At Heath Lansdowne Design Studio, we provide custom, modern house plans and designs for new construction or renovations and Passive House on the Southern Gulf Islands , Victoria and southern Vancouver Island. I am a residential designer with over 25 years experience, and a carpenter with over 30 years experience both here and abroad.
We are located on North Pender Island, one of the beautiful southern gulf islands of British Columbia, Canada. Here we are blessed not only with magnificent scenery and wildlife, but also a natural environment rich in colour and texture. We have an abundance of local woods that can be harvested, locally milled and utilised in any way our imaginations inspire us. I enjoy the challenge of combining these natural materials with elements like steel and glass to create an interesting, balanced contrast. The challenge is to integrate function and aesthetics into a house design that cooperates with nature and ecological principles.
We hear a lot of sustainabilty and green choices these days. There isn’t just one solution for sustainable construction. The types of materials we use, where they come from, and how far they’ve come are just some of things we need to consider. Materials should also be chosen for their quality and how well they are suited to their application and how long they will last. Sustainability can be achieved when we construct appealing, well built homes that contribute to healthy lives and communities – these homes will last longer and are more likely to be preserved. When a home does finally reach the end of it’s serviceable life, as much as possible should be recyclable, like wood windows or metal roofing.
I call myself a modern designer but the term “Modern” is more correctly applied to a style that began in the 1800’s with the German Bauhaus movement and is referred to as classic modern. The dictionary defines “Modern” as denoting a current or recent style or trend in art,architecture… while “Contemporary” is defined as belonging to or occurring in the present. There is an ongoing debate over this, but I think Modern is more commonly used and understood, so i’ll stick with that.
In June 2018, I sat the iPHA exam and I am now a certified Passive House Consultant. This allows me to plan and design what I believe to be the best option for creating sustainable, comfortable, healthy and energy efficient homes. Passive House is a method that focuses on occupant comfort and health and greatly reduces the energy a home uses for space heating and cooling by as much as 90% over conventional housing stock. Passive Houses are designed to last, through better workmanship, materials and interior humidity control. With this method as a foundation, we can employ any other sustainable principles we like, including LEED and Net Zero and almost any type of construction from stick frame to straw bale and more.
I have two super energy efficient designs under construction on Pender with two more on the drafting board. Due to property constraints or customer requirements, two of the homes are not going to reach Passive House certification, though their energy efficiency will still surpass conventional build home by several factors, and of course they will still benefit from all the comfort and health benefits of Passive House.
Please visit PassiveHouse Canada or the Passivhuas Institute web sites to see what this simple method has to offer for both new homes and renovations. We all have an obligation to consider the impact we have on our children’s inheritance – when building a new home or renovating an existing one, we have the privilege of choosing how much we can reduce that impact.
We are great fans of Heath Landsdowne and his designs! When we asked him to come up with some ideas for an entrance extension to our home, he created not only the utilitarian space we had requested, but blended it so seamlessly with the rest of the house that it looked as if it was part of the original build. Heath’s attention to detail is second to none! He is most fastidious about his projects. He combines an intuitive aesthetic sense together with his experience to create a space you afterwards wonder how you ever lived without! In our situation, the addition of skylights – which we hadn’t even considered – transformed not only the new entrance, but our entire living area into a place of lightness and space.
Evelyn and Andrew Dunsmore
Heath listened to our ideas and respected our vision of a cottage that blended with the landscape. He created a design that was both original and elegant. Meeting all deadlines, he worked closely with other trades people and professionals to ensure that our cottage was completed on time and within budget. Throughout the project, he was infinitely patient, exceptionally efficient, and especially cheery when offered chocolate.
His superb design skills and unparalleled craftsmanship have given us a legacy we will be proud to pass on to future generations.
Robert and Carolyn Young