Posted by: energyblogwalter | August 7, 2011

Not a gem but a first attempt generational home

Globe and Mail article here with photos

Not bad as a first attempt for generational home in Mississauga. Not my usual review of a condo, but it has characteristics more of a condo than a house. For the author to call it “stunner” though was too much. Is this really that good?

If it’s over two lots doesn’t that mean twice the tax? That’s fine but what plan is in place to reduce energy to alleviate those costs? Looking at the photos (follow G&M link above), that kitchen / living room area looks pretty artificial. Do people live there? No natural light incorporation makes the ceiling pretty bland. No wood. No skylights. I can assume 100% external energy requirements. (Nuclear power, natural gas) No net metering at this home, especially with a heated pool.

Why not let the Planet Earth help you? (Y’know .. we live on a planet yeah?) Renovated with geothermal tubes under the pool and around the lot would have cut the winter home heating. Water is a great thermal sink. Add solar on a packing crate no one would have noticed. Even solar thermal might have helped heat the pool. Certainly offset some costs. An interesting rain cache would have been easy as a funnel between the two blocks. Would have helped with a garden and such to keep summer light off the building reducing air conditioning. Doesn’t seem to be enough trees as the kids are playing in the shade of the building. House is not blocking summer sun much, so site characteristics were missed. You usually only need to block one side, opening up the other. One long line doesn’t use the space. Do they look comfortable to you in that group shot?

As a generational home such renovations would not be outrageous versus a traditional home. Thus having avoided it seems like a voided opportunity.

As a new project you have total site characteristic control. Pointing the building with a side with the most windows towards the winter sunlight direction would also have saved a bunch. Not the summer sun, you’re trying to avoid that. But even in summer the angle would have been enough to light up house or the kitchen or whatever design that conjures up.

It has many things going for it, but it doesn’t know where it is, so it seems out of place. Renovation in future will depend on available energy needs. Fine now, but seems too large for the need in a post carbon society. That may hamper efforts while always fighting the design.

Post Carbon Rating: C+

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