CBC visits a unique bathroom built by Greening Homes By: greening homes

May 26, 2015
Community, Green Materials, Indoor Health, Resource Efficiency, Site Stories

Our past client and the Managing Editor behind TreeHugger.com, Lloyd Alter, was recently featured on CBC’s radio program The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti!

As part of an ongoing series called By Design, the segment focused on the uniquely designed bathroom which Greening Homes recently completed as part of a whole house renovation. In stark contrast to North American standards, Lloyd’s bathroom configuration spatially separates each function: the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub and shower, and the sink is in the hallway. This separation is based on Japanese traditions and a focus on user health.

For those who don’t know him, Lloyd Alter has been an architect, developer, inventor and promoter of pre-fab building. He is also an Adjunct Professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design and is a Past President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. Lloyd believes that the key to sustainability is to simply use less; and the key to happily using less is to design things better!

You can read Lloyd’s personal description of the design and functionality of his bathroom here and you can visit The Current’s episode ‘Bathroom Design Has Much Room for Improvement’ here.

As mentioned, this bathroom was part of a much more extensive renovation that Greening Homes undertook with Lloyd in 2014. The renovation included an addition to the rear which increased the overall building footprint, provided daylight to the basement, and added a second story deck. The home now has two separate living quarters to allow for multi-family use.


Lloyd has narrated a photo gallery of this renovation here: On decluttering, downsizing and surviving a green renovation and you can look at more of the finished photos on our website here.

Another highlight of this project, was the ‘Active Desk’ that David Colussi of Workshop Architecture and Lloyd designed in this renovated basement. You can read about the intricacies of it here.

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Some key green materials and efficient products used in this renovation include the following:


  • Fibre cement Geoboard cladding
  • Cascadia clips use to prevent heat loss between the siding strapping and the house
  • 40% SCM in concrete used in the new basement floor
  • Caesarstone quartz countertop – GREENGUARD certified
  • FSC certified framing lumber
  • FSC certified engineered flooring sourced from Quebec
  • Floor and trim finish NAUF water-based stain
  • FSC certified NAUF maple plywood
  • 98% recycled content drywall
  • Spray foam insulation
  • EcoLogo certified 98% recycled content drywall
  • Zero VOC primer and paint
  • Eastern white cedar, locally sourced and sustainably harvested


  • Double glazed, argon filled fibreglass windows and exterior door
  • LED lighting
  • High-efficiency boiler for radiant heating system
  • Energy Star certified appliances

Stay tuned to TreeHugger, Lloyd’s blog for more exciting details and ideas!