Modest Outside / Modern Inside

Sustainability in new home construction is often referenced with respect to advances in building science, technological  fixes and the next newest thing.  But the area of sustainability that most interests me involves a more simple approach: that modesty in all things – but especially buildings – results in a much more balanced, simple and successful quality of life. Exterior of our "Arbutus" model It was this concept that led me to the idea of providing smaller single-family homes within an urban environment.  Having traveled in my youth to cities in Europe and South America, I was impressed by the presence of small, elegant homes that, despite their size, met the needs of individuals and families and helped to foster strong neighborhoods. Often set amongst green leafy streets, or surrounding small city squares, these row houses and small houses fostered a strong sense of conviviality and community amongst their inhabitants.  It was this template that inspired me in 2007 to begin advocating for small infill homes at the rear  of existing lots. The aspect of affordability is pertinent here.  A common complaint often heard in Vancouver is that young Vancouverites are no longer able to afford to own a house [...]