Active Houses: A Holistic Approach to Home Design with Environmental Responsibility and Energy Efficiency

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Designed for Great Gulf by Superkul, Active House projects are setting new sustainability standards for residential development in Canada. The aim is to meet the construction metrics outlined by the program by the European Active House. It is a holistic approach to home design with environmental responsibility and energy efficiency.

Design

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Environmental responsibility and energy efficiency are married with the need to create awesome spaces. These spaces contribute to the health and well-being of the occupants positively. For Active House 1 in Thorold, Ontario, the design strategy considers the environmental impact of the entire life cycle from the project concept to the performance.

 

System

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A more efficient construction process is ensured by the prefabrication, reducing accident risk, energy use, and material waste at the same time. Massing, sitting, and also the orientation of the house rooms take advantage of the passive solar gain, maximizing the efficiency of the solar hot water system as well.

Energy-performance monitoring systems, low-VOC finishes, low-flow water fixtures, triple glazing, and interior and exterior LED lighting systems are the specific energy-saving and environmentally conscious features that complement the primary design strategy of exploiting opportunities for ventilation and natural daylight.

In the Toronto suburb of Etobicoke, Active House 2 claims the designation of the first certified Active House in the world and exceeds the superior energy performance of its predecessor. It also achieves LEED Silver Certification.

 

Details

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In both houses, an open-plan, double-height configuration achieves a sense of volumetric expansiveness and encourages the flow of circulation, air, and light. The formal expression of Active House 1 and 2 are rendered in a clean Modernist aesthetic and material palette, showing a new paradigm for suburban development and raising the bar for a design of a sustainable home that operates on renewable source energy.

 

Active Houses Gallery

 

Photographer: Torben Eskerod / Shai Gil