A House is a Home: reconciling design and energy performance in three Toronto laneway houses

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Martins, Brigitte




Residential construction and operation account for a great percentage of Ontario's energy usage. Dwellings are undoubtedly indispensable, yet their necessity is not enough to justify the considerable energy this sector expends. In architectural education and practice, energy efficiency tends to assume a secondary role, one subordinate to aesthetic considerations. This divide jeopardizes the industry as increasing societal pressure demands that the profession respond to sustainability expectations. This thesis proposes an alternative workflow for architects that places energy performance considerations on par with design decisions. Through energy and daylighting simulations that consider quantitative and qualitative interventions, the analysis of two existing Toronto laneway homes uncovers a close relationship between aesthetic and performance considerations, demonstrating that design choices directly impact a home's performance. The evaluation results in a methodology to guide the design process of a new laneway home to ensure that a balance is continuously struck between design and efficiency.






Carleton University

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Master of Architecture: 

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Theses and Dissertations

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