Fung Roberts Passive House

Location: North Vancouver, BC
Building Type: Single Family Residential
Project Phase: Complete
Certification Type: Plus
Year of Construction: 2017
Gross Floor Area (m2): 235.5
PHPP Verification: Download
Certified Passive House


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Project Description

This is an unusual passive house. It combines North Vancouver heritage, modern architecture and a very high level of energy efficiency. From 2014 to 2017 a diverse team with specialized skills and experience worked to realize the project. This was a complex and often challenging build that eventually required our hands-on involvement.

We have owned the heritage house on this site since 1992. The original structure was a modest craftsman bungalow built in 1912. We think that heritage buildings can be preserved while upgrading their performance and functionality. This is how Europe has kept the historical character of most cities and towns and we believe Canada should do the same.

Our architect, Michael Green of MGA Architecture, proposed we combine the fa├žade of the old house with a dramatic modern design for the south half of the building. The house would function as a modern home while retaining historical character however virtually all of the structure had to be rebuilt.

We preserved the front porch and refurbished the original north windows and front door. A high performance envelope, including triple glazed windows, was hidden behind the heritage exterior of the north half of the house. Half of the main floor has board and batten walls and craftsman features to match the original house. Old growth fir from the heritage structure was salvaged to create custom millwork, furniture and a chandelier.

The project highlights Vancouver creative artists. The house doubles as a gallery for paintings by Vancouver artists and we used local artisans to create custom elements such as indoor and outdoor furniture and light fixtures.

We were well into the design process when we decided to adopt Passive House standards for energy efficiency. This change added an extra dimension of complexity to almost every aspect of the build. The details, scale and project planning required to build an architectural house to Passive House standards are much more demanding than a typical Canadian build. Due to delays and other issues we eventually took over supervision of the project and retained an experienced project manager to complete construction.