Having lived in the original 1912 Craftsman bungalow since 1992, the owners wanted to preserve their home’s heritage history while significantly upgrading its performance and functionality. This rebuilt home now marries a heritage façade and modern architecture, retaining its historical character and meeting the stringent performance specifications of the Passive House Plus standard.
Photos by Ema Peter
Michael Green of MGA Architecture combined the front porch of the original house with a dramatic design for the south half of the building. This new element is a simple, modern volume that complements the form and character of the existing bungalow. A dramatic cantilever roof provides a large covered balcony that wraps the master bedroom. This volume is clad with yakisugi gendai, or charred-cypress siding.
The heritage front porch was preserved, and the north-facing windows and front door refurbished. Behind the porch, a new high-performance envelope was built with components certified by the Passive House Institute, including Austrian triple-glazed windows and lift-and-slide doors. External shutters were installed outside the south- and west-facing windows, both for privacy and to manage solar-energy gains during spring and fall.
The mechanical systems include a high-efficiency HRV and an air-to-water heat pump. Thanks to the well-insulated and airtight envelope, this equipment is enough to supply both the domestic hot water and the hydronic radiators that help keep the home comfortable in winter. The house has 8.5 kW of PV panels to generate renewable energy and a lithium battery unit for emergency backup.
Passive House Metrics
Cooling and dehumidification demand
Primary energy renewable (PER)
Half of the main floor’s interior has board-and-batten walls with Craftsman features to match the original house. Old-growth fir from the heritage structure was salvaged to create custom millwork, furniture, and a chandelier that complement the open-plan interior.
The home also highlights Vancouver’s creative artists, doubling as a gallery for paintings by local artists while also featuring custom work by the city’s artisans, such as indoor and outdoor furniture and light fixtures. The owners and their guests enjoy the benefits of excellent air quality, comfort, and soundproofing in an elegant open-plan space that pays homage to the home’s Craftsman beginnings.