The Kerchum Residence

The Kerchum Residence in Vancouver, British Columbia

In recent years, Vancouver has become increasingly known for hitting numerous environmental benchmarks, especially in regards to green commercial and residential building. Not long ago, the city’s Vancouver Convention Centre was awarded the highly prestigious LEED Platinum Certification. Now the Kerchum Residence – a single family home within the city limits – has become the first home to earn LEED Platinum Certification in Western Canada. Its modern design is not only environmentally conscious, it is also highly functional and extremely pleasing to the eye.

Kerchum Residence living room

The Kerchum Residence living room

Designed by the accomplished Frits de Vries Architects and occupying an area of 3,070 square feet, the Kerchum Residence was created with the intention of enticing a younger couple with a desire to enjoy clean, modern living. The smart floor plan is flexible in that it accommodates entertaining, intimacy and a growing family. The interior and exterior entertaining areas are integrated to create a diverse spatial experience within the standard constraints of a city lot. The outdoor patios and gardens blend naturally with the architecture to give the feeling of a living space that is entirely cohesive. The Kerchum Residence is divided into two sections that are connected by a central staircase: Section A consists of two stories with vaulted ceilings and a roof deck; Section B is three stories with lower ceilings and a sunken courtyard. The staircase, with its full skylight, brings an abundance of light into the two sections, creating a sense of scale and intimacy. Additionally, the north wall of the house is made up entirely of glass sliding doors, inviting in even more light. As far as energy efficiency goes, the Kerchum Residence is far ahead of its neighbors with its passive solar energy use, triple-glazed windows, drought-tolerant and minimal water usage landscaping, and high-efficiency heating and cooling system including in-floor radiant heat and rooftop solar hot water. A home like the Kerchum Residence could not have come together without the help of numerous experts in their fields including: builder Galen Evans of Natural Balance Home Builders Inc.; 
landscape designer Claire Kennedy Design; interior designer Patrick Warren; and sustainable building advisor Orianne Johnson.

Kerchum Residence designed by Frits de Vries

Kerchum Residence designed by Frits de Vries Architects

In addition to earning a LEED Platinum Certification, the architects of the Kerchum Residence were recently honored with a 2011 RAIC Award of Excellence for Green Building. Undoubtedly, the Kerchum Residence will inspire the construction of many more environmentally friendly homes in Vancouver and all of Western Canada.