The architecture firm LGA recently designed a new house in Toronto, Canada called the Bedford Park House. This home was designed and built in a sustainable way from the ground up. The home blends in with the neighborhood, and is spacious enough for a large family, all while being very green.
The home measures a sprawling 3,100 sq ft (288 sq m), with the actual structure being quite compact which minimizes thermal bridging. The walls, roof, and slab are well insulated, and have R-values of R-28, R-40 and R-30 respectively, while the envelope was made airtight. To further prevent heat gain or loss, Argon-filled windows were installed throughout the home.
The house also takes advantage of passive natural ventilation, which is mainly achieved by having the windows placed in such a way that allows for a good cross draft. There’s also a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system in place, but it’s to be used only when required. The home also features a geothermal heating system, which is linked to the radiant floor heating system. The temperature in each room in the home can be set individually.
The home was also oriented in a way that allows for maximizing solar heat gain in the winter, while minimizing it in the summer. To further ensure this, the wall-to-window ratio was kept at 60:40, and deciduous trees were planted around the home to provide shade. The trees were also planted in such a way as to not obstruct the views, but rather to frame them.
Solar panels have not yet been installed, though the home is pre-wired so that they could easily be added in the future. Also, only natural paints and finishes were used in finishing the home, to keep the air clear of pollutants.
The Bedford Park House was built in late 2014 and proves that green elements can become a part of the design of just about any kind of home.