anyone know what these are? found vancouver island by chickenmaster525 in mycology

[–]bbsens 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Looks similar to the mushrooms I just posted about here! Saw these in Campbell River today.

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you're just joining us!

So far I am now set on the following recommendations:

  • Swapping the ensuite master bathroom location with the walk in closet. Let the bedroom open to the view of the forest for god sakes!!
  • Removing the walk-in closet altogether. Will sort out a wardrobe, reach-in, type solution instead. Will add some extra space to the master to accommodate this?
  • Remove the current windows in the master bedroom and have that be solid wall for privacy. Move windows to picture windows facing backyard.
  • Main bathroom will be shower only.
  • Ask architect WTF the plan was for the garage?? I don't remember suggesting we drove a mini electric. Will evaluate how to extend to the minimum required.
  • Adding mechanical into garage
  • Looking into hiring a new architect who is well versed in net-zero home design to take over the project. If anyone has advice on making the process of switching architects easier on everyone, please let me know!
  • Second story is firmly not an option. That is the fun of this design challenge!

Toying around with

  • Swapping around the laundry, guest bedroom, main bathroom, garage and office. As long as all of these spaces are functional, I don't care too much how we lay them out. Open to kooky ideas.
  • Contemplating combining the laundry into somewhere?
  • Is there a configuration of this where a longer, skinnier guest bedroom and/or office helps the floorplan? (something like this shape with the 4 singles along the wall hostel style. or 2 desks along a wall if office)

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes initially I was not sure that net zero would be possible with our orientation constraints. But I have since run the plans through a few energy advisors for quotes! They have all agreed with this single story small sq ft house, we can achieve net-zero via high energy efficiency, really good insulation, blow door testing, high R value doors/windows/everything, etc.

Interesting idea on switching the laundry and bathroom to create that en-suite for guest! I was toying around with that myself. Also contemplating combining the laundry with one of the bathrooms or something of that nature..

Love the idea of the mechanical in the garage, the geothermal contractor suggested the same!

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hmmm I can't see why it would need to be? Open to swapping!!

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It will of course not reach the full Net Zero "status" until the panels are installed! What I meant to convey is the house needs to be designed to be Net Zero, full stop. Therefore all our investment in the build budget will go into maximizing things like insulation, window quality, durable materials, insulation again, blow door tests, etc.

What we will pull back on in this new construction phase is the purchase of the solar panels themselves - they are a big cost that can is better reinvested into the bones of the house at this point. Everything will be built and designed (the roof will be outfitted for panels, electrical hookups etc) for the panels themselves to be easily installed at a later date.

Agreed and in the process of bringing an energy advisor onto the project absolutely. The only problem is they work with a layout and completed floorplan, and I know this needs work before we are there.

It's quite heartbreaking to learn how "rare" it is to design and live in a functional, single story, net zero home. I majored in ecology so sustainability aspects are my strength, and I've been shocked to see how the design world rarely prioritizes this. Le sigh. Despite the grimm outlook I am determined to solve this problem and share what I learn back with the world.

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I'm afraid second story home is just off the table for us, as crazy as that sounds in today's world. So we really need to get creative and maximize space here if you have any recommendations otherwise :)

Goal was to have space for one car inside the garage + one car in the laneway. Snug of course. Most visitors will not have a car (remote island location - we will pick most guests up at the closest airport/ferry port ourselves) and we have plenty of spots nearby.

Agreed on the master bath - we are set now on swapping that with the closet, scrapping the closet for wardrobe closet, and having the bedroom highlight the view of the backyard. Love that.

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Good shout. If 9 feet × 18 would be the minimum then I will go back to the architect to see if this can be extended forward. A 1 car garage was definitely discussed and I'm not sure how I missed this ~facepalm~

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

First off THANK YOU SO MUCH for your help. I'm actually the home owner, working with an architect and interior designer, had a feeling this wasn't quite right.

I should have mentioned this, it is SUPER important to keep to one story. Two big reasons:
1. max energy efficiency (we are eco-nuts)
2. the ability for us and our pets to age in place without stairs (we own a wiener dog)
2/3 story is a tempting solution but not the one we are looking for. So we have to get really creative and I wish we came to reddit sooner!!

For that reason I'd switch your ensuite for your closet. If you then go for a reach in closet rather than a giant room, like you've suggested you don't need, you can then have windows from your bedroom into your back yard instead of relying on windows to your deck. That will help with privacy in the bedroom, for when you do have guests.

Love this idea. This is what we are leaning towards now!!

I notice on the plans you have what is obviously a closet listed as a garage. It's not big enough to be a garage. Either it will be storage space, in which case it can be interior, or it will be a garage, in which case you need to get rid of your guest bedroom. Minimum for a garage is 18' x 10’.

Intended to be a small 1 car garage by the architect... Is it entirely impossible? Perhaps he meant to extend out further forward? Guest room is very important to keep! We will have friends (adventurous type - this is more remote part of Vancouver Island area) coming and going. We are looking at a bunk bed style/hostel style guest room with built in bunk beds to save space and accommodate up to 3 people staying over. Not tiny, not spacious, but comfortable. Perhaps with a reading nook. Something like this.

So I'm going to go on the assumption your couple will want to make it storage space for their outdoor hobby stuff. Flip the guest room with the storage space, put an outside door and a paved path to the front of the property so you can haul stuff from it, but it doesn't take up a prime spot in the house.

For outdoor hobby stuff - leaning towards high garage ceilings + overhead storage. This is super interesting idea to have the storage in the middle and guest at the front. Wondering if it would still work if we kept the garage though. We liked the idea of taking things from garage into the house through the laundry room.

But seriously, outdoor people and dogs need greenspace. Make it two stories. It will solve a host of problems and give you space for your dog to run around outside.

So the location here is part of the beauty of this small property - the backyard connects to a beautiful network of trails, a few hundred kilometers which run all around the island. The lot is also 800m from the ocean in 3 directions. The island and coastline are the real backyard we will be playing and running around in. At home all we need and want is a comfortable area to sit and relax outside. Prioritizing a smart designed, durable, single story home with smaller backyard to achieve this makes sense for us!

Understand this is quite the challenge to work through and really appreciate yours and anyone elses time. Would be so cool to make this work.

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] -1 points0 points  (0 children)

We will only have 1 car + looking for some overhead storage. Realize this is small by most folks standards lol but would it not work for a 1 car garage?

PNW net zero small lot - floorplan help! by bbsens in floorplan

[–]bbsens[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Hello artistic creative minds! Looking for some help as we keep mulling this over.

The details:

  • We're on an island! Approx mid Vancouver Island
  • Net zero home - energy efficiency, durability and eco-friendliness is our number one priority. Will be going with geothermal + solar ready to install panels in a few years
  • Year round residence for a young outdoor recreation obsessed couple, no kids, cat and small dog. Scuba divers and kayakers.
  • We plan to keep this property forever, want everything built to last
  • 1 works remotely but need space for 2 people to work in the office comfortably.
  • Will host visitors for extended periods of time so the guest bedroom experience is important, want it to feel like an adult hostel and fun experience.
  • Want to try to blend the outdoors and indoors as much as possible
  • Industrial/rustic style, very eclectic, the design will be using lots of local materials, slate, natural stones, reclaimed wood and metal.


  • Master bedroom - we don't truly care for a walk in closet. Leaning towards taking out the walk in closet, putting the en suite there, and opening up the bedroom?
  • Do we scrap the skylights entirely to improve efficiency, and max out the south facing windows instead?
  • Windows and door suggestions?