A first draft

Here’s the idea, what I’m focusing on and working toward. I would like to buy a house near metro Fabre, Beaubien or Laurier. Our budget is of about $400-500k for the whole project. This special house would need a tremendous amount of repairs: windows, insulation, foundations, the roof, electricity &/or plumbing. Ideally, it would have burned 😉 I want something that will cost us not very much for the house itself as we want to demolish it and then build something modern, beautiful & lasting in its place.

I want to build a triplex, where we will occupy the first two floors, & we’ll rent the third floor. We will have access to the backyard (and make a garden) and our renters will have access to a roof terrace. The backyard should be facing South so that we can put the majority of the windows on that wall and still have some privacy (& benefit from the snow’s reflection of the sun to heat and light our home in winter). The sustainable features I want to include is a vegetated roof & the LEED certification.

The features of our home itself will include a sunlit kitchen where we can grow herbs & sprouts, a dining room where we could sit 10 guests sometimes, 3 bedrooms (we want a second child) and a yoga/meditation room. We’ll have clotheslines and maybe a hothouse. And a basement to maximize the size of our backyard (just because we’re building on the island of Montreal).

From reading about LEED certification, there’s many green features that seem very simple to include and yet reduce our ecological footprint & make us save money. The list is quite long actually: passive heating and cooling, radiant floors, a solar water heater, cellulose isolation, the advanced framing technique, fly ash concrete, plumbing with PEX, collecting & filtrating rainwater, reuse of greywater and its heat, use of endemic &/or heirloom species in the backyard, in the garden and on the roof, use of indoor plants to filter the air… And the list goes on! How we will build and the materials we will use will also be selected for their low ecological impact.

Can we aim for net-zero energy and water? Can we create a shelter for endangered species on our roof? I will refine the picture as I’ll learn more & start the creative work with my architect and interior designer.

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