Borealis. A modular solar home nestled within
the Boreal Forest of Alberta, Canada. Resource industries found in Western Canada
include forestry, mining and energy. This development has put pressure on existing infrastructure
and local communities, resulting in housing shortages and higher costs.
Borealis provides sustainable living and the comforts of home for remote working populations.
These populations include knowledge-based professionals such asů Engineers, biologists,
geophysicists and project managers. Borealis is a prefabricated modular home composed
of three pieces designed to address comfort, privacy and sustainability.
The components are designed to be easily transported to remote locations by truck, while a steel
substructure provides a solid foundation for the well-insulated R-40 walls.
There is a core service module with two residential modules mirrored on either side.
Designed to be net zero, this energy efficient home utilizes a 10 kilowatt photovoltaic array
and solar thermal tubes to collect energy, and provide comfort for its inhabitants.
With two living areas, each resident has direct access to their own living module which includes
space for relaxing, socializing or working. There is a shared central module that can
be closed off for privacy with sliding doors. This shared space contains the kitchen, dining
area, bathroom, laundry room, and mechanical room.
A unique feature of the bathroom is the living wall which naturally detoxifies the air and
is sustained by the light brought into the interior.
The mechanical room is accessed from outside the house.
It contains the fully automated control system that uses multiple zones to maintain temperature
throughout the house. This one room collects and distributes all of the energy required
for the home. An innovative feature of this home is the
energy recovery system which stores waste heat to use for dehumidification and heating.
High velocity ventilation ensures comfort while maintaining efficient cooling and heating
of the home. The east module shares the same floor plan
as its western counterpart. But here the living area has been reconfigured
to be used as an office to adapt to the needs of the residents.
The fully outfitted kitchen contains a cooktop, oven, dishwasher and refrigerator with plenty
of counter space for meal preparation. With capacity for up to 8 people, the integrated
kitchen table can be a place to entertain, work or meet.
The remarkable natural beauty of the northern lights is captured as it reflects off the
strong geometric design; the perfect backdrop for a beacon of comfort, sustainability and
harmony. This is Borealis, this is home away from home.