A laneway house for a young family | Lanefab
A couple and their infant son live in this laneway house in Vancouver, Canada. Like many owners of laneway houses in Vancouver, where property prices are still extremely high, they had their new home built in the backyard of their parents/in-laws. The parents’ house, located on a corner lot, was ideal for a new accessory dwelling unit. The large backyard provided room to build with adequate yard space left over, and the corner lot gives the laneway house its own frontage on a quiet residential street. As a bonus for the new parents and their son, there is a large park right across the street.
Laneway house specialist Lanefab Design/Build was responsible, as their name suggests, for both the design and construction. They created a small house with two bedrooms in 800 ft2 (74.3 m2) of living space. The lower level is one large open room containing all the social spaces. A couple of steps up, the bottom stair landing doubles as the entry, with access from both the front door and the garage. Narrow metal balusters keep the stairs open to the living area.
Working within the city’s height and massing constraints, Lanefab was able to tuck the two bedrooms and a bathroom into the gabled roof space. To get a bit more headroom on both levels, the house was dug about a foot and a half into the ground. That still allowed a good view of the park through the living area’s sliding glass doors.
Lanefab has developed a highly-insulated wall system that they use on many of their projects, including this one. Structural support is provided by prefabricated structural insulated panels (SIPs), which have a good level of insulation just on their own. Lanefab then builds a standard 2×4 wall inside the SIP walls, providing a place to easily run pipes and wiring, as well as space for several inches of batt insulation that brings the wall to a total of R-35. Combined with triple-glazed windows, it results in a very energy-efficient home.
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