We know that some of you aren’t living in an energy-efficient laneway house yet - so if you’re still in a regular house or apartment, we wanted to list our favourite ways for saving energy  for the rest of this winter. Image from fotographic1980 1) CFL or LED light bulbs As you know, we’re fans of LED lights, and we’re pretty big on CFL (compact fluorescent lights) bulbs as well.  They are up to 80% more energy efficient than the old incandescent bulb which also means that they last much longer -  CFLs will brighten your home for 10 years and LEDs, 20 to 25 years. 2) Single pane window replacement Is the heat in your house getting sucked out of your single pane windows?  Glass is a great heat conductor and it goes without saying that all of our laneway house windows (as with almost all new construction) are double-paned.  With two sheets of glass and a layer of inert gas in between, double-paned windows are much more energy-efficient for your home.  In an average house with 10 windows, replacing all your old windows will cost approximately $5500. 3) Window film If ripping out your windows is [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:58+00:00 February 8th, 2012|How to Live Green While You Live Small|


Image from: Idea go If you’re not living in an energy-efficient laneway house during this chilly season, now is the time to think about keeping those blustery storms and drafts out.  Both B.C. and Canada run rebate programs for making your home more efficient, and with the federal eco-Energy grants running out March 31, you will want to get started now.  Yes, you can benefit from BOTH the provincial AND the federal programs as long as you meet the eligibility critieria for both. So here’s a run-down on what to do and how to apply for efficiency upgrade incentives: B.C. - Live Smart BC get up to $7000 in rebates get $150 off initial energy assessment which usually costs $350. Here’s what to do: 1.  Hire a certified energy advisor to make a pre-retrofit energy assessment to your home. 2.  Make your energy-efficiency improvements to the home 3.  The advisor will then make a post-retrofit assessment and handle all the paperwork necessary.  Assessment must be completed by March 31, 2013. Canada - ecoEnergy Retrofit - Homes program Until March 31,  get grants up to $5000. Here’s what to do: 1. Register with Natural Resources Canada 2.  Hire a local service [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:58+00:00 January 23rd, 2012|How to Live Green While You Live Small|

THE cappello LED LAMP BY molo

cappello LED lamp: Image courtesy of molo The cappello LED lamp is one of the most unique energy-saving light fixtures that we've seen lately and exemplifies many of the qualities that we pursue in building laneway houses - small, beautiful, efficiently designed, aenvironment-friendly. Created by local Vancouver design studio, molo, the cappello lamp comes with a slightly unusual story.  If you look closely at each lamp, the Carrara marble base comes scored with scratches which have been intentionally left intact.  The marble is a direct extraction from the iconic Arco floor lamp designed by Castiglioni - each Arco lamp has a hole drilled into the side of its base so a broomstick handle can skewer it and two people holding the broom can move the heavy block around the home. Arco floor lamp: image courtesy of The small marble cylinder created as a by-product of the process is then tranformed into the base for molo's capello lamp. Note the hole in the marble block from which the base of the capello lamp is created.  


We at Smallworks like to think small (in a big kind of way!) and now that the new year has rolled around, we've decided on some personal resolutions that reflect our goal of downsizing.  Here are some thoughts from two Smallworks staffers: From Kate Allen, Design Coordinator: "Planning a wedding in 2012, I'm finding ways to cut out the extravagance of weddings without sacrificing the special feeling of the gathering. Naturally, the wedding is evolving to have a very 'nature' inspired focus! I've recently downsized from 600 square feet to about 250 square feet, too, so it's been a great exercise to really test what it is that one needs over the course of a year. Having given away or sold about 25% of my stuff, and boxed an additional 30%, I'll be checking midway through 2012 to see if I can give away any more items that haven't been disturbed in their boxes. One of my biggest items I tend to aggregate are books - any kind of books! I'm trying to make the switch to e-books for popular fiction and non-fiction this year and use the library more. " From Michael Lyons, VP of Sales and Marketing: "My [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:05:59+00:00 January 3rd, 2012|How to Live Green While You Live Small|


If Santa is leaving a huge ecological footprint along with the toys each year, it might be time to look at some eco-friendly options for the laneway house or any other small home.  Here are our best tips for greening your Christmas this season: 1) Rent a tree. You usually have several options for your Christmas tree choices - the live cut tree which gets recycled, the fake tree which is used over and over again, and the potted tree which is planted outside after the season's over.  Now, a fourth possibility is renting a small tree from a place like Evergrow Christmas Trees.  Order the tree online, they deliver, then pick it up and take care of it until next year. 2) Hang up LED lights. Energy efficient LED lights are 90% more efficient that incandescent bulbs.  We especially like these red tinsel globes for $9.99 at Canadian Tire.  Environmentally friendly and festive. 3) Make your Christmas decorations.  Sure you can buy holiday baubles shipped in from overseas.  Or you can handmake your own ornaments with a personalized and rustic feel.  Here's our favourite salt dough recipe for colourful and durable ornaments. [...]

By | 2016-11-15T09:06:01+00:00 December 13th, 2011|How to Live Green While You Live Small|