Hunter House

Straw-Bale Off-Grid Passive Solar House near Peterborough

A contemporary straw-bale home built entirely off-grid in rural Ontario, the Hunter House reaffirms the benefits of natural building techniques in 21st-century construction, and is a testament to SUSTAINABLE.TO’s commitment to sustainability and to the use of renewable resources. The combination of effective straw bale insulation, energy-efficient doors and windows, solar thermal hot water, deep overhangs for sun shading, highly-reflective Galvalume roofing, thermal mass concrete floors, hydronic radiant floor heating, and on-site solar & wind energy generation & storage make the Hunter House comfortable, healthy, and extremely resilient.

Since completion of the main house, SUSTAINABLE.TO has been retained to design two more complementary structures: a Work/Storage Shed using as many ‘left over’ materials as possible from the original construction, and a Sugar Shack/Vehicle Maintenance Shed nestled into the original barn stone foundations.

Cavan, ON
232 m², 2,500 ft²
Project Lead:
Paul Dowsett
Energy Use Intensity:
Estimated: 123 kWh/m²
Reduction in Energy Use from Typical:
Solar PV Capacity:
2.8 kW
Energy Generation:
2,931 kWh/yr
Principal-in-Charge 2002-2008:
(Scott Morris Architects Inc.) Paul Dowsett, Architect
Principal-in-Charge 2009-2014:
(Paul Dowsett Architecture Inc. o/a SUSTAINABLE.TO) Paul Dowsett, Architect