Green Innovation Award


Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in collaboration with The Design Exchange (Dx) hosted a national competition in 2006 for design of the Archetype House to be built at TRCA's Kortright Centre in 2007.  The Archetype House was to demonstrate a practical, economic and easily-reproduced home that was energy efficient and environmentally-friendly, geared to Toronto's climate and demographics.

MC2=E House with Landscape on 45’ x 90’ lot.

The design team of Martin Liefhebber of Breathe Architects in Toronto and Brad Peterson of edc in Guelph entered the design competition with the MC2=E House and Landscape.  The Liefhebber/Peterson team came second in the overall competition, receiving the Green Innovation Award for advancement of environmental principles in the design of sustainable housing and eco-community. 

East elevation shows orientation of house on lot in neighbourhood.  
Solar orientation affects positioning of such elements as the flex garage, privacy screens and berms.
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Several parameters were fixed in the competition, including general lot location, lot size, and house size.  The MC2=E house design achieved LEED Platinum standard with an overall energy use reduction of 75% of average contemporary housing.  The south-facing roof features a neighbourhood-integrated 3 KW PV panel and solar hot water system.  Other house features are noted below, however an emphasis is placed on landscape solutions that promote energy and resource use efficiency and integration into the presumed eco-community.

Landscape plan featuring permaculture design principles, considerations for organic production, nutrient management and zero lot runoff.  


Integration of the MC2=E house and landscape lot to the TRCA Kortright site.


Educational pathway system with indoor and outdoor interpretive nodes.
Public education of the environmental principles present in the MC2=E House were considered a high priority.  A planned pathway through the home and landscape, with various stops or interpretive nodes, provides a means for informing large numbers of people.  Rooms within the home itself are used as workshop and seminar spaces.  

Below is a further exercise in how the MC2=E house and landscape fits into a presumed eco-village community.

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Integration of the MC2=E house and landscape lot into a presumed eco-village setting.


Cross sections of street hierarchy within the eco-village.
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Architect Martin Liefhebber  :



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