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YOUR ARCHITECT

BC's #1 luxury, sustainable, climate-resilient houses

DANIEL CLARKE

Architect AIBC

dclarke@dclarkearchitect.com

You're busy, so I'll get right to the point.  I created DCA to specialize in unique, Passive House-level buildings that will withstand climate change and extreme weather.  My PURPOSE and my PASSION are to respect and restore natural systems and habitat through the design of the the built environment.

The solution to provide all this is the UltraHome™.

I grew up in the cold(er) parts of Alberta and am therefore acutely aware of the threat of damaging, vicious weather.  Now, I use new technology and cutting edge building science to design affordable, stylish, and comfortable buildings.  "Live Strong Age Well" is a philosophy I've adopted: to create for you a high-performance healthy home that will protect and comfort you and your family from climate changes for generations.  SAPPHR Strategy™ is my research-design-execute process to develop the UltraHome™.

My experience spans over two decades in the architectural industry in Western Canada serving clients who were individuals, private developers, and public governmental departments with diverse priorities and needs.  I'm a member of Passive House Canada, International Passive House Association, the Homebuilders Association of Vancouver (HAVAN) and the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA)

 

I believe each project must:

  • fulfill its function innately and intrinsically,

  • create physically and psychologically healthy spaces,

  • be appropriate to its climate and to its surroundings,

  • restore or create green space,

  • use resources efficiently,

  • respect its budget,

  • perform to the Passive House standard,

  • accommodate future climate shifts

  • be robust and durable (50-100 year design life), and

  • be timelessly elegant - never outdated.

Every project has its own, unique personality, but these beliefs underpin every design I develop. 

Countless hours of my childhood were spent on a bike at the edge of town along gravel trails, forested ravines, quiet farmlands, flowering fields and marshy ponds.  Unsurprisingly, I brought my resulting intense appreciation for Nature into my architectural career to design resource- and space-efficient buildings that restore green space and create physically and psychologically healthy spaces.

I've worked on

  • single-family houses,

  • multi-family residential buildings,

  • office buildings,

  • shopping centres,

  • schools,

  • health care centres, and 

  • cultural buildings

in most of Canada's climate zones from design through construction.

After several years of working for different architects doing many different buildings, I had learned how almost every building of any type (office, house, store) - being inefficiently designed and poorly-constructed - wastes huge amounts of money in construction and operation, and creates unhealthy indoor spaces.  The different "green" building systems around have been minimally effective and address only a few weaknesses.  Furthermore, countless homes around the world every year battered by ice storms, shredded by hurricanes and tornadoes, razed by wildfires, or carried away by floods.  

Natural resources and habitat are converted from rich, educational childhood environments into buildings designed to last only 20-30 years.  We're living and working in underperforming, wasteful, fragile, low-quality buildings of all types.  In the event of a natural disaster, you're almost certain to lose your home and may not be able to rebuild.

As I learned how to design and build a wide range of buildings, I noticed that each type has something that all the others need to perform far better.  By combining the design techniques, systems, and materials of public buildings, commercial buildings, and midrise apartment buildings, I can design a single-family house, for example, to be far better than any other.

Despite knowing about the problem of global warming, I was horrified by the plainly visible evidence featured in the film "An Inconvenient Truth".  Al Gore crafted the movie to maximize shock value of course, but my weak desire for "sustainable" architecture was galvanized into my purpose and commitment to create buildings far superior to anything else being built today.  I completed the registration process to get my architectural license, passed the exam to become a Certified Passive House Designer, and started my own firm to work exclusively on ultra high-performance residences that combined the solutions that I had learned over the previous two decades.  

Combining the best of each building type, we see:

  • "cross-laminated timber" panels that spans longer distances

  • "encapsulated mass timber" (chunky wood structure wrapped in drywall) that protects the structure from fire

  • noncombustible siding materials that don't catch on fire

  • continuous exterior insulation that eliminates thermal bridging

  • industrial-grade interior finishes that last for 50-100 years

  • optimized building form and sizing that reduces construction labour

  • off-grid and net-zero features that create energy independence

  • Passive House design that provides airtightness and low energy consumption

  • LEED rating system that rewards features such as water capture, energy conservation, and material re-use; local, non-toxic materials; and ample daylighting.  

  • "biophilic design" and WELL certification evaluate spaces on their physiological and psychological impacts on the occupants

  • "post-disaster" building design that requires stronger structural scheme and connections

  • hurricane-resistant design improves aerodynamics and impact resistance

  • stormwater management strategies that mitigate heavy rainfall

When these things are integrated in a house, you get an incomparably comfortable and healthy home year-round even through scorching heatwaves, extreme deep freezes, and power outages, that costs far less to operate, lasts at least twice as long as a typical house, can be easily reconfigured for family needs in the future, and stands a very good chance of surviving extreme hail, wildfire, tornadoes, major earthquakes, and floods without a scratch - for little to NO extra cost to build.


The secrets of each sector of architecture reminded me that buildings could be amazing.  Even better, this knowledge has given me a mission: to produce exquisite, robust buildings that are worthy of the wilderness they displaced and the resources they consumed.


Your home can last a century of severe wind storms, floods, wildfire, earthquakes, and snow storms; and you can remain perfectly comfortable inside through heatwaves and cold snaps to the end of your days.  This combination of attributes is what I refer to as an "ultra high-performance" house -- the UltraHome.

 

PORTFOLIO

 

Click HERE to see the range of projects on which I've worked over the past two decades.

If you're interested in a more long-winded design philosophy, you can read it HERE.

 

If you want to make something extraordinary of your own - something remarkable - I can help you do that.  Show me your dreams and your challenges, and let's develop a strong, responsible solution together.

MY INSPIRATION

 

Below are photographs I've taken on my travels near and far, and I want to share these moments with you.

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   West Coast Architecture

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Southeast Asia Historical

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Southeast Asia Urban

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Southeast Asia Contemporary Design

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Flora

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Water

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Urban Art

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Beach as an Interface

WHAT INSPIRES ME   |   Overgrowth