An Ecological House for an Active Family
With a love of plants, animals and their environment, a veterinarian couple sought to develop an ecologically-designed custom house for their active family. Located in Calgary’s Altadore community, this newly built single family home includes four extensive green roofs across the house.
Designed for passive solar, the house uses space and energy effectively and efficiently. The orientation of windows provide natural light and winter warmth; while in the summer the overhangs and glazing create the shading necessary to keep comfortable interior temperatures.
The loose-laid green roofs are located adjacent to private living spaces, creating opportunities to bring nature closer to sleeping areas. Different plant communities were used for each roof; a grass roof which serves as a bedroom screen; a perennial garden on the upper courtyard; a chive meadow on the back roof; and a wildflower meadow on the bicycle shed. The roofs help mitigate stormwater runoff locally by reducing the amount of sealed surfaces, as well as providing additional opportunities urban wildlife habitats.
The geometry of the house was designed to create south-facing sloped roofs for a 3.3 MW array of solar panels and lower flat roof portions for green roofs. A protected courtyard at grade and the front-facing green roof above resulted in favourable microclimates for outdoor living spaces and produces lush growth of flowering perennials on the green roof.
Judges praised this project for its visual accessibility both inside and out, as well as the drive to create such a highly sustainable and efficient single family home.