Cottages, Ecotecture, Laneway, Prefab, Residential
Das Minimalhuas was our first built project and was completed in 1996 near Stuttgart Germany. This original project has proven to be so efficient and durable, as well as easily expandable, that we decided to revisit the project after 23 years, and interview the owners to learn what we could from their experience of the design. The original build featured modular construction, a baubiologie/Passivhaus style of materials, detailing and air-sealing and the project has been entirely CO2e neutral and a net exporter of electricity for the entire duration (20.7 megawatts). So when we were approached to design a laneway house with a similar program, we decided to re-visit this first success, and to see how we could improve on both the style, detailing and performance. This second version of a classic design increases thermal insulation, and even though it is in a much colder Canadian climate, increased passive solar gain and reduced heat-losses can render the wood stove would be unnecessary. Foundation details have been minimized for cost and concrete economization, and volumes for stack exhaust and air exchange have been optimized.