Alternate title: Key Performance Indicators for Low Carbon Buildings: A Proposed Open Building Standard for Canada (Abstract, research paper pending)…
Due to exceptional demand for our services throughout 2021 and 2022, we are currently operating at 100% capacity. If you would like to begin design for you in Summer 2023, and you’re targeting a construction start in 2024, we would be happy to review your project with you. If your needs are more pressing, we are unfortunately not in a position to assist you at this time as we are servicing our current clients.
Thank you for your understanding.
Experts in Net Zero, Zero Carbon, Regenerative and Passive House design since 1997. Our international team of independent, licensed Architects, Landscape Architects, Planners and Engineers create resilient, high-performance architecture at competitive rates. We offer the top level of architectural BIM (Building Information Modelling) and BEM (Building Energy Modelling) competency, matched with responsiveness and professionalism.
We are a licensed, insured, professional Architectural firm. Our corporate motto is, 'Prompt, Affordable, Professional'. Good design is not a luxury for the few, but an essential part of a quality-assurance process that can reduce construction and operational costs over the life of the building. We serve the private residential and commercial sector, from small alterations and additions to restaurants, breweries and airports. Having learned the craft of architecture from some of the best firms in North America and Germany, we integrate structural and mechanical design and preliminary cost estimating from day one. With a focus on deep sustainability, Thomson Architecture projects strive for zero-carbon, net-zero energy, and Passive House levels of performance wherever possible. In order to meet these high performance targets, we are unique in Canada for our innovative approach to reduced building material and labour-saving detailing, resulting in exceptional construction cost savings. Click below to see more;
Competition award winning entry by architectsAlliance with Andy Thomson as sustainability lead targeting LEED Platinum. Photo credit: Terence Tourangeau
This 3,000sf zero carbon steel shell or 'quonset' building takes full advantage of the construction economies of large span buildings, while doubling performance over code.
Whitewater Brewing Company built this 7,200sf purpose-built brewery/restaurant in 2016. The building has become the iconic community centre of sorts for Cobden, Ontario.
Urban Mode wanted a prefab extension to their contemporary furniture store in downtown Toronto. Andy Thomson architect for Sustain Design Studio/Altius Architecture.
46,000sf luxury residence. TAI under subcontract to TREA Building Systems Inc., TAI’s role was to facilitate BIM for TAMMVIS of Moscow. Interior design & renderings by TGStudio of London, UK.
Modified net-zero shipping container prefab homes for remote locations & affordable second suites. Designed for a 100 unit resort development near Lake Simcoe, Ontario, 2018.
Offsite prefabricated components designed for fast local assembly, OHOME commissioned Andy Thomson as lead architect to create the off-grid systems, designs, and marketing for this Napa, California-based builder/developer.
The original net zero energy, DX Award winning miniHome prefabricated travel trailer. One of the projects that started the tiny home craze in 2006. The first in a long series of designs for Sustain Design Studio.
TAI created a series of restaurant concepts to follow the successful launch of the original brew pub in 2016.
This single family R2000 residence in Huntsville Ontario from 2008 features extensive use of SIPS panels and passive solar heating and shading. Design by Andy Thomson as Project Architect for Altius Architecture.
A contemporary Passive House poised on a rocky slope to take full advantage of the lake below. Passive solar design was optimized using ArchiCad EcoDesigner and renderings done in Twinmotion.
Inspired by the forms of Canadian architect Ron Thom, this R2000 home sits adjacent to a formerly busy railyard. The project takes its cues from this industrial heritage, and the relatively simple street elevation opens up to a dramatic covered deck and carport as one enters the property.
Since 1996 when Andy learned early Passivhaus standards and Baubiologie principles in Germany, we've been designing and building green, from R2000 homes to LEED towers, an approach we call ‘Ecotecture’. From the best practices in building science, to healthy materials and design optimization through energy-modelling, you can count on us to bring you the most the most cost-effective, advanced, yet simplest design possible. As a member of the Ontario Association of Architect’s Sustainable Built Environment Committee, Andy has a unique overview of proposed changes to policy and codes for energy efficiency that serves to develop best practices for the OAA membership and the public.
