An Energy Efficient Contemporary Laneway House by Lanefab | Small House Design

Laneway housing continues to grow in popularity wherever it is allowed and Vancouver, Canada is no exception. Over 500 of the accessory dwellings have been built there since Vancouver first approved them in July 2009. This one is a recently completed project by Lanefab Design/Build.

The small house has a total of 800 ft2 (74 m2), including the space labeled as a garage on the plans. The garage was insulated and finished like the rest of the house and is being used as the living room. That freed up the larger downstairs room to be used mainly for the kitchen and dining area, allowing for inclusion of a large kitchen island. The kitchen cabinetry is bright red, a color that is supposed to stimulate appetite. Whether that’s true or not, it sure makes for a striking love-it-or-hate-it look. The kitchen has a counter-level window to bring in light without sacrificing cupboard space.

In a unique twist on multi-use spaces, there is a two-person soaking tub in the dining area corner, sunken into the concrete floor and covered by a flip-up floor of one-inch thick clear acrylic panels. Foldaway fir and glass doors open up the room and the tub to the patio, with only a slender steel column providing unobtrusive support for the upper story. The exterior of the small home is dressed up with black pebble stucco, stone veneer and cedar soffits.

The lower floor was recessed a couple steps into the ground in order to provide more headroom on the upper floor while staying within height limits. The pay-off is a very spacious upstairs bedroom. It also seems to have provided the lower level with a bit more privacy from the neighbors.

As with their earlier projects, Lanefab took care to build a very energy-efficient structure, using R40 structural insulated panels for the walls and specifying triple-glazed windows and doors. The highly insulated building envelope was a big factor in helping the home attain one of the highest home energy-efficiency ratings in Vancouver.

Have a nice weekend!
Photographs by Tordia Images and Lanefab, courtesy of Lanefab Design/Build.

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