Form Shift Vancouver

Form Shift Vancouver

Architect
Acme architecture
Location
Vancouver, Canada
Project Year
2009
Category
Housing
Rivera

Eco-Density Now

Acme architecture as Architects

This proposal for sustainable infill housing was the only entry from outside the host country of Canada to receive an award in this international competition for ideas to implement the city of Vancouver's Eco-Density Charter


A Greener, Denser City Pattern:Balancing built form and landscape, three residences increase the allowable density of this secondary residential lot by 50%, while maintaining 60% of the site as usable open space. Dwellings enclose a south facing common courtyard and private terraces while maintaining the predominate setbacks and scale of the neighborhood. With utility areas relegated to the rear service lane a pedestrian friendly façade and garden place eyes and ears to the street. Provisions for bicycles, recycling, water management, urban food production and renewable energy systems foster a greener lifestyle. Repeated along the block this forms an urban pattern of sustainable courtyard housing.


Greener, More Affordable Housing Types: Modestly sized, simple dwellings, with reduced land costs greater densities provides, require fewer resources to produce and are therefore more affordable and greener by design. The application of shovel ready, environmentally preferable construction technologies and materials such as vegetated roofs, material efficient framing of composite members, renewable based insulation, recycled fiber-cement rain screen cladding, certified/renewable hardwoods and low VOC finishes reduce carbon and resource footprints. Energy and water efficiencies, passive solar heating /cooling, day-lighting, an edible landscape, access to transit and renewable energy generation in the form of photo-voltaics contribute to sustainability and more affordable long term operating costs.


Greener, More Livable Open Spaces: A hierarchy of open spaces provides for a variety of activities while contributing to sustainability. The entry yard within the prevailing setback forms a transition from street to courtyard while serving as a vegetated infiltration basin fed from side-yard bio-swales. The permeable common courtyard contains a shared terrace with a rainwater cistern below and a children’s play area, as well an edible landscape of individual vegetable gardens and a miniature fruit orchard. Dooryard gardens transition courtyard to home. Each dwelling forms its own on-grade private terrace / garden which extends the personal space of the home to the outdoors.

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