Straw bale row housing in Edmonton wins award! Congratulations to the Battle Lake Design Group for their 2009 Urban Design Award for Merit which was presented by the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada.
Urban Architecture-Award of Merit
Project Designers: Battle Lake Design Group, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Acius Engineering
Project owner: The Warehouse Loft Company Ltd.
The Mill Creek Flex Homes’ project purpose was to develop sustainable residential infill within the inner city. This three-unit, 2-story row housing fits into the City of Edmonton’s vision of higher urban density in the “core,” while complementing the existing neighborhood’s built form. The developmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s location and proximity to local amenities increases the desirability and livability of the project.
The building design creates open, functional public and private interior spaces on a small footprint. It is designed and constructed to showcase a contemporary, modern straw bale building in an urban setting. Collaborative design solutions using straw bale technology were developed for the challenges of the Alberta climate.
Cement-lime stucco and vertical cedar siding create a contemporary exterior that embraces traditional building materials and techniques. Organic, textured straw bale walls, exposed structural wood and concrete, as well as extensive window use, form the basis of a design that includes simple yet functional finishes and emphasizes locally-produced materials.
The project incorporates many “green” technologies and ideas, including passive and active solar systems, roof-top patios, and green roofs. Zero and low volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes, and a breathable exterior envelope, contribute to a healthier interior environment.
Mill Creek Flex Homes provides pleasing, meaningful and sustainable alternatives to single-family homes while enhancing the existing character of Edmonton’s mature neighborhoods.
– Very sensitive architecture and the most sustainable project submitted.
– A good example of sensitive infill in Edmonton’s mature neighborhoods.
– The project could have been even better had the applicant challenged the existing zoning and sited the building envelope closer to the public streets. Moving the buildings forward would create an active urban edge.
– We always encourage green roofs and are happy to see them included in this project.
According to Rob Tom of Kanata Ontario, Canada, “the project is short listed for a national urban design award and the first apartment owner reports her first two heating bills for this winter were $21 and $31.” That’s a pretty amazing start, especially considering how cold Edmonton is known to get in the winter. According to the City of Edmonton’s website, “The average winter temperature is -15º C. Low temperatures of -34º C occur on average three or four times per year.” Yikes! I think staying warm is definitely worth $21 and $31 per month!