K-house appears to be a typical contemporary home Hamilton, Ontario, but its unique design by Nicolas Koff begins right beneath the surface with straw bale insulation.  The 40 cm prefabricated straw bale walls are highly insulating and environmentally friendly, providing the perfect envelope for a home centered around healthy living.

Modern technology adds to the structure’s energy efficiency credentials.  High efficiency fireplaces and cross-ventilation can properly regulate the temperature on most days, and solar panels on the roof provide a backup renewable energy source.

Koff used a barrier free design for this home so that his clients could age comfortably in their own residence.  It does not sacrifice aesthetic for accessibility, however, as evidenced by its award winning minimalist bathroom.

Clean lines work well in this project because the architect wants to draw attention to the adjacent conservation area.  He described viewing seasonal changes as “integral to the experience of the place.”  For that purpose, the home features a wildflower garden on the roof of its single-store portion that has panoramic views. [Photography and information courtesy of K-OALA]