Sustainable Home, Hockley
Come see this much admired & award winning off-the-grid home overlooking the Hockley Valley. The owners worked with a design engineer expert in sustainable architecture, Greg Allen, to create this well-known home. This comfortable and peaceful home offers 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, an open concept kitchen/living and dining area with fireplace plus a home office all set on 4.2 acres.
Designed for Comfort & Sustainability
The owners worked with engineering experts to ensure they created a comfortable home that was sustainable, not merely a primitive establishment. Every operating system of the home has been carefully thought out.
Power, Heating & Cooling Systems
The home is powered by solar panels on the roof plus a quiet wind turbine on the hill top behind the home which feed the house’s batteries. A 3000 watt back-up generator with automatic start is also available (though rarely used) to recharge the batteries. The property has never had a hydro bill! Conduit is in place for an electrical hook-up if an owner wishes to connect to the Provincial power grid.
This bright home was oriented to take advantage of all available light. The south and west exposures of the home with large windows were designed to capture solar heat. These custom krypton-filled windows that are heat mirrored (an interior film effectively makes them triple glazed).
The home is earth sheltered which takes advantage of the earth’s temperature below the frost line which is at a constant 10 degrees Celsius. This geothermal heat source ensures the home never goes below 10 degrees C in the winter and the air-circulation system creates a natural air cooling system in the warm summer months!
The seven-ton brick masonry heater was custom designed to heat the home & radiates heated long after a fire has gone out. The two-sided heater also provides a very useful bake oven! This design was adapted from systems found in Scandinavia.
The kitchen is well appointed with propane oven/cooktop, bake oven and a top-of-the line Sun Frost refrigerator/freezer that only draws the same power as a standard bedside lamp! The kitchen has ample storage space and a series of double sided food storage cupboards are naturally cooled from the cooler air circulating through the sheltered northeast side of the home.
The home’s water supply is fed from a spring-fed well and rainwater is also collected from rooftops to fill a 9,000 litre underground water storage tank. Excellent thermo-syphon hot water system.
The home’s grey water from sinks and shower irrigates a 30 square foot lush indoor garden of tropical plants. Plants such as canna lilies thrive in the living room garden and remove toxins and purify the water before it drains into the wetland below the home. There are 2 Clivus Multrum toilets.
Reduced Taxation & Other Information
The home’s off-grid status allows reduced taxation with annual taxes being approximately $3600.
There are 3 storage sheds on the property.
The property is landscaped with plants that thrive in drier conditions and the low sheep’s fescue grass does not require fertilizers, pesticides or mowing.
The solid construction of the home includes 4 inches of concrete below the floors and the same above the ceiling with an insulation value of R40.
This award-winning home has been widely featured in the press including Living Green, Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, U of T Press and In the Hills among others.
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