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The winner of our 2020 Blue Sky Award is the Edmonton-based not-for-profit Tomorrow Foundation. Founded in 1970, The Tomorrow Foundation For a More Sustainable Future has been tackling environmental concerns and promoting sustainability within Edmonton and beyond for nearly 50 years. The Foundation applied for our Blue Sky Award with the idea of creating a carbon-negative home—one that would set a precedent for sustainable architecture in Edmonton and the world! 


Backyard houses, or garage suites, are one of the most environmentally friendly building typologies. As the Backyard House will append an existing structure, the resources and land space required will be minimal and add needed density to the city core. The House will function as an energy and carbon sink, utilizing passive energy transferred from the natural environment, collecting rainwater and providing the means necessary to grow food on site. 


Not only will the innovative Backyard House will produce as much energy as it consumes, it will also be carbon-negative, lowering initial embodied carbon and serving as a carbon sink by sequestering carbon into the built environment. Aesthetically, the building complements the residential area’s existing scale and popular pitched-roof style. It was important to the success of the project that the design be accessible and affordable; the aim of the Backyard House is to popularize sustainable design within Edmonton and to set an exciting new precedent for residential cold-climate architecture. 

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