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Net Positive Projects - Homes that make the world measurably better

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Are all 'green' building projects the same?
Can we add floor area while also reducing GHGs?

At Lanefab Design/Build we are wrestling with these questions... so here are our latest thoughts from the 'fabLab.

Published in: Business, Technology

Net Positive Projects - Homes that make the world measurably better

  1. 1. Net Positive Projects Homes that make the world measurably better. (v1.0, November 2013)
  2. 2. LEED? Passive House? Living Building Challenge? Smart Growth? TOD? Net Zero?
  3. 3. The real question, if you’re concerned about climate change is: “Does your project contribute to a real and measurable reduction in your region’s GHG emissions?”
  4. 4. The real question, if you’re concerned about climate change is: “Does your project contribute to a real and measurable reduction in your region’s GHG emissions?” Does it have a ‘Net Positive’ impact?
  5. 5. Question 1: How ‘good’ are your new buildings? Code Minimum High Performance
  6. 6. How ‘good’ are your new buildings? Code Minimum High Performance Better Lots of GHGs From heating, hot water, and electricity Fewer GHGs From heating, hot water, and electricity (example: Standard 2x6) (example: Passive House)
  7. 7. Question 2: Where are they located? Oil-Dependent Location (Walk Score < 45) Typical Location (for the Region) Walkable Location (Walk Score > 65)
  8. 8. Where are they located? Oil-Dependent Location (Walk Score < 45) Typical Location (for the Region) Walkable Location (Walk Score > 65) Better Lots of GHGs For transporting occupants Fewer GHGs for transporting occupants
  9. 9. Final question… What do they replace?
  10. 10. What do they replace? Green Field (Natural Site) Gray Field (Parking Lot) Better Existing Building(s)
  11. 11. What do they replace? Green Field (Natural Site) Gray Field (Parking Lot) Existing Building(s) Better Here’s your opportunity to have a positive impact!
  12. 12. The 3 Questions for Net Positive Projects: 1. How ‘good’ are your new buildings? 2. Where are they located? 3. What do they replace?
  13. 13. We’ve always found it funny that some of the ‘greenest’ homes are built on pristine fields, in locations that you have to drive to.
  14. 14. We’ve always found it funny that some of the ‘greenest’ homes are built on pristine fields, in locations that you have to drive to. Yes, that’s green guru Amory Lovins’ house… And, yes, we’ve designed and built similar projects…
  15. 15. Better High Performance Code Minimum How good is your new building? Performance + Location =? Better Oil-Dependent Location Walkable Location Where is it located?
  16. 16. Code Minimum How good is your new building? High Performance Building in a Walkable Location Code Min. Building in an Oil-Dependent Location Code Min. Building in a Walkable Location Better High Performance High Performance Building in an Oil-Dependent Location Better Oil-Dependent Location Walkable Location Where is it located?
  17. 17. Code Minimum How good is your new building? Better High Performance High Performance Building in an Oil-Dependent Location High Performance Building in a Walkable Location BETTER DECENT BAD Code Min. Building in an Oil-Dependent Location Code Min. Building in a Walkable Location Better Oil-Dependent Location Walkable Location Where is it located?
  18. 18. Let’s look at some residential development scenarios…
  19. 19. Let’s look at some residential development scenarios… Project 1: Renovating an older house
  20. 20. Project 1: Renovating / Weatherizing an existing home, in any location ? “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  21. 21. Project 1: Renovating / Weatherizing an existing home, in any location “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  22. 22. Project 1: Renovating / Weatherizing an existing home, in any location Net Positive! “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  23. 23. Project 1: Renovating / Weatherizing an existing home, in any location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location An old, inefficient, building Net Positive! “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  24. 24. Project 1: Renovating / Weatherizing an existing home, in any location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location An old, inefficient, building Net Positive!
  25. 25. Project 2: Building a new house on a bare lot (i.e. business as usual…)
  26. 26. Project 2: New home, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  27. 27. Project 2a: New typical home, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Increased GHG emssions “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  28. 28. Project 2a: New typical home, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Increased GHG emssions
  29. 29. Project 2b: Building a new ‘Passive House’* on a bare lot (* a home so well insulated, and air tight, that it doesn’t need a furnace)
  30. 30. Project 2b: New Passive House, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Much better, but still increased GHG emissions “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  31. 31. Project 2b: New Passive House, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Much better, but still increased GHG emissions
  32. 32. Project 2 - Thoughts: Building either a new ‘typical’ house, or a passive house, on a natural lot still results in an increase in GHGs. New green-field buildings have an additive impact. So… what you replace is important.
  33. 33. Project 3: Building a new house to replace an older one
  34. 34. Project 3a: New House, replacing an older home, in any location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location An old, inefficient, building of the same size Net Positive! “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  35. 35. Project 3b: New Passive House, Replacing an older home (in any location) How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Any location An old, inefficient, building of the same size Even more Net Positive! “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  36. 36. Project 3b: New Passive House, Replacing an older home (in any location) How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Any location An old, inefficient, building of the same size Even more Net Positive! …if it replaces an older, inefficient home
  37. 37. Project 3 - Thoughts: Building a new house to replace an older one… …it’s much easier to be net-positive if you’re replacing or repairing an existing home.
