TERRELL WONG - PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT B.ARCH. OAA
12 St Andrews Gardens, Toronto, CA
Sustainable architecture Toronto to Muskoka
What is sustainable architecture?
It is the merging of arts and ethics in the physical world. It seeks to minimize the impact of the construction industry by choosing materials and designing with the environment in mind. We consider the embedded energy of a material, the location it is sourced from, along with many other requirements that a material must meet before it is deemed suitable for use in a project.
Sustainable architecture also evaluates how well a building will perform once it is built.
Below are some sustainable architecture design features that help us build comfortable low energy buildings from Toronto to Muskoka and all over Ontario.
Making use of the sun saves us energy in heating and lighting, with high thermal mass walls and well insulated windows it is possible to create a comfortable indoor environment all year round with little to no heating systems.
The thermal envelope is a critical part of a sustainable home. It slows down the release of thermal energy in our buildings.
After all, "we don't pay to heat the outdoors!"
What insulation you choose for your home not only affects your heating bill but also your indoor air quality as well as pollution and co2 during production. New strides are being made to offer naturally insulating materials for residential use.It is now possible to find insulation made from mushroom, wool, bundled straw, cork and even recycled demin.
The windows and doors in your house are huge holes in your thermal barrier, therefor it is essential they provide the best performance possible in air sealing and thermal resistance. Triple glazed windows and doors from Europe have been a staple in our previous projects due to their superior quality.
Imagine walking on the sidewalk on a warm summer night, the ground is still hot. This is the same concept we apply when designing houses, especially our rammed earth homes. Utilizing the sun during the day provides radiant heating into the night to keep your home warm with little to no use of mechanical systems.
The materials we choose support your home having the best indoor air quality, whether it be paint, insulation or cladding we ensure that you will be healthy in your home and the environment will be too.
Air tightness is crucial to keeping heat inside your home in winter and out in summer. It plays a large role in how we design our buildings and what contractors we choose to work with.
Not only is it important for heating and cooling but air tightness also means keeping moisture out and in turn, keeping your home mold free.
How we provide electricity and water in our homes can be greatly improved by our choice of mechanicals. Innovative systems such as heat pumps and ERV's (energy recovery ventilators) make a little go a long way.