Brett Sichello Design + Residential Home Design and Plans + Commercial Interior Design

High Performance Home Design

The Stupka Residence

One of the most notable achievements on this home is that the Certified Energy Advisor estimated that the home would only achieve an Energuide Rating of 77 and an Airtightness Rating of 5.0 air changes per hour. Not only did we achieve a significantly higher Energuide rating of 84, the house is one of, if not the tightest building envelope to be built in the Okanagan. At only 1.25 air changes per hour, the home results in significant natural gas and electricity savings.

Energuide Rating - 84
Airtightness Rating - 1.25 air changes per hour @ 50 pascals
Location - Kelowna, British Columbia
Builder - Kelowna Smart Homes

Energy Efficient Home Design

Robert and Camille Stupka approached us with the vision of a 2,000 sf Contemporary Home located in the Gyro Beach area of Kelowna. The house includes three bedrooms, a large den with closet (fourth bedroom), two and a half bathrooms, ample storage throughout, laundry room, a large one car garage, kitchen, dining and double storey lofted living area with a loft space on the second floor.

Modern Roof Canopy Design

Contemporary Home Design Kelowna

Stupka Residence - Contemporary Home Design

The house opens up to a large yard with views from the Living, Kitchen, Dining, Master Bedroom and second floor Loft. The Master Bedroom also has a private balcony and the Living and Dining Rooms connect the interior to the exterior with a large covered patio with stamped concrete.

Custom Home Entry

The side entrance to home includes a custom designed bench with storage and vertical aluminum spindles to define the entrance from the living area.

The house design includes many energy efficient design features including thermally broken slab on grade insulation details to prevent thermal bridging, above code attic insulation, spray foam insulation in the ends of joist cavities, well sealed vapour barrier details throughout and clerestory windows within the two storey space that are automatically opened when the thermostat detects that the house needs to be ventilated in the Okanagan's hot summers.

Kelowna Modern Home Design


Thermal Envelope


Mechanical System


Contemporary Interior Design

Construction has just started as of the middle of October 2013 and we will be posting 3D images of the house along with progress photos throughout the construction process. We are excited for Robert and Camille and are looking forward to working with Kelowna Smart Homes throughout the construction.

Contemporary Office Design

The loft on the second floor looks down into the double volume living area. There are windows on all four sides of the space which will provide amazing cross ventilation and natural light.

Custom Office Design

Looking back at the loft space this is yet another great space within the home.



Construction Progress

Stupka Residence - Site Prep

Site prep - the foundation of the house utilizes an engineered thickened slab to reduce the amount of excavation required for foundation walls and footings. This allows very really easy installation of the under slab insulation and pouring of concrete is simplified as it only requires one basic form.

Stupka Residence - Site Prep

Under Slab Insulation

Nothing like a stack of under slab rigid EPS insulation to put a smile on your face! The house is designed with hydronic radiant heated floors with PEX tubing running in the concrete slab. The rigid insulation reduces energy loss to the ground below and keeps the heat where it should be, in the house.

Rigid Insulation

Utilities Installation

2013-11-05 The plumbing and utility connections have been roughed in beneath the base and now the concrete forms and foundation wall vertical insulation are being installed.

Foundation Wall Insulation

2013-11-05 A close up of the foundation wall insulation at a typical corner. The rigid, closed cell insulation is installed on the exterior of the concrete foundation wall for the most effective thermal barrier in between the house and the exterior elements.

Slab on Grade Radiant In Floor Heating

2013-11-14 All tarped up due to the rain today but here is a shot of the hydronic radiant floor tubing being installed in the concrete slab. This house utilizes an insulated concrete slab on grade floor system with a thickened slab edge which eliminated the need for a traditional foundation wall and footings. This reduced the number of concrete pours required and eliminated a significant amount of excavation work. Beneath the slab is rigid insulation as shown above and within the concrete slab is a grid of welded wire mesh for reinforcement as well as steel rebar where the thickened slab edge occurs.

Front Elevation Framing

2013-12-19 With the concrete slab complete the framers have quickly put up the main and second floors.

Rear Elevation Framing

2013-12-19 The rear elevation.