From Tenant Fit-Ups to Commercial Air Terminals and 737 Hangars, we have the tools and capacity to deliver efficient, elegant and economical designs, including:
• Medical Clinics and Community Health Centres
• Rapid Deployment Structures & Work Camps
• Airports & Large Span Industrial Structures
• Remote & Extreme Climate Structures
• Churches and Parish Halls
• Community Centres
• Schools & Daycares
We have been energy modelling our projects since 1995. As the energy standards have progressed, so have the thermal modelling platforms. We use ArchiCad EcoDesigner BIM thermal modelling (ASHRAE 90.1) for commercial projects and Hot2000, EnergyPro and EnergyPlus for Residential Projects. We can do full performance-path modelling for SB12 of the OBC if your home does not fit one of the prescriptive paths. We will also be using PHPP for all Passive House projects with our project partners.
Heat-loss isn't just a waste of energy and money, it can also deposit unwanted humidity in your building's wall, floor and roof assemblies, resulting in premature failure, mold and avoidable damage.
We provide thermal imaging of your building inside and out to help determine the potential cause of condensation, rot and leakage. We can also undertake a review of your utility bills and establish a Total Energy Use Intensity (TEUI) rating based on your building's area, and compare this against a National Average for the age and type of your property. Our review includes a comprehensive report and suggestions for improvements and renovations for improved energy performance and reduced carbon footprint. We can also help you establish a pathway to make your building carbon-neutral, net-zero energy or both.
Indoor Air Quality is routinely up to 5x worse than outdoor air. This can impact our health, worsen symptoms of asthma, impair cognitive function and affect the quality of your sleep. But how would you know? We offer a 30-day, comprehensive, multi-zone IAQ study that includes:
Temperature Distribution (ie. upstairs/downstairs) | Humidity | Pressure | Radon | CO2 | Oxygen | TVOC
We provide interval sampling up to 5 minutes on most of these measures, and provide you with a comprehensive report at the completion of the review that will help you to determine whether it may be prudent to undertake cleaning, balancing & maintenance of your systems, provide additional air filtration equipment and or Heat Recovery Ventilation. As we are not a reseller of these additional services or equipment, you can expect an unbiased opinion from us on your IAQ.
We have experience in community living and design, from ad-hoc student villages in Germany, to co-housing in Toronto and even developing an eco-village in Quebec. The growing trend of co-buying, co-habitation, and basically all forms of community organization and living bring opportunities to design for both social and spatial structures. Finding a balance between private needs and public amenities can be best discovered in a public design forum, with architect as mediator. Andy has led several teams in consensus-building exercises aka. ‘charettes’: multi-stakeholder design workshops where all input is considered, filtered and synthesized, resulting in a multi-dimensional functional plan where everyone feels heard and included. Contact us to learn more!
We help our clients to evaluate multiple properties, as well as review and inspect existing buildings. We create laser measured, 3D plans existing buildings. We also help to develop budgets and building cost estimates and complete design and construction administration services. From basement renovations to multi-storey additions, our software is specially designed to create drawings for existing, demolition and proposed conditions, facilitating your permit application drawings.
Specialized in geodesic, platonic, polyhedral and otherwise rational, efficient and other geometries that may require advanced coding, parametrics, custom scripting and research and design to construct digitally and test at full scale. Inspired by the always metaphysical R. Buckminster Fuller, our exploration of ephemeral design principles, prefabricated housing, load-balancing structures, the meta-mathematical geometry of nature as understood by Bucky is a constant theme in our projects.
Architects and Architecture are protected terms in Ontario, and Architects are licensed professionals that are governed by the Architect’s Act. Members with good standing in the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) must have a graduate-level University degree at a certified school of Architecture, hold a mandatory insurance policy, and complete an internship and course of standardized exams. Additional commitments include adherence to a course of continuing education and to the OAA’s Code of Ethics, with oversight by the OAA.
