Straw-Bale Off-Grid Passive Solar House
A contemporary straw bale home built entirely off-grid in rural Ontario, the Hunter House reaffirms the benefits of natural building techniques in 21st-century architecture. It is a testament to Sustainable’s commitment to sustainability and to the use of renewable resources. The combination of effective straw bale insulation; parallel strand lumber (PSL), engineered wood made from parallel wood strands bonded together with adhesive; energy-efficient doors and windows; solar thermal hot water; deep overhangs for sun shading; highly-reflective Galvalume roofing; thermal mass concrete floors; hydronic radiant floor heating; and on-site solar & wind energy generation & storage make the Hunter House comfortable, healthy, and extremely resilient – with a significant reduction in embodied-carbon through material extraction and construction; and a significant reduction in operational-carbon over the life of the building. The Hunter House is truly a ‘carbon capture and storage machine’!
Since completion of the main house, Sustainable has been retained to design two additional, complementary structures: a Work/Storage Shed using as many ‘left over’ materials as possible from the original construction; and a Sugar Shack/Vehicle Maintenance Shed nestled into the original barn stone foundations.
Location: Cavan, Ontario (Peterborough)
Area: 232 m², 2,500 ft²
Project Lead: Paul Dowsett
Energy Use Intensity: Estimated: 123 kWh/m²
Total Energy Demand Reduction from Typical: 61%
Solar PV Capacity: 2.8 kW
Energy Generation: 2,931 kWh/yr
Principal-in-Charge 2002-2008: Paul Dowsett, Architect (Scott Morris Architects Inc.)
Principal-in-Charge 2009-2014: Paul Dowsett, Architect (Sustainable)