The house, a traditional 1920s brick home in Toronto's High Park neighbourhood, no longer worked for the couple and their two growing children who lived there. It was tight on space, lacked a main-floor family room, and it had no real front entrance—awkward both for guests and just getting inside on snowy days. The clients were well versed on environmental issues, and had sought out Moss-Sund for its growing reputation as a firm that cared about environmental sustainability in its work.
"Buildings have a huge impact on the environment throughout their lives," says company principal Carolyn Moss. "The first objective should be to reduce the impact of the process of building and construction; next, to reduce or even eliminate its impact throughout its life; and ultimately, to create buildings that put energy back into the grid."
In the case of this house, an energy retrofit was pretty much an imperative; a Home Energy Audit on the home had yielded a score of 12 out of a possible 100. It had virtually no insulation, and still had its original 1920s octopus boiler in the basement! Yet opening all the interior walls and adding insulation would have generated a ton of waste and expense for the family. Instead, the entire home was clad in new four-inch foamboard insulation, with stucco on top, solving the problem beautifully and efficiently. Extra insulation in the roof and Enviro-Shake recycled wood-plastic roofing tiles provided a cedar shake look that will last a lifetime.