• Speed: 4x faster than 2D CAD workflow
• Quality: Parity and accuracy at 1:1 scale
• 3D: Coordination reduces errors and extras - conflicts discovered before construction phase
• Laser-measured existing buildings
• Change processing in real-time.
• 27 years of industry leading BIM experience.
• Apple pro 10-core Pro Hardware at 3.2GHz
• 3D imaging times have gone from hours to minutes
• 3D rendered images and 3D BIMx Virtual Reality (VR) • Explore your work in progress
• Lower IT costs with better security
• Rendering & VR Model at no extra charge
Our customers have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by optimizing the construction and detailing methods used in our buildings. Based on a legacy of offsite prefabrication and prefab components, together with material efficiency, we offer unmatched value on any design.
• 5-star reviews on all social media platforms.
• Active collaboration with the team
• Hosted file-sharing of all project documents and emails plus Gantt-scheduling of all contracted tasks and sub-consulant coordination
• Client input 24/7 from any device, desktop, mobile or other apps.
• Free integration on every project
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• Our 28 years of experience has helped us define pre-set packages for a wide range of common designs.
• Even our basic packages are robust and complete sets
• We have broken these into categories that are easily priced, taking the mystery out of professional services and offering a range of value options
• Networked professionals using virtual office technology • Reduced overhead means a lower fee for our clients without compromising professional service
• No low or mid-level staff = better control over the timeline and budgets
• Automated, enterprise-grade, cloud-based accounting
• Transparent workflow with monthly progress
• Greater focus on design
Residential & Commercial Projects Built
Years of Green Design, Construction & Architecture (and that's just Andy!)
Licensed & Insured by the OAA & Pro-Demnity
Average TEUI in kWh/m2•yr (the Canadian Average is 203)
Cups Of Coffee
Customer Satisfaction based on all social media reviews to date
Andy is the principal and founder of Thomson Architecture, Inc. A graduate of UBC's School of Architecture in 2003, Andy's 24 yrs of experience in Germany, the US and Canada in the field of green design & construction combined with his love of the outdoors, informs the work we do today. When Andy isn't glued to the computer, he can be found windsurfing, cycling, or riding electric skateboards. Andy speaks English, German and French.
Master Architect and Urban Planner by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM). Jorge has lived and worked in several countries across Europe, Asia and Africa and co-founded enzyme in 2015 with the goal of pursuing a better implementation of technology and the development of methodologies to improve the design and building process. An ARCHICAD Registered Consultant and an expert in BIM and Grasshopper, he has developed workflows between both platforms seeking better performance of these tools and enhancing the design capabilities of BIM workflows. link to enzyme...
Registered Architect in Spain and Member of the Architects Registration Board of UK.
Jorge lived in Madrid, Turin, and London before moving to Hong Kong in 2012, becoming a Design+BIM expert after years of developing projects and competitions for Master Planning and Architecture, especially in China and Vietnam. In 2016, while pursuing his passion for outdoor sports, volunteering and exploring new ways of architecture in Bali, Jorge joined as Design Director of Enzyme APD. link to enzyme...
Jae graduated from Illinois institute of Technology in Chicago, US and started architectural practice in Singapore in 2012. He has experience in various local projects in relation to BIM management, facade design, project management, construction administrative works, etc., and joined Enzyme APD Singapore as a Design Director in 2019. He enjoys playing tennis while he is off from work. Jae speaks Korean and English. link to enzyme...
Melissa received her BAS at Carleton University, Canada, before returning to her hometown Hong Kong to study Master of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong. Upon her graduation in 2017, she joined Enzyme as BIM Architectural Designer, and has since then worked on a variety of projects such as commercial interiors, residential towers and aquariums, at locations including Dubai, Vietnam, Hong Kong and mainland China. link to enzyme...
Nastia studied in post-soviet Ukraine and at the University of Milan SoA, and has worked internationally. With skills in interior design, furniture and décor, as well as in the digital design with ArchiCad, Lumion and other platforms, her mission is to make the world a better place by creating the ideal habitat that is consonant with individual style. She is intent on creating practical yet flexible designs with a timeless quality.
