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Title: Azilda home retrofit centre: a catalyst for a carbon neutral future in Northeastern Ontario commuter communities
Authors: McLaren, Michelle
Keywords: Sustainable;carbon-neutral;housing;retrofit;Northeastern Ontario;commuter communities
Issue Date: 12-Apr-2021
Abstract: This thesis proposes a system-based approach to creating affordable and sustainable home retrofits in commuter communities in Northeastern Ontario, more specifically in the community of Azilda. Architecture 2030 has stated that “The urban built environment is responsible for 75% of annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions: buildings alone amount for 39%.” Architecture must play an active role in reducing GHG emissions or the climate crisis will worsen. Addressing climate change is a worldwide effort and is much more attainable through specific municipal level initiatives, or programs. The Home Retrofit Centre proposed within this thesis is a small part of a larger system working towards mitigating further climate change, by focusing on lowering the carbon emissions of residential buildings in Azilda. With linkage to students and professors from the McEwen School of Architecture and the City of Greater Sudbury, the Centre will provide locals with resources on how to improve the efficiency of their homes. In The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, Jason McLennan defines sustainable design as “the philosophy that seeks to maximize the quality of the built environment, while minimizing or eliminating negative impacts to the natural environment.” Retrofitting existing homes will improve the built environment while also reducing the house’s carbon emissions, which will minimize the negative impacts they have had on the environment. A significant part of reducing carbon emissions from buildings relates to embodied and operational carbon, which is produced throughout the entire life cycle of a building. To lower the embodied and operational carbon of the existing homes in Azilda, the Home Retrofit Centre will allow older homes to take on a new life and become more efficient. These retrofits will create a more comfortable and healthy home, update the style, save on energy costs, and more importantly, take action in response to climate change. Retrofitting a home also increases its economic resale value making these changes an investment for the future. For this Home Retrofit Centre to be a success it will need to gently nudge the community in this cultural shift of wanting to improve their homes in a way that will also help with climate change. Most homes will eventually require retrofits or renovations, that is inevitable. This thesis will investigate how the architecture of the Home Retrofit Centre can be a positive catalyst to address the needs of the community and climate change. It will endeavour to answer these questions: How can architecture be a catalyst for these retrofits? And can the Home Retrofit Centre itself showcase and inspire community members to implement retrofit strategies in their own homes in order to guide Azilda into a carbon-neutral future? Beyond simply being a Home Retrofit Centre, it will also become a hub for community activities and resources through the use of cross programming, including a Café, Re-use Store, market area, workshops, and multi-use spaces.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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