Sustainable.TO

Building Blog #2 – What is Shou-Sugi Ban… and why should I care?

Written by: Donald

on Friday, August 04, 2017

In this series of blog posts we answer Frequently Asked Questions, offer helpful tips and advice when it comes to how your home works – and doesn’t work! – and how methods employed by SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building can get you the most efficient, comfortable, and healthiest home for you and your family. In Building Blog #2 we answer the question: What is Shou-Sugi Ban… and why should I care?

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So you want to be an architect..

Written by: Steve

on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Everyone knows that law students write the bar exam to becomes lawyers. Medical students take on months of residency to become doctors. But how does an architect become licensed? Few people are familiar with the ExAC (Examination for Architects in Canada), which is a grueling, 2-day, 4-part exam held once a year in November.

After a couple of years to reflect on passing this exam, I’ve compiled some advice for those about to take on this monumental task. Whether you are someone who is preparing to write the ExAC, an aspiring architect, or just curious about what it takes to become a licensed architect, these 12 tips are for you.

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Building Blog #1 – What’s the deal with ERVs?

Written by: Donald

on Thursday, June 15, 2017

In this series of blog posts we answer Frequently Asked Questions, offer helpful tips and advice when it comes to how your home works – and doesn’t work! – and how methods employed by SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building can get you the most efficient, comfortable, and healthiest home for you and your family.

In this edition, we answer: What is an ERV (or HRV) and why do I need one?


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Harnessing the Trias Energetica

Written by: Donald

on Tuesday, May 30, 2017

For the Willowdale Passive Solar House, we went above and beyond a typical North York home, and in the end we achieved much greater results by working with the owners to achieve their goals. By listening to and addressing both energy-efficiency and health, we proved that these are not two mutually exclusive ideas. Working with the contractor we also realized these goals on a budget similar to a typical custom home construction. A truly remarkable achievement.

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LAKE HOUSE: the Appropriately-Sized Home

Written by: Nicholas

on Monday, April 03, 2017

Our client approached SUSTAINABLE.TO to undertake the design of a new, appropriately-sized dwelling on their family-owned lakeside property. Read the story of Lake House here.

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A Lifelong Friendship is Formed

Written by: Paul

on Tuesday, March 14, 2017

One of the projects we get asked about the most is the Hunter House. Find out the story behind the straw bale, off-grid, passive solar house in this story, written by Paul.

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The Importance of Proportion - from building height and room size, to details and comfort

Written by: Donald

on Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Mathematical rules, regulations, and relationships were codified thousands of years ago in order to make buildings not only safe and secure, but beautiful and comfortable. In this blog post Donald introduces you to the rules of proportion and the relationship of building height, room sizes, and details which make homes and building comfortable - and how designers and builders forgot about these rules, and how SUSTAINABLE.TO is bringing them back in our designs.

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“The Better Way” to Understanding Housing Prices in Toronto

Written by: Donald

on Monday, January 02, 2017

In our latest Blog post, Donald discusses how housing costs and living costs continue to rise, and how the perfect house has to be the perfect fit for you. At S.TO, we are here to help you out with your perfect first home, next home, or forever home in the city of Toronto.

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How Far We’ve Come

Written by: Steve

on Thursday, November 03, 2016

Back in November 2009, we were nothing more than a few people around a table in Paul Dowsett’s dining room. We had no formal office space, but we did have a dream. A dream of making sustainability mainstream. 7 years later, as the NOW Magazine Readers’ Choice winner for Best Design Firm, we have achieved that goal, and validated our efforts as leaders of sustainability.

We’ve been taking this week to reflect back on some of our most notable achievements, and how we got where we are today.

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Community Sustainability + Resilience = Economic Opportunity

Written by: Donald

on Monday, September 26, 2016

Community Sustainability + Resilience = Economic Opportunity: “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”

By Paul Dowsett, Alec Hay, and Donald Peckover

Be it hurricane, ice storm, flood, or wildfire, there are few greater threats to a community than natural disaster. The design and planning of our cities and economies must be able to respond to disaster, bounce back, resume operation, and be a catalyst for redevelopment — all in addition to being safe havens for their residents.

