How Harmony Sense Interiors Ltd. Is Adapting To The New Passive House Standards & Building Codes
There has been a substantial rise in the number of electric cars circulating in our city, and with the recent increase in gas prices, many people are seriously considering investing in an electric or a hybrid car. Before we know it, we will start seeing charging stations inundate parking lots and hopefully, the costs of owning a Tesla or a hybrid car will reduce.
While vehicles are one thing, the cost of conventional homes is also rising, which begs the question - What does the “Tesla” version of a home look like? The answer - a Certified Passive House.
The term ‘Certified Passive House’ is starting to become a buzzword but questions such as “How difficult are they to build?” and “Will they become the norm in the years to come to face climate change challenges?”, still have no conclusive answers. Moreover, by 2032, the BC Building Code minimum standard will require all homes to be built to Step 5 of the Energy Step Code (NetZero-Ready.) This change in code coupled with the lack of land in Vancouver will force us to rethink how we build our homes.
To throw some more light on this topic, Lucila Diaz, the owner of Harmony Sense Interiors, has recounted some of the challenges she faced on a project she is part of and how she overcame them.
The Challenge: Showing clients what their future home will look like.
I believe that if all of us want to continue enjoying the benefits of living in Vancouver and are conscious about the environment, this is the right time to start learning about what the future might look like.
With a similar mindset, Project Mint Developments and Nick Bray Architecture decided to take a leap into the future and are currently building an exemplary Certified Passive House (near NetZero Energy) in Vancouver. To make things more challenging the property is located in a peat bog, and on a small 25’x122’ lot. But the small lot didn’t stop Architect Nick Bray from delivering a detached home with three well-sized bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a 12’ ceiling living room, a roof deck and best of all, a rental suite that can help as a mortgage helper. Regardless of all the energy savings that the maintenance of living in a house akin to this will offer, it is also a solution for a lot of growing families that don’t want to leave the city and want to own a detached home.
As a recognized interior design and luxury styling firm in Vancouver, BC, it is crucial for us to adapt to these changes and incorporate the latest technology to serve our clients better and improve their experience.
Before we began work on this home, we first needed to have a clear understanding of how each of the products and materials would impact the energy efficiency of the house, to a point where we had to take into account the type of appliances and durability of the materials. It was not just about the maintenance of the house in terms of energy efficiency, but there was a need for us to be conscious of the environment and understand the longevity of the materials.
As professionals, we had a vision and knew what the end-product would look like, but the clients could not imagine how living in a home that an interior design and luxury styling firm put together for them would fit their lifestyle. They needed more than just drawings and rendered images as they wanted to visualize where they would be living and what their future home is going to resemble.
The Solution: Using virtual reality to help our clients visualize their new home.
Instead of showing our clients only a floorplan or a 2D image, to help them visualize the project and experience their space, we used our virtual reality services.
Our virtual reality process is an interactive client experience, thanks to the usage of virtual reality technology. For each step of the design process (framing, selection of finishes to furnishing), we work in such a manner where we immerse our clients in every part of the decision-making process. We ensure there is no guesswork involved and that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes, changes are made on the spot, and clients can virtually walk into their space before a nail is even hammered. In the past, virtual reality was accessible only to big developers, but now it is available to anyone who wants to save time and prevent costly mistakes.
In terms of visualization, however, the unique structural design of our client’s house presented some challenges for us as it was done in different split levels and with varying heights of the ceiling. Another problem that we recognized was that not everyone has ready-to-use VR products. While some of them have to be rendered from scratch, it is more cost-effective to spend time to visualize a space and identify potential problems than to correct costly mistakes down the road.
The Bottom Line
While this project is still a work-in-progress, it has propelled us into the future and into the leading edge of delivering interior design services. The use of virtual reality through the different stages of the design process has opened up a new chapter for us and helped us evolve in the way we deliver our design services to our clients.
As an interior design and luxury styling firm in Vancouver, BC, at Harmony Sense Interiors, we make it our mission to help you achieve your goals, and go above and beyond to ensure you are satisfied with the final design and our services. Our services include renovations, new builds, luxury styling, home staging, virtual reality, and 360 views.
Our virtual reality and 360 view services will help you visualize how your renovation or new build will turn out even before a project is complete. It is an excellent selling and marketing tool as it will help buyers or customers explore and interact with your immersive virtual interior.
To learn more about our virtual reality and 360 view services or need information on our other services, please click here. To find out more about this project, or to book an appointment with our designers, get in touch with us by clicking here. Alternatively, you can read what our clients are saying about us by clicking here.