The Elliott Residence

Reno and addition make farmhouse a local destination

The Elliott Residence is a retrofit / addition to a 1930 farmhouse near Ottawa. Designed for durability, energy independence and carbon neutrality, it meets R-2000, ENERGY STAR and GreenHouse, is participating in the 1000 Home Challenge and is Certified LEED Gold. Situated on five acres, the flex design stresses home-based income and food security, accessibility, community and rural aging-in-place. The house is designed to be divided so half may serve as a caregiver suite, a rental unit, or a home-based business.

BY ROSS ELLIOTT

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A vegetarian café, which operates from part of the home during the summer, provides a public gathering space, healthy organic food resource and a venue for live music and films for the local community, reducing the  need to travel to the nearest town 30km away. The home office for our consulting business is housed in the adjacent strawbale guest house.

The site includes a year-round soap-bubble greenhouse [irrigated 100% by collected rainwater], food garden, orchard and maple bush. The property is self-sufficient in firewood for heating energy, and the surrounding land abundantly provides fresh organic produce and maple products for value-added café and farmgate sales or homeowner’s consumption.

Indoor ventilation

The majority of the windows in the café face south or south-west, allowing an abundance of natural light into the space. The house is naturally cross-ventilated by operable windows on all elevations and levels. 100% of the occupied floor area is within 7 metres of an operable window.

Fresh air is delivered continuously via an ERV [energy recovery ventilator] with an ECM [energy-saving electronically commutated or variable-speed] blower. LEDs and CFLs have been used throughout the house to minimize the energy consumption when artificial lighting is needed, projected to be around 2.9 kWh/m2 annually.

MATERIALS

  • Wood framing is FSC [Forest Stewardship Council], other framing includes I-joists and laminated veneer lumber; insulated concrete forms [ICFs] for cafe addition.
  • Owens Corning Foamular Extruded Polystyrene exterior insulation, blown cellulose in wall cavities; soya polyurethane spray foam used on inside of existing foundation walls and on existing first-floor timber framing.
  • Heating system includes a GeoFlex geothermal heat pump, energy recovery ventilator, and a wood gasification boiler connected to 850 gallon heat storage tank [insulated with vacuum- insulated panels] to supply the radiant floor heating.
  • Fiberglass-frame windows, cement board siding, granite cladding and steel roofing.
  • Flooring types include linoleum, cork, bamboo, engineered maple.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Architect Linda Chapman Architects
  • Construction 4Syte Design Buik ldt.
  • Landscape Architect Kathryn Elliott
  • Energy Design, Green Rater Homesol Building Solutions Inc.

Ross Elliot is president of Homesol Building Solutions Inc., www.homesol.ca