Written by: Karl
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.
Located on Elmhurst Avenue, SUSTAINABLE.TO’s design for a young family is that kind of home. It will sit confidently, and perform perfectly because it has been designed with its occupants in mind. When you step into the house you will know you’re home.
The exterior of the house uses simple building forms and traditional materials such as stone, metal, and wood to give it a warm and inviting appeal within its North York neighbourhood; but behind that façade, the building’s envelope is hard at work. Using S.TO’s principles of good air-tightness and high insulation values, the exterior walls function as a high-performance jacket that allows the home to breathe naturally throughout all four-seasons.
The interior layout of the house relies on the same good passive design principles to organize itself. The living spaces, where the family spends most of its time, are located to the south of the home so that its large, fold-away doors, shaded in the summer, flood the interior with winter heat, and light, while connecting the family fully with their backyard.
When it comes to the active or technological systems in the house to complement the natural environmental systems in place, Elmhurst is no different to the options that come with car selections and were similarily designed with the occupant in mind.
There was, of course, the basic AC/HVAC option where air is blasted through a vent; or a more subtle in-seat/radiant heating and cooling system. The first option blows air into your face, disrupting the interior air and sound quality of the space, while the other provides a more natural and elegant effect on your body.
Elmhurst uses an approach similar to the latter, with strategically designed in-floor radiant heating on all floors to create an environment that best matches the quality of inhabitance that the users desire. This strategy is complemented by the integration of HRV’s and solar panels on the roof to provide fresh air and power to the home when natural systems have reached their limit.
What most sets this Elmhurst home apart from the rest is its integration of passive and active systems that define its performance and look. That is to say that it neither completely relies on nature or technology systems but seeks to find the harmony between them in order to achieve the most desired result.