Architecture + Building


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A year after Hurricane Sandy, Toronto architects design a home to endure

October 31, 2013

Last weekend, principal Mr. Dowsett, designer Nicholas Discenza and building scientist Andrew Stiffman toured a site struck by Hurricane Sandy in the Far Rockaway neighbourhood of Queens, New York, with Chelsea Clinton. Here, you see, “Resilient House,” Sustainable’s winning entry into the New York category of the Designing Recovery competition – hosted by the American Institute of Architects and Brad Pitt’s Make It Right foundation, among others – is going to be built for the Lyons family. Interestingly, while New Orleans’ GOATstudio won for their New Orleans flood-proof home, the winner for a tornado-proof home for Joplin, Mo., was created by another Toronto firm, Q4 Architects.

Chelsea Clinton helps with Sandy recovery during ‘Day of Action’ in the Rockaways

October 28, 2013

Chelsea Clinton and hundreds of volunteers worked to revitalize the Rockaways in a “Day of Action.”

St. Bernard's Project Ground breaking at 427 Beach 46th St. Far Rockaway, NY

Clinton also participated in the St. Bernard Project to break ground on the future site of the first “Resilient House.”

The former first daughter joined the home’s future owners, the Lyons family, at the event.

The Resilient House will be designed by Sustainable TO Architecture + Building and is modeled to be energy efficient, cost effective and able to withstand future disasters.

Queens Courier

2013 Sustainable Design Awards – By Students, For Students

October 18, 2013

Mini foot-powered laundry machine, large-scale urban tree nursery and hydrogen-powered transportation system take top prizes

(Toronto - October 18, 2013) Winners of the student-driven 2013 Sustainable Design Awards, representing Ontario’s top post-secondary institutions, offer insights into the future sustainability of our lifestyles, said Paul Dowsett, principal of presenting sponsor Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building. The competition challenges young designers to approach their projects through the lens of ecological sustainability and social consciousness. The awards were presented last night at Evergreen Brick Works.

AIA Presents ‘Designing Recovery’ Awards

October 3, 2013

The AIA has concluded an ideas competition aimed at designing disaster-responsive homes for New York, New Orleans, and Joplin, Mo.

Toronto-based Sustainable.TO Architecture + Building’s winning entry for New York, the Resilient House, anticipates storm surges with a flood-proof foundation, while structural insulated panel (SIP) assembly reduces on-site construction time in post-disaster rebuilding efforts. The jury responded to the Resilient House’s use of daylighting and contemporary design ideas that were “about the right scale in the neighborhood context,” Willis says. “But it also figured out a way that is recoverable and [reparable],” while per-dwelling material costs would be under $50,000.

Concepts developed for Cambodia impact design in Canada

June 13, 2013

Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 13 2013

Got $1,800?

Sustainable.TO can build you a house.

Throw in another $650 and they’ll add a nice walkway leading to a separate bedroom wing.

The only requirements: a love of bamboo, monsoons and the ability to move to Cambodia.

Recently shortlisted as one of 10 finalists in Building Trust International’s “Cambodian Sustainable Housing” competition that sought affordable, adaptable, flood-resistant housing for low-income residents of Phom Penh, architect Paul Dowsett and Nicholas Discenza led the rest of Toronto’s Sustainable.TO in creating “PHASEhouse,” a striking brick and bamboo home that can be built in phases as homeowners secure funds.

The Future of Sustainable Architecture

May 21, 2013
Luke Doerge
Grade 12 English 
Journalism Assignment
Crescent School, Toronto
Going Green saves you Green
A lot has changed with the world we live in over the past century. Structures have been
through a countless number of styles, becoming sleeker and taller, while simultaneously being
more advanced in efficiency and space. This raises the question; where is it going? With today’s
growing support in environmental awareness and an ever increasing cost on gas and power,
people are finding ways to keep some money in the wallet, and it all starts with the architect.


May 18, 2013

Toronto, ON
April 25 – 27 & May 16 – 18

Nicholas Discenza and Craig Race of SUSTAINABLE.TO attended CanPHI's Certified Passive House Designer course. This 6-day, 2-part course  is aimed at building design professionals, contractors, planners,  engineers and others who are motivated to learn the world’s most advanced energy efficiency building standard – the Passive House Standard. This course forms the basis for pursuing professional qualification as an internationally-recognized Certified Passive House Designer.