R-Hauz Blog

Thoughts from the team

By: Molly Giroux | July 9, 2021

Sustainable Construction: Why Mass Timber?

Embodied Carbon and the Opportunity to Lead Sustainability in the real estate industry is most often referred to when trying to improve the operational efficiency of buildings. Recently, reducing energy use and overall energy consumption has become a primary focus on the path towards more sustainable construction. However, operational emissions only account for a small percentage of the overall carbon emissions of the industry as a whole. The carbon emissions attributed to the extraction, manufacturing, transport and the construction process are what is known as Embodied Carbon. Buildings and their construction account for 39% of global carbon emissions,...

Read More

By: Francesca MacKinnon | March 17, 2021

In Conversation with Elevation Architects

Curious about R-Suite laneway designers? R-Hauz works with different architects to bring you a variety of homes to suit your aesthetic. Each of our laneway suites is created with a property in mind. We sat down with Julia, co-founder of Elevation Architects, to chat about what inspires her, and how the Elevation Laneway Suite came to be. So let’s start with a bit of background about you Julia, and how you started Elevation Architects? Julia Bourque: My partner Maxine and I were neighbours back in 1992, when we shared two sides of a semi. Our children were within three months...

Read More

By: Gillian Barker | August 13, 2020

The How: Innovating the Construction Supply Chain

Here at R-Hauz, we talk a lot about providing housing as a product, more specifically a product that is faster, cheaper, and more sustainable than the traditional housing options available. When it comes to how we can deliver a housing solution that meets these high standards, a lot of it comes down to the design process and supply chain. These are two key areas where we are looking to innovate and pass on the benefits to our customers! R-Hauz is pleased to announce that it will receive advisory services and up to $130,000 in funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial...

Read More

By: R-Hauz Team | August 4, 2020

Laneway Suite Checklist: Is My Property Eligible?

If you are contemplating a laneway suite, there are a number of by-law requirements that must be considered in order to be eligible. At R-Hauz, all of our laneway suite models are designed to comply with the existing zoning regulations. By choosing one of the designs in our series of as-of-right models, you eliminate the risk of a custom design not meeting City approval. This way, you can be assured there will be no delays in the planning process, and no waiting for Committee of Adjustment hearings. Our custom designed solutions are built to provide you with functional, beautiful designs,...

Read More

By: Salman Khalili | July 23, 2020

Beyond Software: Building With BIM

In our last blog, we went into detail about our construction methods. In the spirit of explaining how and why our building process varies from the traditional, we interviewed our resident BIM expert, Salman Kahlili. Our collective experience as a team is what enables us to create our products in new and more effective ways than those currently on the market. With a Ph.D. and Postdoctoral research experience Salman is specialized in building information modelling (BIM) and digital technologies in the building industry.  Currently, on top of working at R-Hauz, he teaches BIM and digital technologies at the University of Toronto....

Read More

By: Michael Barker | June 23, 2020

Methods of Construction: How We Build Better

We talk about our way of building often, but what processes make it so special really? If you are like me (a newbie in construction), you may be a bit lost.. CLT, Mass Timber, BIM… huh – google – help?! While it may sound complex, the way we build actually adds great value to our products in terms of quality, sustainability, comfort and speed. So we set out to simplify it for you. We sat down with one of founders and head builder, Michael Barker, to give you the lay of the land as it pertains to construction at R-Hauz....

Read More

By: R-Hauz Team | May 28, 2020

Laneway Home Basics: Emergency Access for Laneway Suites

Emergency access regulations are perhaps the least known of the criteria in the process of permit issuance for your new laneway suite. R-Hauz will do the legwork to sort this for you as part of the services included in the selection process of one of our laneway suites. We will provide you an assessment of your desired R-Hauz lane home sited on your lot. We do not charge a fee for this assessment – it is part of our conversation with you as you make this important choice. The situation: You are contemplating the purchase of a laneway suite for...

