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Eastern Pine - US DOE Race To Zero Student Design Competition 2016

Eastern Pine is a multi-family residential building designed by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of architecture, building science, and engineering students from Ryerson University. It was the winner of the "Multi-Family" category of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Student Design Competition in 2016. 

Design Poster

Eastern Pine south elevation rendering showing the outside of the residential building.

Design Overview

Housing demands have been shifting in Toronto. People are now choosing compact multi-unit housing over single-family, detached houses for the proximity to cultural and recreational amenities. This demand shift was a key factor in the design of Eastern Pine and can be used as a precedent for future building in the city. Along with the need for affordability, proximity and sustainability, sense of community and a healthy environment are vital components of this project.

The True North Design team believes that nature is essential in achieving this. The presence of green spaces can promote physical activity, stress reduction, cognitive restoration and increased social interaction and cohesion along with providing passive cooling, shading and improving air quality. As well, the design is meant to make users more conscious of their environment and how their habits influence the natural world.


Design Goals and Features




Site Plan and Floor Plans


Lower Level

First Level

Second and Third Floor

Roof Plan





Space Conditioning



Energy Analysis


Eastern Pine compared to Ontario Building Code (OBC 2012) code compliance model, which was modelled based on this specific site condition.



Eastern Pine compared to Ontario typical multi-unit buildings, demonstrating 70% reduction in energy demand.


Lifecycle Costing Analysis


Design Team, Faculty Advisors, and Industry Partners