News / Vancouver

First net-zero laneway house shines in Vancouver

Two local designers have combined West Coast modern design and environmental consciousness in Vancouver's first net-zero solar-powered laneway house.

The quaint two-storey laneway house located on E. 57th Avenue and Vivian Street includes super-insulated walls, triple-glazed windows and doors, an air-source heat pump, a back-up power system and 12 solar panels.

Ninety-five per cent of the lights are also LED.

“The building produces as much energy as it uses over the course of a year,” said Bryn Davidson, co-owner and designer of Lanefab Design. “It produces extra power in the summer when it's sunny and it then draws that power back from the grid in the winter when it's dark.”

The 1,050-square-foot laneway house includes one bedroom, two baths and a single car garage.

Construction costs are estimated at $320,000, which Davidson says is comparable to buying a new 600-square-foot-condo.

“There are two owners of the property; one will live in the lane house and the other will live in the main house. It's a way of getting a piece of property in Vancouver for half the price. It makes it much more affordable,” added co-owner Mat Turner.

A laneway house is a detached dwelling located in the typical garage area of a single-family lot.

The house is part of the city's EcoDensity laneway housing initiative launched in 2009. There are approximately 200 laneway houses in Vancouver.

There is an open house Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. for people interested in touring the laneway house.

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