In Ottawa, A Condo For People, Not Cars

The ground-floor garage is a staple of the modern condo. Unfortunately, all that space dedicated to housing automobiles also takes up a lot of space, which impacts the energy efficiency of the building as a whole. The Eddy — a green condo development in Ottawa, Canada — has implemented a novel solution to this problem called 5BY2.

Treehugger reports that this wild parking garage system actually shuffles the cars around like a sliding puzzle for optimum space efficiency. Residents drive into a single parking dock, switch off and lock their cars. The parking system then lowers their vehicle into an underground lot, and moves it into place beside the other cars in the system. When the driver needs his or her wheels again, the same system “finds” their car and delivers it to the same parking dock where they left it. Call it a high-tech valet.

The Eddy parking scheme

image via The Eddy

Complex, yes, but Windmill Developments claims that it uses 60 percent less space than the bottom-floor condo garage scheme, and keeps vehicle emissions out of the building. (We also imagine that this super-efficient subterranean parking garage doesn’t get cluttered with a lot of unused exercise equipment and other assorted household junk.) Cyclists have the benefit of a large, secure bike room for storage.

The Eddy

image via The Eddy

The Eddy is located in the formerly working-class Hintonburg area of Ottawa, which in recent years has been reborn as a magnet for chefs, artists, coffee shops and craft brewers.  Comprising six stories, it was designed by and Christopher Simmonds, with 57 residential units, the smallest of which weighing in at a surprisingly modest 378 square feet. The development makes use of ground source heat pumps for heating and cooling, and formaldehyde-free, low-VOC materials; it is targeting LEED Platinum certification.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.