106 - The Pillar

Angele Clarke & Colin Simic


A pillar for environmental sustainability nestled into the Acadian Forest

The Pillar combines comfortable interior design, with environmental conservation. The building produces minimal greenhouse gases due a it’s air-tight and compact design, low-emission construction materials and innovative heating system.

Comfortable Interior

The Pillar is separated into three spaces: (1) a boot room, (2) a living room, and (3) a sleeping area.

When you enter the Pillar you are encouraged to place you boots and coat by the wood stove to warm. The wood stove is in the centre of the social space. Multifunctional cob benches are built onto the wood stove; people can sit on the benches, and the cob acts as a mass heater for the cabin. A futon across from the wood stove offers more seating in the living room, and also an extra bed to use in the evening. The second floor loft is more private. Visitors access the cozy second floor sleeping space with a ladder.

Air-Tight Design

The Pillar is efficient at holding heat because it has few exterior edges where heat can be lost.
The building is constructed with sawn softwood wood that is kiln dried; this reduces the chance of shrinking or cracking after construction.
The air-tight design also keeps water out.

Features of the waterproof building envelope are:
• Wood shingled roofing that sheds water
• Lapping siding that sheds waters
• Flashing is included on all building corners and chimney edges

These design features are recommended for buildings in the Atlantic provinces . In wet and windy environments, it is important to keep the elements outside the structure for comfort and to protect against building deterioration.

Low Emission Construction Materials

Construction materials with low embodied carbon were chosen to reduce greenhouse gas production. This includes:

  • New Brunswick so wood for framing, roof shingles, siding and window frames
  • Regionally sourced straw for insulation
  • Recycled windows, a door and steel drum from a construction and demolition debris facility
  • Locally sourced rubble for the rubble trench foundation
  • A monocrystalline solar panel, (which are the most efficient type) for lighting

Innovative Heating System

A rocket stove heated air design will heat the lo quickly and efficiently. As wood burns in the stove, the hot air rises into a steel drum. While in the steel drum, the super-heated air further combusts the wood, reducing the amount of smoke and emissions. The cob mass heater and stacked brick wall (behind the rocket stove steel drum) will absorb the heat, and release it slowly.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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