Read More

By: Leith Moore | May 22, 2020

The Future Reimagined: A New Opportunity For Senior Living

A new reality is upon us, and with it comes a new outlook on the way we were living. Sheltering in place is a term that is now burned into our thoughts. For many families, this is particularly evident with respect to our parents. How best to care for their housing needs in the current and post COVID-19 world? Perhaps it can serve as a wake up call to build better for our most vulnerable. We need to fix a system that is clearly overburdened, for them and for our future selves. We would love to have our parents cared...

Read More

By: Will Baigent | May 1, 2020

A Research Series: Switching Lanes

The aim of R-Hauz is to create products that contribute to developing a healthier and more sustainable city. We believe that a consistent lack of research in the building industry has created barriers to innovation in construction. More specifically, academic literature linking laneway housing, or other secondary suites, to sustainable development also appears to be widely missing. Will Baigent, Sustainability and Value Engineering Coordinator at Footprint Engineering , completed his Master Thesis in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University (Sweden). In sharing findings from his thesis titled, “Switching lanes: The Potential of laneway housing in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto,...

Read More

By: Natalie Browne | April 16, 2020

A Research Series Part Two: Challenges In Housing Affordability

As it stands, the city’s current urban infrastructure is incompatible with the demand for affordable housing in Toronto. Combined with this, rising land costs point to the importance of the self-solve model. Property owners looking to improve upon their existing lots or create an additional flow of rental income can do so quickly, conveniently and smoothly – without needing to expand or move around in the GTA. Neptis (2010) identifies this type of infill development, along with gentle densification and scaled growth, as key practices that help contain urban sprawl. Simultaneously, these flexible housing solutions will also help realize economies of scale in delivering...

Read More

By: Gillian Barker | April 9, 2020

Welcoming a New Hire as a Start-Up During COVID-19

We were wrapping up the second round of interviews for a new position at R-Hauz just as COVID-19 started to become a daily topic of conversation around the office. It is early March, and the interview candidate is being taken through the office and introduced to the small team here at R-Hauz. When she gets to my desk, I’m unsure what to do. As someone who was taught the importance of a handshake at business school, I can’t decide if it is still socially acceptable or if a friendly wave would be construed as unprofessional. I go for the handshake...

Read More

By: Natalie Browne | April 6, 2020

A Research Series: Housing Affordability and Social Sustainability in Toronto

The following report series will examine how the introduction of gentle densification with R-Hauz products can directly address problems caused by non-sustainable urban growth– distinctively targeting measures to reduce urban sprawl and subsequent social isolation, mitigate the urban heat island effect, provide safe/affordable housing and protect against the loss of urban greenspace and permeable land. Importantly, the introduction of R-Hauz’s products could provide viable housing options for people in need of centralized and affordable housing. At the same time, the customizable nature of these products and the attentive flexibility in design means that these housing solutions can be an attractive...

Read More

By: Leith Moore | April 1, 2020

The Laneway: Creating Missing Middle Density In Toronto

Discussions in Toronto surrounding solutions to increase the supply of missing middle housing have been intensifying over the past two years. In an ever more expensive market with ever decreasing rental vacancies the low density neighbourhoods known in urban planning circles as the Yellow Belt (quite naturally as the City Zoning Maps for low density neighbourhoods is yellow) have come under scrutiny as a fertile ground for increased “gentle” densification. The need for more rental housing supply is not in question. The challenge – when we come out of our COVID-19 shutdown – is creating cost effective and community supported rental housing in our lower...

Read More

By: Natalie Browne | April 1, 2020

A Research Series Conclusion: Examining Our Contribution

Beyond an understanding of what is deeply necessary for the sustainable growth of our cities in the big picture, R-Hauz has embraced a comprehensive approach to product design that is entirely considerate of the diverse needs of modern-day individuals and families. Development processes for the Six Storey Avenue Townhomes and Two Storey Laneway Suites involved extensive collaboration amongst established developers, builders, engineers, architects, city planning experts and other relevant outside consultants. Importantly, these converging points of expertise have ultimately resulted in highly original and refined housing solutions – thoughtfully crafted for humans and our planet. Put simply: comfort, safety, liveability...

Read More

Latest Updates