Canada’s First Active House

Nov 18, 2013

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Great Gulf Active House is a collaboration between Canadian home builder company Great Gulf and Toronto-based architects superkül. Located in Ontario’s Niagara region, Great Gulf is the first residence in Canada to meet the construction metrics outlined by the Danish Active House program. Initiated by a group of European academics, scientists, architects, engineers and building manufacturers, the program promotes a holistic approach to home design, where homes are expected to contribute positively to the health and well-being the environment, as well as the home’s residents.



Front facade of Great Gulf Active House. Images: credit of Great Gulf.



Skylights and windows create naturally light-filled spaces and minimize the need for artificial light.



superkül  is well-versed in sustainable home design, making them a good fit for the project.


“We’ve designed several green homes, but this project presented the exciting opportunity to collaborate with Great Gulf and the Active House Alliance to create a new paradigm for the sustainably-minded and health-conscious homebuyer,” said Andre D’Elia, a Principal at superkül and the lead architect for Great Gulf Active House.




Exterior walls, roof and floor systems were all prefabricated in a Toronto factory.



Their design strategy considered the environmental impact of the entire lifecycle of the home from concept to performance, as well as the impact of the home on its users. The home’s exterior walls, roof and floor systems were prefabricated in Toronto at the Brockport Home Systems factory – a sustainable choice that reduced material waste and energy usage, and that improved construction accuracy and quality. The prefab system was then expedited to the Niagara region, where it was put together on-site in just one week. The home’s innovative and modern construction is a complete departure from the traditional homes in the area; and, that may be what we love most about this Active House. It’s nice to see variety in the suburbs, which is often characterized by homogenous housing.


Great Gulf Active House has a long-list of environmentally-friendly features that optimize natural lighting and air quality. You can read up more on the home’s sustainable features in this article from Tree Hugger.













Image Source: All photographs credited to Great Gulf


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