ENDED FEB 28, 2010: As part of its EcoDensity initiative, the City of Vancouver approved the creation of new laneway houses. If you want to see what EcoDensity living could be like, you should head down to the LiveCity Yaletown site to visit West House. This prototype 610-sq.-ft. house laneway house is a good demonstration of Vancouver's longstanding commitment to the environment. The house has a combined living/dining/kitchen area, bathroom and loft bedroom with a small balcony, plus a 226-sq.-ft. garage with an electric car charging outlet.
Laneway homes are garage-sized structures built on the existing lot of a single-family dwelling (at least 33 feet wide and facing onto an open lane). The homes can be used by students, boomerang kids, aging family members, caregivers or others. The City believes these homes, which replace carports or garages, can help ease the severe housing affordability problem in Vancouver while serving as mortgage helpers.
West House was built with local B.C. materials, including a cedar exterior, and outfitted with sustainable fixtures and appliances that meet Energy Star ratings. The fixtures and appliances in the home are so green that they require no more than 1.5 kWh of energy per person per day, under normal living circumstances. The average amount of energy used daily in a standard-sized home is over three kWh.
The roof is a photovoltaic panel that generates over one kilowatt of electricity each day.
West House’s Proprietary Building envelope surpasses standards set out in the City’s Green Code and is designed for superior air quality and thermal performance.
Vancouver's goal is to densify the estimated 66,000 mostly single-family lots with compact housing that has a smaller ecological footprint and greater energy-efficiency. Read our Editor's review by clicking here. The home was built by Vancouver firm Smallworks. For directions on how to get to LiveCity Yaletown, click here.
Back to << 2010 Free Venues Home Page