Sometimes complex issues require surprisingly simple solutions. When it comes to tackling climate change, burning fewer fossil fuels through more energy efficient buildings is one straightforward way to rein in carbon emissions.
This article is the second of a three-part series which considers the notion and necessitation of positive-impact developments in relation to Ontario’s Greenbelt. (For necessary context we recommend you read Part One.)
“Globally, labor-productivity growth in construction has averaged only one percent a year over the past two decades, compared with growth of 2.8 percent for the total world economy and 3.6 percent in the case of manufacturing.”
It’s been a busy summer for the crew at Sustainable.TO. Here are a few events we’ve sponsored so far in our community.
The environmental crisis is perhaps the most urgent architectural issue of today. In Canada, buildings are responsible for enormous amounts of energy used, resources consumed, and atmospheric emissions.
Say “prefabricated” or “modular” housing and you might think of small, rectangular homes built in a factory and hauled down the highway on massive trailers. However, that isn’t the tip of the iceberg of what these terms mean today.
This is the first a three-part series that will consider alternatives to the way many contractors approach a home building project. We start by examining the three major factors that might impact the way Canadian homes will be built in the near future.
Let’s start with one thing. I love coffee. Not much compares to the first sip in the morning. Except maybe the first sip at 2:30 in the afternoon.
The HomeStars Giving Back Award was created to recognize companies who go above and beyond to help out their communities.
Several years ago, I worked in some of Toronto’s most innovative kitchens. Certainly, in my youth, I was captivated by the culinary arts and have since wondered how it informed my interest and subsequent career in architecture.
Welcome to the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! In our blog today, we will be focusing on Natural Ventilation.
Welcome to the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! Our blog today will dive into efficient Water Use.
This is the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! Our blog this month will be about Renewable Energy.
This is the Building Blog educational blog series! Our blog today will be about Grey Water: what is it and how can it benefit your project?
This is the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! Our blog today will be about Building Materials.
This is the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! Our blog today will be about the Building Shell.
This is the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! Our blog today will focus on Passive Solar Design.
Welcome to the Sustainability 101 educational blog series! During this blog series we will be discussing topics related to sustainable design in buildings, what they are and how they comprise part of our design philosophy.
Shou-Sugi Ban is a Japanese cladding technique that preserves wood (making it resistant to fire, vermin, and decay) by first charring it, then cooling it, cleaning it, and finishing it with natural oil. We have used this technique on our very own METHOD.TO test shed, charring the wood ourselves; but for other projects in Toronto we have left the fun to the professionals.
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.
An ERV is an Energy Recovery Ventilator. Its little brother is an HRV, or Heat Recovery Ventilator. Either is needed when building a new, energy-efficient, airtight home (or renovating your current home) to ensure that you have fresh indoor air without unnecessarily losing heat through your building envelope (your walls, roofs, floors; and around windows and doors).
The owners of what would become Willowdale Passive Solar House had a poorly built, leaky, drippy, mouldy home that needed to be torn down. We normally try to salvage stuff and avoid landfill, but there was truly nothing of value here.
I mean no disrespect to the architects, I’m just using River City 3 in Toronto as a very visible example of a very common problem.
It has now been over a year since the Fort McMurray fire that caused the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta history. In the wake of such a massive tragedy, we should be searching for the ultimate in resilient re-building.
Our client approached SUSTAINABLE.TO to undertake the design of a new, appropriately-sized dwelling on their family-owned lakeside property
Taking my new pup Creemore to the dog park, I meet Glen Hunter, with his golden retriever Ceira. We strike up a conversation and he cheerfully tells me that he is having an off-grid house designed for his hundred acres of property near Peterborough. I listen with interest, being an architect with a sustainable bent. But I don’t tell him what I do for a living, not wanting to appear to be horning in on someone else’s work.
Have you ever walked into a room or walked past a building and just something about it felt right or looked right? That’s probably because it is proportioned well; following rules set out by ancient Greek and Roman architects and based on the human body.
SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building helps many people in Toronto to build, or renovate, their homes. We have noticed recently that housing prices in Toronto continue to grow month-over-month and year-over-year. A significant influence on this price increase is that we are simply not making many new single-family home lots in Toronto.
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 People’s Choice winner for Best Design Firm, we have achieved that goal, and validated our efforts as leaders of sustainability.
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.