Underutilized spaces like driveways, backyards and vacant lots in urban settings could provide space for some much needed housing. This Driveway House by Rohan Walters of Spaces by Rohan sits on a 473 sq ft lot that used to be the driveway of a neighboring house. A clever insertion of a three story home results in almost 1,100 sq ft of space near three intersecting tram lines in downtown Toronto. This energy efficient home makes the most of its tight space with careful solar passive design, daylighting strategies and high-performance insulation
Through some creative deals, Rohan Walters was able to purchase a driveway in downtown Toronto from a client. He had previously designed the adjacent house at 1292 College Street and wanted to build his own home in the driveway space. Measuring only 12 feet wide and 39.5 feet long, the narrow lot was tightly bordered on either side, but Walters knew he could design a home that fit into the tight space. The 100 sq meter (1,076 sq ft) home features an open living room and kitchen on the ground floor. A tight staircase leads up to the first floor with a bedroom and multi-functional bath, utility and laundry room. Another staircase leads up to the final bedroom and a rooftop deck.
Built from mason blocks, the contemporary home also features high performance insulation in the walls and the ceiling features foil-faced 1 polystyrene insulation and then 3 1/2 inches of spray foam insulation. The concrete with radiant tube flooring help cool and heat the home energy efficiently. Meanwhile daylighting strategies like glass walls for the stairs and frosted glass into the bathroom help transfer natural light into the back of the home. Heat Recovery Ventilation, insulated water and sewer lines, LED lighting, on demand gas fired domestic hot water and an energy efficient space heater ensure the home minimizes its energy use. With two adults living in the home, utility bills average only $100 per month.
Images ©Peter Legris