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The East Scarborough Storefront: Community Design in Action

Written by: Steve

on Thursday, August 04, 2016

When we saw the pride on the face of Antenehe when he walked into the East Scarborough Storefront and saw the “KGO” tile pattern in the floor, we knew that there was traction to the Community. Design. Initiative.(CDI) This flooring pattern was an idea he had come up with at one of the many community design charrettes that have taken place at the East Scarborough Storefront over the last 7 years. To see their ideas actually come to fruition is one of the reasons why community members continue to show up and participate in the CDI, and why we as architects and designers continue to promote and facilitate community-engaged design. Read the story of the Community. Design. Initiative. here.

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Egale Centre Pride!

Written by: Paul

on Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Proposed Egale Centre

SUSTAINABLE.TO is proud to be leading the design for this game-changing facility—the first of its kind in Canada and only the ninth in the world. At the outset of this project, we looked to and engaged with the local community through a charrette with a group of street-involved LGBTQ youth and various allied service providers. The resulting design includes a number of sustainable features that together achieve SUSTAINABLE.TO’s goal of a healthy, affordable, resource- and energy-efficient design solution. In addition to this architectural side, there is an amazingly compelling human side to this story too…

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SUSTAINABLE.TO: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Written by: Paul

on Thursday, March 10, 2016

Trias Energetica

Since opening up shop in Toronto’s east end in 2009, SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building (STO) has jumped leaps and bounds towards establishing the new normal for how we think about building in a post-carbon world. In 2002, leading American architect Ed Mazria founded Architecture 2030, an organization committed to protecting our global environment by using innovation and common sense to develop and implement bold solutions to global warming. Mazria developed energy-reduction targets for buildings leading up to 2030 as a Challenge.

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S.TO annual winter retreat 2016

Written by: Paul

on Tuesday, February 09, 2016


STO was pleased to visit Donny’s Fantasy Farm for our 2016 corporate retreat. The house, dating from the mid-1800’s, was perfectly suited to our needs; the land was great for a hike; and Donald was a wonderful host. We accomplished much, and felt quite relaxed—the perfect balance for which we strove. I was reminded, yet again, that the greatest assets of our company are its people. I am pleased to say that it is the wonderful people, with whom I am honoured to work, that make me happy to arrive at work every day. Read more memories from STO’ers in the article.

Paul


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Giving a Voice to the Community

Written by: Joel

on Thursday, January 07, 2016

We see communities changing around us every day, and the importance of architects in this process is increasing at a steady pace just the same. Perhaps not in the way our parents may have imagined, but in a much broader context. Sustainable.TO, along with many partners, has been working to help define this role and how it can impact communities with more than just the physical spaces we create. We have been exploring this idea at the East Scarborough Storefront since 2009, continuously working on smaller parts of a master plan with youth from the neighbourhood. In Bolton, we worked alongside teams of students to help them build their own master plan. A workshop in Detroit helped us realize the outlook many of us have on how cities are built, and how we can challenge these standards. It is our responsibility as architects to give a voice to the communities that we work within.

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S.TO feels “At Home” in Cambridge

Written by: Steve

on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

From November 16, 2015 to January 10th, 2016, the residential work of SUSTAINABLE.TO (S.TO) will be a feature of the At-Home Exhibit in Cambridge, Ontario put on by Art+Design Idea Exchange. The displayed works focus on homes capable of withstanding natural disasters, energy-efficient homes, off-grid homes, and new concepts for shared living and working spaces. As front-runners in sustainable and resilient design, S.TO’s projects are front and centre at the exhibit, taking place at the University of Waterloo Architecture Building.

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Elmhurst Home

Written by: Karl

on Monday, October 26, 2015

Exterior Rendering

Exterior Rendering


Imagine for a second a wonderful moment.

You’re on a drive through the countryside. The sun is cresting, the view is breathtaking, and your Tesla Model S is taking every corner better than the last. It could be the wind in your hair or the traction of your tires as you carve through the natural landscape, but whatever it is, it feels great and you’re in control.

Building the right home is like building a similar high-performance machine for living. What you’re feeling in that moment is the perfect integration of nature and technology that has come together to let you live the life you want to live.

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