Our vision for E+ was to develop a prototypical project that solves the local issues of the Colonial Avenue site and, at the same time, could also be a template for future two family wood-frame infill development in neighborhoods throughout the city. To fulfill the core charge of the E+ competition, we needed to devise a well-balanced concept that would maximize density, offer a simple open floor plan adaptable to both lots, be economical to build and produce more energy than it consumes.

The two-family prototype falls under the one- and two-family code, which enables greater economy than triple-deckers and multi-family housing. Density can be achieved by aggregation in townhouse and rowhouse arrangements with an appearance of much lesser density. Perhaps most importantly of all, there is an opportunity for a wide range of developers/contractors to be able to replicate this model.

As with all LBGO & SPA, and GFC projects, we focused solving multiple problems with a single smart and cost effective solution. The 8″-thick SIPS walls are “super-insulated” (R50) panels serve as structure and insulation and arrive on site prefabricated, cut to order greatly reducing erection time. In a single installation, the structure, insulation, vapor barrier, interior finished wall, exterior sheathing and some electrical chases can be put in place.

This is combination with wooden pre-fabricated trusses, optimizes the construction time, while also simplifying the process of pulling wires, pipes and ductwork. In addition, Insulted Concrete Foundation blocks are being proposed, which reduce the need to additional concrete formwork, while creating an insulated foundation wall. Conversely, a mini-heat pump system provides heating, cooling, and dehumidification.

Lastly, our approach recognizes that we are building for the present and future. Technology and craft of 21st-century residential construction, although it shares some aspects of 19th and 20th century construction, it is a departure from earlier methods. Our approach recognizes that we are building in a context which includes older buildings. We are respectful of the neighborhood fabric, building Heights, setbacks and massing. Building systems, building materials, detail, and ornament typically evolve with the times and reflect current technology and sensibility. We believe new development if done correctly and with sensitivity will create good neighbors.