B.C.‘s First Energy Star Qual­i­fied Home is a Beauty

© Colin Payne Photography

This beauty of a round build­ing is British Columbia’s first Energy Star qual­i­fied home, meet­ing stan­dards for energy effi­ciency. Called the Mag­no­lia 2300, it’s the work of Man­dala Homes, run by Lars Chose and part­ner Rachel Ross.

Energy Star qual­i­fi­ca­tions are a topic of debate on Tree­Hug­ger. Lloyd argues for Pas­sivhaus instead; Brian saysone mil­lion Energy Star home own­ers can’t be wrong. To syn­the­size their argu­ments, Energy Star’s stan­dards are not the world’s most rig­or­ous, but it’s good to see more of them being built for clients who pre­sum­ably are con­sid­er­ing the size of their car­bon footprint.

© Colin Payne Photography

Asked how they went about obtain­ing the Energy Star label, Chose says it wasn’t an orig­i­nal goal; they were sim­ply work­ing to cre­ate an energy effi­cient build­ing. Man­dala builds mostly round struc­tures because, as I noted in a post about a Mandala-built cot­tage, in March:

The cir­cu­lar form pro­vides struc­tural strength in rough weather, nat­ural ther­mo­dy­nam­ics that negate the need for extra heat­ing, and panoramic views, as well as some­thing less tan­gi­ble, the open feel­ing that comes from being in a space with­out corners.

There’s also what Chose calls the “Inher­ent beauty of the round,” a “very nat­ural shape.” On top of that, the Mag­no­lia has some nice energy-saving fea­tures, including:

  • Domes­tic water heat­ing sys­tem approx­i­mately three times more effi­cient than a stan­dard system.
  • Heat Recov­ery Ven­ti­la­tor for fresh air with min­i­mal heat loss.
  • ENERGY STAR qual­i­fied prod­ucts, includ­ing win­dows, doors and lighting.
  • Pas­sive Solar Design
  • Radi­ant floor heat­ing and heat sink
  • Day­light­ing emphasized
  • Cork floor­ing
  • Extra thick walls for insulation

© Colin Payne Photography

Over­all, the Mag­no­lia is gor­geous raises the bar for green build­ing in British Colum­bia. Hope­fully, other archi­tects will aim to do even bet­ter, and find plenty of clients who want the ben­e­fits of a reduced energy bill and eased envi­ron­men­tal con­science, to go with a lovely home.

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