kenyon's pad


This waterfront property presented some unique design challenges. The primary focus of the program was to provide an independent living unit for a young person with special needs.

Two separate, self-contained homes were created that are bridged by a shared entry pavilion. A storm water culvert that passes directly through the site was managed and transformed to create a water feature that cascades down the sloping site, pausing in a pool which passes beneath the entry pavilion, before finally spilling over a cliff and into the ocean below. The placement of buildings on the site was carefully considered to provide living spaces which extend into the garden as well as capture views and provide abundant natural daylight. Skylights were used extensively to bring light deep into rooms which would otherwise have no access to daylight. Of the many conscientious choices that were made by the owner in the construction of this house, the most impressive, by far, is the decision to install a geo-thermal heat pump system with a heat recovery loop in the ocean below, to provide heat (radiant in-floor) and domestic hot water for less than $1 a day. There are future plans to install an extensive green roof.

kenyon's pad snapshot

  • Located in Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
  • Completed summer 2007
  • Home for independent family living
  • New Construction 232 m² (2,500 ft²)
  • Demonstrates our commitment to responsible design by incorporating many green building techniques
  • geothermal closed loop in ocean Exchange Energy
  • built by owner and Pickard Construction

Conceptual Ideas

  • orientation to sun/access to daylight/shelter from elements
  • transformation of challenging site
  • creation of habitat through natural water feature

Selection of Materials

  • cedar cladding sourced from southern Vancouver Island
  • engineered lumber (PSL beams, I-joists)
  • spray in place insulation
  • low VOC paint and floor finishes

Methods of Construction

  • ICF foundation walls
  • insulation beneath slab-on-grade and along side of footings
  • Xypex additive in concrete (for waterproofing)
  • permeable paving on driveway
  • humidity controlled fresh air intakes in every room
  • geothermal closed loop in ocean
  • domestic hot water generated as a by-product of geothermal heat system
  • in floor radiant heat (improved indoor air quality, lower temperature)
  • the house was engineered to resist serious seismic events & extreme weather conditions associated with waterfront living

To be completed

  • intensive green roof c/w lightweight growing medium and sedum carpet