20A @ Hoskins Square Housing

20A @ Hoskins Square

  • Brampton, ON
  • Housing
  • 1,200 sq.ft
  • 2011

"A lot of people hear the word design and think 'expensive' and 'fancy’... But that's not actually what it's about. It's about a capacity to shape the world." –Bruce Mau (November 13, 2009) Globe & Mail

Habitat for Humanity that does not have a lot of money but that does not stop it from continuing to improve the lives of less fortunate people. When the Brampton chapter conceived of the project they wanted to make a statement that a small budget did not preclude good design. The objective was to produce a house that could improve: the lives of family and function of an abandon, but important, community site. In 2009 Habitat for Humanity-Brampton began the planning process to develop a derelict piece of land located in an established residential development in central Brampton. The corner lot had sat undeveloped for over 25 years due to its location within the flood plain of the adjacent Etobicoke Creek. Over time the abandoned site became a neighbourhood parking lot that was used as an informal pedestrian thoroughfare. The lack of community presence made it a popular hangout for local youth who left the adjacent creek littered with garbage and beer bottles.

The conditions of the site compounded the challenges faced by Habitat. In addition to redeveloping the site and addressing the flood concerns, the project required to be:

  1. Efficient: By designing a house that could accommodate a family of six, in only 1200 square feet.

  2. Economical: By reconsidering material choices to build for only $60-70/ sq.ft. while only operating on $30/month for utilities.

  3. Environmentally Conscious: By striving for LEED Gold and EnerGuide 85 Rating, as well as improving the community environment.
Undeterred by the challenges of the site, Habitat saw the solution to this problem was progressive design principles and an open mind.

Efficiency was achieved by shrinking the footprint of the house to a mere 10.2m x8.4m and by utilizing a compact centralized circulation system to maximize the room sizes