This new custom home is just a stone’s throw from the Governor General’s residence in central Ottawa. It’s a great example of flexibility in an urban setting. The home is situated on an unserviced laneway in a historic neighbourhood just east of the city’s downtown core. The home’s design had to be approved by the city’s historical committee before a building permit could be obtained. Construction was made much more interesting because the nearest intersection was closed throughout for the installation of a storm water collection facility!
All of these challenges made building this home exciting and rewarding. The family we built it for really love the area and it’s fantastic to share the end result with our followers.
The super narrow urban lot – just 34 feet – in combination with setbacks meant the resulting home is only 28 feet wide. A three-storey layout provides a very comfortable 2,500 sq ft of total living space, including:
- Ground floor: master bedroom and ensuite, den, utility/laundry, as well as a carport and a small rear deck
- Second floor: open plan kitchen, dining room and family room, pantry, bedroom, bath, as well as a terrace
- Top floor: studio, office space, and storage
To keep the home future-proof, a full washroom allowance was roughed in on the top floor; the current office and studio could easily be converted to bedroom spaces.
Energy Efficiency: Code Plus
The home’s width and hoped-for layout also made wall thickness an issue. It wasn’t practical to adopt the wall thickness required for the passive house standard, but by adopting our Code Plus approach (70% better than current code), using our preferred windows and doors, and keeping the same air-tightness / thermal bridge free design principles, we got pretty close.
This house very much represents the type of home building we believe is essential as we head further into 21st century living. Low energy, smart layout, and beautifully suited to its surroundings.