We bring this experience to bear on our garden suite designs to create buildings that are appealing, comfortable, cost-effective, and high performance.
Our designs respect sense of place. This includes the style of the primary residence and the feel of the neighbourhood, the building materials used, and the orientation of the building, including passive solar gain, and form following function to maximize the ability for active solar energy collection for electrical and thermal use.
Carbon Busters has been creating more sustainable buildings since 1993, increasing the efficiency and decreasing the carbon footprint of over 553 buildings in Canada, the US and Europe.
We use a life cycle assessment approach that includes life cycle cost accounting as well as life cycle environmental impacts, including the embodied energy of the building materials themselves.
Carbon Busters has created unique software that models incremental energy consumption, energy costs, carbon emissions, and capital costs of building design choices, allowing a direct comparison of the paybacks, internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), incremental installation costs, annual and life cycle dollar savings, CO2e emission reductions, and carbon return on investment (CROI).
We create laneway homes that are energy efficient, electric vehicle (EV) ready, solar heated, and can be supplied with renewable energy to achieve net zero or zero carbon targets. We can also build to PassivHaus standards, though this is a little harder due to the relatively small size of garden suites.
Biomimicry is the study of nature to inform human designs and technology. How do we create buildings whose whole life cycle is designed to minimize environmental impacts, moving from high impact, to low impact, to zero impact and to restorative and regenerative design?
How do we create buildings that adapt to their environment, or use predictive algorithms to become more efficient, in the same way that birds and plant predict the coming of fall and spring?
Currently, up to 97% of the energy used in the life cycle of a building comes from the operational phase, about 3% from building materials (plus a relatively small amount of energy and emissions from decommissioning). So reducing energy consumption and costs is the first step.
Modern humans may develop nature deficit disorder (NDD). Studies have shown that even a single tree on a meadow lowers our heart rate and blood pressure. Gazing at an aquarium reduces stress levels, and the greater the number of species in the tank, the greater the reduction.
A study of abdominal surgery hospital patients found that those with views of a natural area used less pain killer and were discharged days earlier than those facing a brick wall.
Carbon Busters designs encourage connection to the natural environment by emphasizing views, and ample access to sunlight. A building can be greened through the use of integrated trellises, encouraging the use of plants shading the building and integrating the building into its environment. Some of our clients have used porous pavers for car access that look more like a lawn than a parking lot.
“The City of Yellowknife conducted an energy audit of its twenty three facilities totaling 25,000 square meters in 2007.
The scope of the project included an analysis of the utility bills, a walk-through evaluation of the facilities' electrical and mechanical components and a report recommending energy saving opportunities. Carbon Busters was selected through a competitive process to conduct this work. Their work was professional and met all City expectations. The audit report recommended $1.1 million in energy efficiency projects that are projected to yield $250,000 in annual savings. If you are interested in contacting me I would be happy to discuss our experience with the process. My contact information is (867) 920-5697 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”
City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories