West End Home

Sustainable Renovation/Addition

Loathe to leave a neighbourhood they have grown to love, the family of this detached home in the West End decided to renovate and expand rather than move away from friends, neighbours, shops, amenities, and the primary school for their young children. A large-scale renovation on the ground floor removed walls and opened up the existing ground floor. An addition at the rear now features expansive glass, natural sunlight, views to the backyard, and access to a trellised deck. This Family Room is where meals are eaten, movies are watched, games are played, and homework is completed - truly a multi-purpose room for a 21st-century family.

The rear addition features radiant in-floor heat on all three levels (basement, ground, and second). This is coupled with a LifeBreath clean air furnace, which is similar to a typical gas-fired boiler but uses a hot water radiant coil which keeps the air clean and reduces harmful toxins. This clean air furnace also has an integrated Heat Recovery Ventilator to provide fresh air ventilation, and is connected to a humidifier to provide a comfortable indoor environment.

Upstairs the existing Master Bedroom was expanded to the rear to include a private oasis. Featuring cathedral ceilings, this space encompasses an ensuite bathroom that opens up onto a private study for work and relaxation. The initial mandate from the homeowners was for an energy-efficient, healthy home to reduce their energy consumption (and therefore their monthly bills) but also to create a comfortable environment for their family members, some of whom have asthma.

Natural construction materials were used - such as stone, wood, and Roxul insulation - and processed petroleum-based products were avoided - such as foams and plastics - to minimize material off-gassing and improve the indoor air quality.

Re-claimed, re-purposed, and updated fixtures & features are utilized throughout the home to add visual interest and aesthetic touches; for example, updated light fixtures also feature energy-efficient bulbs that represent significant energy savings over their initial consumption.

North York, ON
291 m², 3,135 ft²
Project Lead:
Donald Peckover
Gabris and Associates Engineering
Complete HVAC Design
The Home Project:
The Home Project