Previous Next

Building A Sustainable Future

The Seabird Island Sustainable Community Project is an innovative approach to design of residential community developments.


The Seabird project integrates community planning, architecture and environmental design.Some of the sustainable innovative features demonstrated include: a solar roof, wind generators, a low tec inexpensive type of geo-thermal heat and cooling extraction to supplement conventional heating systems , as well as heat recycling, radiant hydronic floors, fan coil heat, water efficient plumbing, and the use of healthy building materials, net zero energy targets and an application of the integrated design process to residential community projects.  A film "In a Sacred Way We Build" was produced that documents the extraordinary planning, integrated design and sustainable building process undertaken by the community. 

 

Building  A Sustainable Future - Design Concept

The overall planning and building design approach is complementary with teachings about environmental stewardship - "Building a Sustainable Future".  "We cannot simply think of our survival; each new generation is responsible to ensure the survival of the seventh generation. What we do today will affect the seventh generation and because of this we must bear in mind our responsibility to them today and always."

References to traditional vernacular and past technologies are embodied in the design, structure and detailing. They include use of indigenous materials such as recycled old growth yellow and red cedar logs, cedar siding, weathered river rock, traditional forms, local craftsmanship, artworks and a colour palette based on the four elements (earth, air, fire, water).whisper wind generator

The use of affordable and clean renewable energy sources are promoted at Seabird Island. The homes are designed to benefit from solar, wind and earth energy and minimize use of water. The main living areas and solariums are oriented to the south in a semi-circular pattern around a communal spiritual healing garden. The garden is the focal point of the site and its design acknowledges and demarcates the four cardinal directions.

 

Sustainable Environmental Design Features

  • Efficient Land Use
  • Variety of Housing Types
  • Balanced Environmental Carrying Capacity
  • Integrated Design Process
  • Community and Industry Participatiom
  • Solar Orientation
  • Space Zoning (south facing living areas)
  • Low Tech Systems, Low Maintenance
  • Cost Effective, Affordable
  • Solariums (for heat and year round growing)
  • Passive Solar: Convective Air Flow Systems
  • Thermal Living Air Floor™
  • Thermal Living Roof™
  • Thermal Transfer Water Storage System
  • Hydronic In-slab Radiant Heating/Fan Coil (upper floors)
  • Earth Tubes™ to Precondition Intake Air (heating and cooling)
  • Wind Generators for Supplemental Power
  • Higher Insulation (walls and attic)
  • Rain Screen Construction
  • Wide Overhangs for weather protection
  • Modular Dimensioning for Construction
  • Recycled Materials (logs, strapping. sills, insulation)
  • Built-in Recycling Bins
  • Edible Landscape, Indigenous Planting
  • Spiritual Healing Garden
  • Shared Community Facilities, Recycling Depot
  • Indigenous Materials (logs, gravel, wood, river rock)
  • Non-toxic & Resource Efficient Products
  • Engineered Wood Products, Engineered Wood Flooring (upper floors)
  • Finished Concrete Flooring (lower floors)
  • High Performance Windows
  • Natural Day lighting
  • Low Energy Lighting Fixtures (compact fluorescents)
  • Self Construction, Local Labour and Suppliers
  • CMHC Healthy Housing™ & Flex Housing™ Principles
  • Universal Design (accessible main floors)
  • Local Artists and Craftsman
  • Cultural and Historic References
  • Rain Water Recovery (for water closets, irrigation)
  • Water Efficient Plumbing Fixtures
  • Low Energy Appliances

Print   Email

Related Articles