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Towards Half: Climate Positive Design in the GTHA

ARC3020Y F
Instructor: Kelly Alvarez Doran
Meeting Section: L9109
Tuesdays, 9:00am - 1:00pm, 2:00pm - 6:00pm

How do we half the greenhouse gas emissions of the GTHA’s housing stock this decade?

To begin answering this complex question students will work to establish an understanding of the current state of residential construction to first answer “half of what?” Over the course of the fall term students will perform “cradle-to-gate” assessments of ten recently completed residential projects across the GTHA at low, mid and high-rise scales. Students will engage leading practices to understand the material drivers of each project and utilize Life Cycle Assessment tools to calculate the embodied impacts associated with each project.

Second, we will explore the provenance of Canada’s contemporary residential construction through the lens of specific non-structural elements – exterior claddings, windows and doors, roofing, insulation, flooring, walling, fixtures. What is the supply chain that extracts, harvests and transforms these materials? What is the geography, ecology, and forms of labour that they engage from cradle to grave?

Finally, students will build upon this research and propose unique approaches to the demands for housing in the GTHA and illustrate how new construction and/or retro-fit can address the question of half, now. What is the future form of residential construction in the region? How can we begin designing for circularity and re-use? How can architecture be climate positive? To support this work the studio will travel either to London & Amsterdam, Stockholm & Helsinki, or Vancouver & Seattle. Each destination offers insight into leading policy frameworks and practices engaging embodied carbon.

MASS’s on-site presence will be at minimum 4 times during the winter term, supported by a series of guest lectures throughout the year from industry leaders.

KELLY ALVAREZ DORAN leads MASS’s London studio, overseeing work in East Africa and Europe. Kelly has led the design and implementation of several of MASS’s projects across East Africa, notably the award-winning Munini District Hospital and Rwanda Ministry of Health’s Typical Hospital Plans; headquarters for both One Acre Fund and Andela in Kenya; and the Rwanda Institute for Conservation Agriculture. Kelly is a past recipient of the Canada Council’s Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners, and has previously held teaching positions at The Bartlett, Harvard University, and the University of Waterloo.