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Kristina Markovic

Kristina Markovic

Design has always been a passion for me. From a young age I loved drawing and had a deep fascination for the interior of buildings. This fascination started from watching home décor shows and after research I saw the opportunity in using my skills to pursue a career in interior design. The last four years have taught me so much about myself as well as the design field I would like to pursue. I’ve always been passionate for sustainability which sparked my interest for my final thesis project. I tried to find a way to take my passion for sustainability and connect it to design. That’s when I thought of the idea to start researching ways that people can convert their homes to green standards to help battle the issue of climate change. My passion for design started at a young age and I am so grateful I have been able to make it into a career for myself.

ECO Solutions

Eco solutions is a facility run by the Canadian Green building Council, located at 3120 Lake Shore Blvd W in Etobicoke. The purpose of the facility is to educate homeowners on how to convert their homes to green standards through adaptive reuse as well as educate industry professionals and students on green building methods. The facility was designed using a sustainable approach and strives to provide visitors with an interactive experience and a connection to nature. The idea of a city grids is explored through the space with the centre point being the green council display area followed by linear forms throughout the remainder of the building. Through demonstration labs, seminar rooms and a home display, homeowners will learn about large renovations to convert their homes to green standards as well as small changes they could make to slowly reduce their ecological footprint.

ECO Solutions

Rationale and Design Narrative

The design of the facility was based on the word “in-line”. Through experimental investigation, I thought of having a very linear design. This concept was then translated to city grids. Since the facilities purpose is to educate people on how to convert their homes to green standards, I thought of bringing the city idea into the space. The design follows similar patterns seen in Barcelona, New York and Toronto, where a central area is connected with surrounding streets. The central area in the building is the Green Council display area. This area is surrounded by classrooms and acts as a central point like the city grid of Barcelona. The back of the building follows more of a horizontal and vertical grid with the home display being very linear, similar to the city grids of New York and Toronto.

Design Connection to Research

Through the research I completed, I found that creating a greener home could help in battling the issue of climate change as well as save homeowners a significant amount of money on their monthly bills. Using adaptive reuse was a more environmentally friendly solution than a new build as it salvages as much of the original house as possible. It also helps reduce the negative impact of the amount of waste produced from a demolished building. Most people are not aware of the benefits of a green home. By promoting this it can help people be more open to converting their homes if they are able to see not only the environmental benefits but the benefits they receive from a green home.

Character of Space

When designing the space, a connection to nature and sustainability aspects were the main focus. The building provides large windows that provide sunlight and quality views to the outdoors. When choosing materials and finishes, greens and browns as well as natural materials such as concrete were chosen to create a connection to nature. The concrete floors provide thermal mass helping heat the space and contribute to sustainability. It was important to create a connection to nature as the purpose of the space is for the occupants to understand the impacts we are having on the environment and provide ways on how we can fix these issues. By having a strong connection it helps the occupants understand the beauty of nature and promotes why it is so important to make drastic changes, such as converting a home to green standards, to help save it.

Program Consideration

The design of the building was focused on providing a hands-on and interactive experience. When entering the building, the main space is focused on seminar rooms and demonstration labs where occupants are provided with a hands-on experience of small renovations they can complete on their homes. The green council space provides occupants with a space to gather from these classrooms. It also mimics the idea of a central space in a city such as a park. The back of the building features a home display where occupants have the ability to walk through and see the elements that can be installed in their homes to create a greener environment. It was important to have a hands-on and interactive space as many green elements in a home are difficult to understand and are not aesthetically pleasing. By providing a program for the building that explains the importance of these elements and allows the occupants to see firsthand what will be placed on their homes, it encourages them to take action and implement these things because of their better understanding.

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