Dragon Passive House

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Building Type: Single Family Residential
Project Phase: In Design
Certification Type: None
Year of Construction: 2019
Gross Floor Area (m2): 223
PHPP Verification: Download
Certified Passive House


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Project Description

The design brief was to create three sustainable and modern dwelling units on a narrow lot, including a laneway house at the rear, following principles of Feng Shui to harness the energy of the dragon!

The house has a minimalistic aesthetic, accented by a few dramatic architectural details. An asymmetrical wrapping roof, cascading front staircase, and a canopy supported by tension cables provide richness and depth to the facade. The palette is a monochromatic array of charcoals and slate greys punctuated by a bright chartreuse front door. Wood soffits run along the wrapping roofline to provide a warm counterbalance to the cool colour palette.

The biggest challenge was optimizing the design to a tight site. The lot is a narrow piece of land adjacent to a peat bog and in an area designated for soil liquefication. With municipal setbacks and extra thick Passive House walls in mind, the project became a study in compact design. The result was a low-tech and minimalist home with a two bedroom suite and a laneway house, each which provide elegant and high-performance architecture and inspiring spaces.

Dragon Passive House was designed with the guidance of a Feng Shui Master who analyzed the site and our clients’ personal Feng Shui energies. The Dragon Energy is welcomed and harnessed by the front door and large windows facing south-east, as well as the use of a bright green to honour a traditional colour of the dragon. All elements; water, wood, fire, earth, and metal, are incorporated in the architecture as well as in the interiors and landscape design.

As a realtor with a focus on climate change, our client was motivated by a desire to lead by example. His vision is to use his own eco-home as a model for sustainability and to teach his clients and colleagues about Passive House and other innovative technologies we incorporated. The project aggressively limits the use of carbon-intensive materials such as rigid foam insulation and spray foam insulation and opts for alternative options such as wool batt insulation and cellulose. The design favours deconstruction over demolition and materials that can easily be dismantled, reused, and recycled. And of course, the house meets the highest standard for energy performance, Passive House.