Architecture Canada n°5 2nd semestre 2008
Architecture Canada n°5 2nd semestre 2008
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  • Parution : n°5 de 2nd semestre 2008

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  • Editeur : Naylor Canada

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  • Nombre de pages : 60

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www.raic.org/2008 EQuilibrium Initiative Typically, the geothermal system kicks in for only a few hours during the early morning hours to heat theupper fl oor living areas of the town house. Meanwhile, residual radiant fl oor heating provided to the bedrooms during the night is not lost through the roof, as in a traditional town house design, but is collected by the thermal mass of the fl oor above, helping to keep the living areas comfortably warmon cold nights. The ground-fl oor-level fl ex space can be used for additional bedrooms and a family room for a growing family ; offi ce space for a home-based business ; or rented out to residential tenants. On the outside, each town house also has two entrances, on the north and south sides, to provide separate – if necessary – access to the unit and to provide maximum fl exibility for the different functions that the units may serve. The site – an empty lot fronting onto Davenport Road next to a near-century-old, three-and-a-half-storey apartment building to the south – had been designated by the City as the surface parking area for the existing apartments, even though the need for tenant parking was virtually non-existent, according to Ampas. Originally, the plan was to create new parking spaces for Top of the Annex in the basement of that building to fulfi l Toronto’s residential parking requirement. But this would have necessitated the removal of several apartments. Given the project’s green purpose, its small footprint and central location well served by public transit, the SUI team was able to convince the City to forgo the parking requirement for the older building. Thanks to the prescience of the City’s chief planner, Ted Tyndorf, who died in February, the Top of the Annex project was encouraged to modify the proposal to maintain the rental units in the adjacent building and provide only two shared-parking spots on site. « As a result of Ted’s guidance, we were able to convince offi cials at the City that it was a good thing to remove the parking spaces since this is a green project, » says Ampas. The Now House ribbon-cutting event in the Topham Park community The Top of the Annex TownHomes are expected to be ready by next spring. Given their prime central location – and recent resale activity for similar-sized town homes in the area – Architect Ampas expects the new units to be priced in excess of $1 million. 42 ■ THE ROYAL ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE OF CANADA/L’INSTITUT ROYAL D’ARCHITECTURE DU CANADA 341818_Cooper.indd 1 9/4/07 6:01:17 PM
But as he points out, given their fl ex-space nature and net-zero-energy-use confi guration, the town houses could prove to be a longerterminvestment. « My research shows that a typical family moves homes every seven-and-a-half years or so due to changing needs, » explains Ampas. « The great thing about these units is that they’re designed to adapt to those changing needs – and in an environmentally friendly way. » Le Soleil Adaptability and sustainability are also the concepts behind Abondance le Soleil, one of the dozen EQuilibrium fi nalists and a project by EcoCité-Sodero. Located in the southwest Montreal borough of Verdun, Le Soleil is on the same site where EcoCité is developing another larger, green building, La Terre, which will consist of 18 « EcoCondos, » which include lofts, town houses and garden homes. But for now, the spotlight is on Le Soleil. A triplex, in the formof a three-storey walk-up, can accommodateup to two bedrooms in the 1,039-square-foot space. The complex is intended to produce as much energy as it consumes – and will derive that net-zero energy target from several sources, including a GeoExchange heat-pump system, a solar hot-water system and 84 PV panels that forma shade canopy on the rooftop terrace. By circulating water through wells that are several hundred metres deep, the Geo- PHOTO : NOW HOUSE Exchange system collects and concentrates the heat captured in the ground during the winter, and transfers heat out of the building and deposits it back into the ground during the summer for cooling. Solar thermal pipes will be used to deliver hot water. Incoming water destined for the hot-water tanks will be preheated by solar-thermal collectors positioned on the roof and by recuperating the heat from used shower water leaving the house. Meanwhile, the photovoltaic panels will supply all of Le Soleil’s power for lighting and appliances (the most energy-effi cient available on the market), as wellas to operate the geo-exchange systems. « Zero-energy ready » La Terre is also fi t- ted with wiring and structural supports so that solar panels can be easily added to the building in the future. Both projects also benefi t from an airtight building envelope and soy-based polyurethane insulation that exceed Quebec’s Novoclimat energy-effi ciency standards by over 70 per cent. A heat-recovery ventilation system also provideseight daily fullair changes and, to provide further effi ciency, the heat from the exhaust is recovered to reheat the fresh air. In addition, the airtight windows and triple glazing bring the sun’s warmth into the building without leaking heat to the outside in the winter. During the summer, a vertical vegetative screen, or green wall, will pre-cool the incoming air. Meanwhile in the winter, the heat generated underneath the PV panels will pre-heat the incoming air. Based on estimates for a 1,000-squarefoot apartment in Montreal, EcoCité boasts that residents of Le Soleil will pay Hydro- Québec nothing for energy, while those living in La Terre will only face about $25 in monthly energy bills. By comparison, the National Building Code average is $125 per month. Each unit willalso be equipped with a master electricity switch at the entrance to ensure that no power is wasted. As well, every condo will have a drying closet, instead of an electric dryer that normally accompanies a washer. Construction on Le Soleil is set to begin in late spring. EQuilibrium Initiative Currently, the corner lot, where Abondance Montréal’s eco-friendly residential project will shine, is home to a carwash and an asphalt parking lot. « We have an opportunity to tackle an urban aspect as wellas a green aspect with this project, » explains Architect Vouli Mamfredis, a principal with the Montreal firm, Studio MMA Atelier d’architecture, which designed Le Soleil and La Terre. « We are reweaving the fabric of the urban typology, where there is a hole, as wellas building a net-zero-energy triplex. » One of the Le Soleil units – each priced at $320,000 – will be used as a demonstration suite for a year following construction. Anyone interested in learning more about sustainable and energy-effi cient design will be able to visit. Mamfredis says that one of the other occupied units (one already sold) could also be monitored to see whether the systems are doing what they should and the residents are making use of them in their intended manner. As she explains : « We plan to have an indoor panel to give occupants buildingperformance feedback – how much energy they’re using and how much the building is generating. » Once completed, Le Soleil willalso showcase the realization of an idea. « When we brought our integrated design team together, we didn’t have a site – we had a vision, » explains Mamfredis. Researchers from Université de Montréal’s École Polytechnique, along with the project’s engineers – Pageau Morel and Associates – prepared simulation models to determine what systems would best work to support sustainability in a suburban residential context. As an eco-friendly community, Verdun was then selected as the site for this EQuilibrium initiative. The project’s name – « Abondance » – came from the developer. But it’s a concept Architect Mamfredis fully embraces. « It’s about an abundance of ideas, of creativity, of sunshine – and this building can have a positive infl uence on those three things that we have plenty of. » ■ THE ROYAL ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE OF CANADA/L’INSTITUT ROYAL D’ARCHITECTURE DU CANADA ■ 43 www.raic.org/2008



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