North House


North House is a prototype prefabricated solar-powered home designed for northern climates (42°-55° latitude) that advances responsive envelope design through the pairing of hybrid-integrated active and passive envelope systems with interactive controls. In combining these technologies, the prototype delivers a net energy-producing dwelling sponsoring new relationships between occupants, their surrounding environment and building systems. Design research was undertaken by an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team engaging faculty and graduate students from the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Art and Technology, working through intensive collaboration with professional and industry partners.

Jury Comments

This is a unique house which integrates the latest in building technologies making it specifically designed for northern climates. It combines such things as solar energy, automation and natural light, making it an energy-efficient house. The ceiling tiling system is also quite innovative and provides an artistic touch to this unique house. This type of experimental home is very much in line with work being conducted at the National Research Council and would warrant possible collaboration in the future.

This is “aggressive design research” at its very best! The university and the architects should be congratulated in creating a true “living laboratory” to help us better understand what it means to dwell in the Canadian north.

The jury for these awards was comprised of Enzo Gardin, P.Eng, National Research Council Canada representative; Dan Hanganu, FRAIC; and Gregory Henriquez, FRAIC.