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House Description

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The Team Montreal design for the 2017 Solar Decathlon China is a high-performance, net-zero energy-capable residence. The Deep-Performance Dwelling (DPD) is conceived as a Net-Zero Energy (NZE) and Low or Zero Carbon (LZC) system-built residential construction that manages its primary resources onsite. It is based on state-of-the-art passive design/construction concepts and techniques combining a superefficient integrated MEP system with active renewable energy systems and advanced interactive monitoring/control systems.

DPD seeks to radically reimagine and reinvent the way in which we live in cities, an issue of fundamental significance across the world. Cities, as the cultural endeavour par excellence, are the stage upon which our collective future finds full expression as simultaneously the main site of contestation and opportunity to create an alternative and sustainable way of living. The creation and facilitation of a dense, efficient, affordable, vibrant, and collective urban environment is therefore of critical importance. DPD responds to this imperative as a typologically unique design that reconciles culture, technology, and the environment. It seeks to explicitly acknowledge and incorporate the socio-cultural and qualitative dimensions alongside the measurable and quantitative metrics in Sustainable Development and Green Building discourses.

The innovative flexibility and adaptability of DPD ensures the comfortable accommodation of various family configurations, incorporating outdoor space and ecological landscaping all within only twenty percent of the allotted site. If replicated, this model could easily accommodate thirty residents over the competition site. Within an urban context, this replication could occur over entire blocks, ensuring a high density while maintaining human scale without the setbacks and adjacent open space required of high-rise construction. This adjoining of independent residences in a dense urban situation creates the opportunity for social interaction and a more collective form of living. The central courtyards of each home are open on either side, allowing for shared space and connectivity between neighbours. The street entrances are also closely aligned and a shared backstreet enables sociability and chance encounter, fostering a more cohesive community of residents.

DPD is designed for a family living in the cold northern climate of Montreal. It has emerged through a marrying of the local Montreal row house typology and the traditional Siheyuan courtyard house common throughout much of China. These different influences have informed a narrow, compact and efficient home flexible in its inhabitation and adaptable to a variety of configurations relevant to a growing modern family.