Off-Grid, Passive Solar, Multi-Generational Farmhouse

A young couple, their sibling, and their parents are each looking to build new homes. Rather than building three detached houses spaced kilometers apart, the family is planning on building one single dwelling to combine three households under one roof on their 10 acre property just north of Toronto.

The family’s long-term goal is to go off-grid, and to become self-sufficient. They plan on farming their land, growing their own vegetables and tending modest livestock. To reduce their water demand, they plan on collecting rainwater for irrigation, relying on well-water for potable consumption, and recycling grey-water whenever possible.

The layout of the home is designed to accommodate the family’s current needs, while also offering the flexibility to suit the needs of a changing family dynamic. Each individual family unit has their own private quarters with access to shared amenities.

A healthy indoor living environment, a flexible floor plan, and sustainable material choices have informed many of the family’s decisions throughout the planning process. The merging of three households into one makes for a living experience like no other—where the financial, practical, and emotional-whole truly is with more than the sum of its component parts.

Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON
367 m², 3,950 ft²
Project Lead:
Nicholas Discenza
Energy Intensity:
Estimated: 82 kWh/m²
Reduction in Energy Use from Typical:
Alternative Energy:
Generation Solar
Moses Structural Engineers Inc.