Dedicated to sustainable,
high performance building

Clarendon Semis

A residential semi-detached urban infill on a small east/west-oriented lot, with each living unit having three bedrooms plus study and attached garage, is a typical redevelopment in an established Ottawa neighbourhood. With one unit retained by the Developer/Owner/Architect and the other sold at market price, the project was a careful experimental blend of the sustainability preferences of the Owner versus market pricing realities.

By Gordon Erskine

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Passive Narrow House

Compact house lets nature do the work

Located in a jungle of hip roofs, white vinyl, and pink stucco in East Vancouver, the Passive Narrow House makes green home ownership more affordable through careful planning, use of simple forms, and a combination of inexpensive yet durable materials that reduce maintenance costs. The passive strategies for lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilating run on free solar energy, and the house has the ability to provide rental income of varying amounts based on the family’s changing needs.

By Allison Holden-Pope

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Tips from the field

A builder expert’s essentials for a green home or reno

“Green” has been a buzzword over the last few decades. We are bombarded with reality TV shows, websites, magazines and product descriptions that often give conflicting information about their green claims. For builders, sorting through these conflicting claims can be challenging. For home owners, it’s worse. It can be both confusing and discouraging.

By Roy Nandram

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Great Gulf Active House

Big builder pushes the boundaries of green residential development

Great Gulf, one of the country’s largest home builders, is simultaneously concerned with being an innovative, forward-thinking company, and a competitive builder in the residential market. This project in Thorold, Ontario was a leap of faith in a market that has not to date shown much interest in sustainability. Using the existing local design guidelines of a traditional gabled roof design and adapting them for the Active House yielded a multi-functional design that was the basis for an open plan, an abundance of interior daylight, and a house of superior environmental performance.

By Meg Graham

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House C4

Big makeover brings modern look and function

The house is a three-storey flat roof structure with a two-storey addition in the rear. Flat roofs were chosen not only for the modern appearance but for rain water collection and green roof application. The house, with its modern appearance, is appropriately positioned on the site. Set back slightly from its neighbours, the house takes on a more humbled position in the row of houses

BY MARK THOLEN

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Insulating walls with dense pack cellulose

Time for some respect

In 2005, Metric Homes of Carp, Ontario designed and built Canada’s first Energy Star labelled home in Canada. This home was built with dense-packed cellulose as the wall insulation of choice. Their intent was to produce a better built home with a goal of creating “a proper balance between additional efficiency and price such that it would be attractive to future clients “.

By Phillip MacCallum

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One Planet Reno, Ottawa