All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

The MONAD building in Kits

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In Kits, I found another building that should convince everyone that we have the technology to reduce emissions – it’s just a matter of getting on with it.

The MONAD is a smallish four-story building on Fourth Avenue, facing the park.  It holds six dwellings and a ground-floor store and office, and wraps around an interior courtyard.  Mixing commercial and residential is great: this is what makes streets interesting and lively with pedestrian traffic.

The façade facing the street is what has become a Vancouver signature: all glass.  In typical buildings, this is kinda dumb:  too hot in summer, but losing too much heat in winter.

A view of the windows in the rear suites, and the roof-top garden

A view of the windows in the rear suites, and the roof-top garden

Not so the MONAD; the windows are triple-glazed to minimize heat loss, and screens can be used when there is too much sun.  This minimizes the need for heating (or cooling) but along with light wells allows natural light to penetrate the building year round.  Extra-thick insulation in the walls complete the picture to make this building an energy miser.    The needed heat is supplied by a deep-well geothermal system supplemented with solar heat.

Add to that natural ventilation, radiant floor heating, and a roof-top garden.  Nice.  There is also a green roof to minimize runoff (which also contributes to insulation).

One final touch: a mechanical parking system.  I’m a bit ambivalent about those.  On the one hand, a green building should not be car-dependant; but on the other, it saves space, and reflects the reality of car ownership.  Even in uber-green German cities, one sees these contraptions.

Not a cheap building, for sure; but the energy-saving features add only about 10% to the final cost.  If this becomes an example to follow, economies of scale should bring these costs .  As for land prices, well, that’s another story, but dense, liveable buildings are a step in the right direction.


More info can be found here, here, or here.


Written by enviropaul

November 6, 2016 at 10:57 am

One Response

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  1. […] my last post I mentioned that the new MONAD building in Kits has a mechanical parking system.  To quote myself: “I’m a bit ambivalent about those.  On the […]

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