved efficiency and sustainability.

After installation, a comparative study was done, proving that radiant heating is a feasible solution to address air quality, thermal comfort, and energy use and humidity problems, performing much better than traditional HVAC systems. 

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner / Developer  Star Blanket Cree Nation
  • Mechanical Engineer  MacPherson Engineering Inc.
  • Plumbing and Heating  Anaquod Plumbing and Heating
  • Construction  J McNaughton Construction
  • University of Regina  Dr Arm Henni & Capstone students
  • Photos  Aura Lee MacPherson

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.