Building & Grounds

The Building: Small is Beautiful

Designed and built by Smallworks Studios and Laneway Housing, West House offers all of the amenities and technologies that people look for in a new home in only 610 square feet.

The house is highly passively efficient: insulation exceeds Canadian standards at R-26, and proprietary building methods ensure a continuous thermal envelope with no thermal breaks. In addition, an efficient heat recovery ventilation system reduces heat loss and improves air quality. Smallworks is committed to sustainable building practice.

They use locally-sourced non-toxic materials and prefabricate part of the house in their Southlands shop to minimise construction waste and enable expedient installation. A Smallworks house can be built and ready on the residential site in 8 weeks from start to finish.

The Landscape: Sustainable Design and Urban Agriculture

West House is situated in a community garden in which local gardeners grow an extensive variety of food across three seasons. Prominent landscape architects Durante Kreuk Ltd. designed at the grounds around the house to promote low-water use with a hardy lawn and native plants. Moscone Bros. Landscapers developed the plan with organically composed soil from Yardworks and recycled pavers from BC Bricks. Surrey Cedar provided a BC cedar fence to ensure privacy for the residents.