Terri Meyer Boake B.E.S. B.Arch. M.Arch.
Associate Professor School of Architecture University of Waterloo

Case Studies in Canadian Sustainable Design:
Image Gallery:

YMCA Environmental Learning Centre, Residence Building

Charles Simon Architect

Paradise Lake , Ontario


About the building:

for more information see the Advanced Buildings Website and check the case studies list


Also, see the vital signs case study.



South facing front of main common room.
Details of trellis at south front of building.

The north side of the building is earth bermed. This forms the back wall of the sleeping areas.
Side view showing earth berming at rear of building.

Oblique view across front of building.
Side entrance near washrooms.
View up at building from service trench to basement. Bsaement houses the cleanout for the composting toilets, battery storage and other services.
View from top of berm at back of building over the roof. You can see the clerestory glazing that provides light for the sleeping quarters.
Daylighting into common room. Thermal mass is provided by the white calcite brick wall around this space.
Bright winter sun comes into the common room.
View towards the masonry heating fireplace in the common room.
Alternate view away from fireplace. Doors lead into the sleeping quarters. There are bunks for around 40 campers.
Detail of ceiling. All wood used is recycled product. Electricity provided by wind and pv through battery storage (when needed).
Masonry fireplace. This must be stoked every 12 hours in the winter to provide supplemental heat to the passive gained through the south window.
Sleeping quarters. The rear wall is at the earth berm.
Sleeping quarters.

The images on this site have been taken for use in my teaching. They may be copied for educational purposes. Please give credit. These images may not be reproduced commercially without written consent.


last updated March 8, 2008