Getting away without a mechanical room (Zone 6A)
This project is located in a central location in the Toronto area. The site is on a main-street backing to a laneway (alleyway). There is an existing townhouse that will be retained. The new building is accessed from the laneway; it has a walk-out basement with a unit of approximately 350 SF and one three-storey unit above 1100 SF.
The 3-storey unit is organized with 1 bedroom and a small office at level 1, 2 bedrooms at level 2, and living, kitchen dining at level 3. Half the third level has double-height space, and the other half has a rooftop terrace above.
It’s a very tight site at 12′ wide with a relatively small separation from the existing townhouse. I am the architect and owner of the project.
I would like to get good results in terms of energy efficiency, but since the units are relatively small, optimizing for living space in a central area will take priority over energy efficiency.
There is somewhat limited space for mechanical equipment outdoors – there is a very small outdoor area at-grade between the two buildings. a small front yard, and the rooftop terrace.
The main question is – how can we minimize the need for allocating floor area for mechanical equipment indoors? Addressing heating/cooling/dehumidification, ventilation, and water heating, assuming I did not miss anything. The typical ceiling height is approximately 9′ so there is some room for equipment and ducting.
I’m happy to go all-electric – which also seems to be the only way to do it. We’re Ok with mini-splits if that’s the best approach. Zoning is preferable for conditioning and ventilation, as rooms may have their doors closed for long periods of time. Filtration of incoming outdoor air is important as we are close to a high-traffic street.
The question is both about principles and approach, and specific equipment that is available in the area.
As always, the cost is a consideration, but comfort, efficient use of space and operation costs are more important.
We are now going through municipal approvals where we don’t show fully a detailed design but considering the constraints of the site, I’d like to gain as much understanding of the limitations as possible.
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