Lyn Bartram of SFU describes West House
Given the cool reception I received at Vancouver House, it was refreshing for me to be able to visit West House, a hidden gem tucked away in a corner of the LiveCity Yaletown secure zone. The City of Vancouver is a co-sponsor of West House, which is meant to be a working example of a high-efficiency homestead. It is also a demonstration of the city's EcoDensity initiative in the form of a small 650 square foot laneway home. Their motto is "small is beautiful," and visitors can decide for themselves if they think that this style of housing would someday suit them.
Vancouver journalist and blogger Frances Bula said of West House:
Makes you realize what you can do with that kind of space when it is well designed. Too bad they didn’t put it in the middle of Granville Mall where someone could see it.
If you are someone who is interested in where cities, in particular residential communities, might be heading in terms of housing solutions, then it might be worth getting frisked at LiveCity Yaletown to see it.
The building was designed and constructed by Vancouver's Smallworks Studios, who have been among the leaders in this kind of small housing. Our host was Simon Fraser University professor Lyn Bartram, who described how residents will have simple measurement tools, like a funky kitchen sink backsplash, to help monitor energy use. Bartram says that the West House building will be moved to an east Vancouver neighbourhood, where it will be inhabited by a couple for a trial period.
The results of the study will help to build the case for small, energy efficient housing. The West House pavilion is small, but it nourishes you with food for thought. Partners in West House include Western Economic Diversification, Simon Fraser University, the City of Vancouver, and BC Hydro Power Smart.