Garden Circle House Passive and active systems integrate with biophilic design By Heather Dubbeldam This two-storey 3,200 sq. ft. residence for a family of four in a midtown Toronto neighbourhood is a response to the client’s desire for a sustainable home inspired by nature, connected to the outdoors and awash in daylight. The homeowners were seeking an environmentally sustainable home with increased comfort and well-being, along with the long-term savings of lower energy usage.
The approach to the design of the house was to integrate passive sustainable strategies with the mechanical and electrical systems to achieve the most efficient methods of heating, cooling and lighting while minimizing operating costs. The passive systems employed in the design include natural ventilation, passive cooling, daylighting, solar gain, and green roofs. Integrated with these are highly-efficient M&E systems, namely in-floor radiant heating, high-velocity cooling, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency LED lighting. Rough-ins were made for photovoltaic panels combined with a Tesla Powerwall to be added later. Through siting, the house’s glazing was optimized for passive solar gain during the heating season and solar exclusion during the cooling season. East- and west-facing windows on the lower level, sheltered by a tree on the west side of the property and four large overhangs each topped with a green roof, bring in cool air that is circulated throughout the house. 1. All landscaping, including the vegetated roofs on the overhang and the cabana roof, was designed and installed by Oriole Landscaping. The vegetated roofs increase green space, mitigate heat island effect, and reduce storm water run-off. The backyard deck allows rainwater to return to the soil below. Rainwater for garden irrigation collects in a cistern.
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