The living and dining areas from the main entry.

2013-12-19 The view from the entry looking into the living, kitchen and dining areas.

Living Room Framing

2013-12-19 The double storey vaulted living room area. Large sliding patio doors will fill the ground floor opening and lead to a covered patio area while the upper windows will flood the space with natural light.

Good company!

2013-12-19 The builder - Kelowna Smart Homes, plumber - Loney Plumbing, framer - Jag Construction and ourselves, Brett Sichello Design, all well represented at the construction site.

Construction Roof Framing

2013-12-27 Merry Christmas! A quick break for Christmas and the framers were back on site to complete the installation of the roof trusses and roof sheathing over the north half of the house. This is the front (west) elevation of the house which fronts on to the street.

Residential Construction

2013-12-27 The rear (east) elevation of the house includes large sliding patio doors that connect the interior of the home to a covered, double storey volume, main floor patio off of the living room. On the left side of the photo, the dining room also includes large sliding patio doors which will lead to an uncovered patio where the BBQ will be conveniently located just off the kitchen and dining areas.

On the second floor, the master bedroom includes a large window and a glazed door that leads to a nicely sized private upper balcony.

Loft Framing

2013-12-27 A view of the main side entrance to the home. Rather than locating the front entrance door at the front of the house, the house has been designed with a side entrance to eliminate a significant amount of circulation space that would have been required otherwise. More efficient planning allows for that leftover square footage to be dedicated to useful areas like bedrooms, bathrooms and storage.

Centra Windows

2014-01-23 After reviewing a number of local BC window manufacturers the owner determined that Centra Windows not only fit within their budget, but their performance values (U-value) ranked higher than any other comparable manufacturer in this price range. The windows are double glazed, argon filled, with double Low-E coatings and have a "Super Spacer" between the panes of glass which reduces the amount of thermal bridging through the panes of glass. All windows are either casement or awning windows because these windows perform significantly better than a slider style window. The exterior of the windows are black and the interior are white for a very clean, modern aesthetic.

Energy Efficient Windows

2014-01-23 The last piece to the puzzle to get to "lock up" is the exterior doors which will be installed next week. The building paper installation around the windows had to be remediated in a few areas due to the building paper being folded at the head of the window. A waterproof flexible membrane was also installed on the sills of all of the rough openings.

NTI Matrix - Condensing Water Heater, Condensing Furnace, Condensing Boiler and Heat Recovery Ventilator all in one unit and is pre-wired for air conditioning

2014-01-31 Now that is a happy homeowner! If you have never heard of these furnace units then this is definitely worth the read. The NTI Matrix furnace combines a Condensing Water Heater, Condensing Furnace, Condensing Boiler and Heat Recovery Ventilator all in one unit and is even pre-wired for air conditioning. Five functions combined in one very efficient natural gas burning unit which uses up to 30% less fuel overall compared to conventional units.

Similar type units have been available in Europe for some time now and are commonly referred to as "Magic-Paks" because they combine water heating, space heating and heat recovery ventilation. The water heater heats both the domestic hot water through a heat exchanger and also serves the ground floor radiant heat located in the concrete slab on grade. The second floor will be served by the condensing forced air furnace which includes the heat recovery ventilator with 72% efficiency.

As if this unit doesn't already have enough features, it can also be combined with a future solar hot water system. The upper flat roof has been designed to accommodate the additional weight of the future solar panels and there is a straight continuous plumbing conduit run from the mechanical room to the solar panels on the roof so that the system can be installed with ease down the road.

The initial cost of this unit is slightly more than a conventional system but when you consider the labour savings from only having to plumb and duct one unit compared to four different pieces of equipment, all potentially from different manufacturers and different warranties, this unit really is a "Magic-Pak".

Last but not least, because Rob and Camille are such savvy homeowners, they collaborated with FortisBC on the purchase of the unit. Fortis understands the energy savings of this unit and so they have provided a nice sized rebate.


High Performance Home Design

Solar Panel Installation

Terratek Solar Panel Installation

Solar Panel Installation Progress


Kelowna Solar PV Installation



Brett Sichello Design specializes in
High Performance Home + Passive House Design.

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