West House

laneway houseENDED 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.

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4 Comments

The little house was packed during out hour long visit on Monday! People were fascinated that such clever use of space and technology could solve either a personal need for more space or the City's need for more density.I loved the efficient petite high end kitchen and the great use of windows to create light rooms. Really worth talking with the enthusiastic staff of SmallWorks. If you are interested in the future of housing solutions in Vancouver don't miss this one. I'm glad we stood in line to see this.

Who in their right mind decided to put this venue inside the LiveCity Yaletown. The other pavilions in this venue are Coke, Panasonic, Samsung & Acer, which would attract young tech crowds, and surely not environmentalist. This place should have been close to the BC Hydro building. Most people that go to the LiveCity Yaletown doesn't even know that this place exist there. West House is dead as a rusty door nail.

It's an awesome little home with fantastic technology built in that tracks your water and energy usage. It provides you feedback in real time how much energy/water you are using and gives you tips on how to control an improve your usage.

It's also a beautiful little home to boot too!

Very average exhibit. We decided to check this out because you can gain access to this site once you are inside LiveCity Yaletown. It is just a showhome showcasing some "green" rooms and some wooden structures inside. If you are an environmentalist, good to check out, but 1 of 5 for excitement value.

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