  38. 38. But what about the location?
  39. 39. If we want to build net-positive projects, then we probably have to stop ignoring the impact of the location we choose.
  40. 40. Project 2a: New typical home, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Increased GHG emssions “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  41. 41. Project 2a: New typical home, on a natural site >> in a rural/suburban location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Oil Dependent ‘Green Field’ (Even more) Increased GHG emssions + Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  42. 42. Project 2a: New typical home, on a natural site in a rural/suburban location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Oil Dependent ‘Green Field’ (Even more) Increased GHG emssions + Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region)
  43. 43. Project 2a: New typical home, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Increased GHG emssions “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  44. 44. Project 2a: New House, on a natural site >> in an urban/walkable location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Walkable ‘Green Field’ Increased GHG emssions (but not as many) Reduced Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  45. 45. Project 2b: New Passive House, on a natural site How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Much better, but still increased GHG emissions “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  46. 46. Project 2b: New Passive House, on a natural site >> in a rural/suburban location How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any location ‘Green Field’ Transport Increases GHG emissions + Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  47. 47. Project 2b: New Passive House on a natural site >> in a walkable neighbourhood How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable ‘Green Field’ Net Positive? Reduced Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  48. 48. Ok. But global populations are still growing (until 2070?) meaning we’ll probably need to build more floor area and more homes… …in addition to renovating/replacing what we already have.
  49. 49. Ok. But global populations are still growing (until 2070?) meaning we’ll probably need to build more floor area and more homes… Can we add space and reduce GHGs?
  50. 50. Project 4: Combining new construction and renovation
  51. 51. Project 4a: Renovating an Existing Building & Adding on a New Building How good? Location? Replaces? Code Minimum Any Location Part of the floor area replaces an older building Renovated Floor Area New (Additional) Floor Area “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  52. 52. Project 4b: Renovating an Existing Building & Adding a Passive House How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Any Location Part of the floor area replaces an older building Renovated Floor Area New (Additional) Floor Area “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  53. 53. Project 4b: Renovating an Existing Building & Adding a Passive House >> Walkable How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building Net Positive! Smarter Growth! Reduced Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  54. 54. Project 4 Example: 23 Park Place Passive House Renovation, New York *(by Fabrica 718)
  55. 55. Project 4 Example: 23 Park Place, New York NY How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building (project by Fabrica 718)
  56. 56. Project 4 Example: 23 Park Place, New York NY How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building (project by Fabrica 718)
  57. 57. Project 4 Example: The Rose House Passive House Renovation, Addition and Infill *(a Lanefab project at the design stage…)
  58. 58. Project 4 Example: Rose House, Vancouver BC How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building Existing mid-century home Renovation, Addition, & Infill
  59. 59. Project 4 Example: Rose House, Vancouver BC How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building Existing mid-century home Renovation, Addition, & Infill
  60. 60. Project 4 Example: Rose House, Vancouver BC How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building Goal: (2x) existing floor area & Net Positive Renovation Infill Addition “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site Reduced Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site
  61. 61. Project 4 Example: Rose House, Vancouver BC How good? Location? Replaces? High Performance Walkable Part of the floor area replaces an older building Adding some ‘green bling’ could push it further…. Reduced Transport GHGs (vs. other locations in the region) Reduced GHGs “BEFORE” Annual GHG emissions from the site “AFTER” Annual GHG emissions from the site (through on-site renewable energy)
  62. 62. What we’ve been thinking… Projects vs. Buildings: - Start thinking about the performance of your Projects rather than just the performance of individual Buildings - Projects can include combinations of renovations, replacements and new construction
  63. 63. What we’ve been thinking… Location Matters: - A code minimum house, in a walkable location, can be as ‘good’* as a Passive House in a rural/suburban location - Where we choose to locate our new buildings can have a big impact. * (as far as the climate is concerned)
  64. 64. What we’ve been thinking… Fleet Efficiency: • New buildings (even ‘green’ ones) have an additive impact • We need to improve the efficiency of our total fleet of buildings (and not just focus on relative improvements to the new ones) • As a designer/builder we have to look at the performance of our own cumulative fleet of projects. Is our ledger net positive or net negative?
  65. 65. What we’ve been thinking… Net Positive Projects: - If we can combine renovations to older homes, with the construction of new, Passive House type homes, then we can add square footage while having a measurably net positive impact
  66. 66. What we’ve been thinking… Net Positive Projects: - If we absolutely have to build on a green-field site, or in an oil dependent location, then we’ll probably need to spend some money on ‘green bling’* to offset the impact of our choice of site and location. * On site renewable power production (solar, wind, heat pump)
  67. 67. Dumfries St. Solar Laneway House E.57th Solar Laneway House
  68. 68. Thanks! - This is a work in progress. Please send any thoughts to bryn@lanefab.com

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