While Canadian inventions such as the Wonder bra, cardiac pacemakers and the telephone continue to define much of modern life around the world, Team MTL — a joint student-led university project may have developed a housing model that could provide solutions for sustainable homes and shelter for millions of people around the world.

“Deep Performance means a socially, culturally and technologically sophisticated architecture built for the 21st century urban environment,” said McGill’s Professor Michael Jemtrude.

As of last week, students working out of assorted Concordia and McGill university faculties displayed ‘Deep Performance’ — their new and collective home design that will eventually reduce multiple tons of domestic GHG (Green House Gas) emissions while providing comfortable and accessible housing for millions of families around the world. Located in a Concordia parking lot near the university’s Loyola campus, the new building combines innovative (and passive) heating and cooling systems within a radically accessible home design that incorporates the best of two proven and traditional housing typologies. Inspired by the archetypal Montreal row house, the urban dwelling is designed to be as adaptable as it is flexible to serve the needs of a contemporary family within the context of a dense and crowded urban environment. According to Jemtrud, the project’s ambitious design is ultimately meant to address a pressing global need for affordable, low-impact urban housing

“We’re extremely grateful to the dozens of dedicated people who came together in order to make this possible,” said Jemtrud. “We managed to bring together numerous public and private sector partners with deeply shared concerns for building a sustainable world who were only too happy to work with the best and the brightest young people in our community.”

Following centuries of airborne pollution that’s been created by fossil fuel-based energy and heating systems, Team MTL’s ‘Deep Performance’ home incorporates several passive heating and cooling technologies that are meant to the home’s energy demand by 70% to 80% per cent – a figure that represents an enormous financial saving as well as a massive reduction in airborne smog, GHG and other pollutants. While its engineers managed to reduce the building’s carbon footprint, Team MTL’s student architects worked out a design that incorporates the best of Montreal’s ‘row-house’ typology with China’s typical Siheyuan court yard home – a traditional design that continues to accommodate the needs of up to three generations who live under a common roof.

As both the Québec government and Hydro-Québec fully support the project, Team MTl believes its ‘Deep Performance’ project has an excellent chance of winning the top prize at this year’s Solar Decathlon that will be held in Dezhou, China.

“This project demonstrates the key role universities play in shaping smart, sustainable and resilient cities,” said Concordia University President Alan Shephard. “These young urban leaders are making a difference as they propose solutions that will create the sustainable cities for the 21st century.

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