Nastia speaks Ukrainian, English, Russian & German.
Hung Chu graduated from Ho Chi Minh University of Architecture in Vietnam. He started working at Enzyme APD in 2018. He works as a BIM designer and has a great passion for architectural visualization. link to enzyme...
Master Architect and Urban Planner by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM) and studying one year abroad at Illinois institute of Technology in Chicago, US. Alvaro worked in Madrid and Ibiza on luxury houses for international clients in both design and project management with BIM technology. Joined Enzyme APD as an Architect in May 2020. Even when he easily gets lost he loves maps and discovering new places and people. link to enzyme...
Sam prefers expansive spaces with ample use of natural materials, and while he tolerates our mid-century interiors, his greater interest is in keeping the team together, happy, and outside of the office whenever possible. Sam is typically quiet and fluffy, but does not enjoy the company of squirrels.
R. Buckminster Fuller’s presence in our office is palpable. Since ideas are beyond time, in his own way, Bucky continues to exercise influence here and now. Our project portfolio is a continuation of Bucky's ephemeral design principles, from our prefabricated housing solutions to our 'flattened tensegrity' large span timber structures that embody precession and load distribution. The meta-mathematical geometry of nature as comprehended by Bucky is a faithful and constant companion in all of our projects.
Robert & Maria Iantorno
As an industrial designer and construction professional, I highly recommend Thomson Architecture. They are professional, enthusiastic, and a pleasure to work with. We could not be happier with our home.
John Bentley Mays, The Globe and Mail
Like all other architectural visionaries of modern times, Mr. Thomson foresees not merely a radical building type, but also a new kind of human being to fit the built prototype. It may well be that the long-suffering environment will eventually turn on us in some catastrophic fashion — if global warming is not already such a calamity — forcing our conversion from wasteful people into more mindful folk. Should this apocalypse come upon us — or, better still, well before it actually happens — we should be listening to what designers such as Andy Thomson are telling us, and to what they have learned.
Dominic Gallello, Former CEO OF Graphisoft, Autodesk
Let me introduce you to Andy Thomson. He is a rock star. Andy works for two firms in Canada as well as his own. Since he does not sleep, he also has recently providing some assistance to our new reseller in Canada (Ardent). Andy’s passion is about design and how to implement ArchiCAD in large firms/large projects. To this end, he has put up a site to help the community to implement ArchiCAD on large projects. He is a terrific speaker with lots of big projects completed and I think he will be an excellent keynote speaker for the Nottingham (Archicad University 2007) Event.
Forest King, Architect
As a fellow architect, Andy has been a valuable resource to our community in assisting with tools and expert advice over the years. His demeanor, patience and willingness to help should weigh heavily in your decision when seeking a building design professional.
MIke Crawford, Maine Residence
Andy Thomson is one of the very few architects I would consider for doing anything green and modern.
Anyone can put up a wall of glass and say they’re creating a beautiful living space by bringing the outside in. Anyone can slap on some solar panels, add fly ash to the concrete, and claim a house is green. The world abounds with such designs, but only a true professional can combine all the parts into an integrated whole... To be able to combine this with clean lines, a surprisingly spacious feel, and just enough funkiness to add character, is rare.
I’d definitely recommend Andy for any low-impact modern design project.
Christine Remy, San Francisco, CA
I started working on a “fully sustainable family compound” design (for the Napa Valley) with Andy Thomson in the Fall of 2009. It was truly the most fun and productive collaborative project I have ever participated in. Each suggestion brought up an even better new idea and Andy’s extensive knowledge of “cutting edge”, “state of the art” architectural projects, innovations, methods, environmental standards and software made for an easy, exciting and productive adventure. Andy has a way of making an architectural design project a true collaboration, instead of just an idea forced upon his clients. We have as yet not fully finished our design, but the process has been fruitful and exciting. Andy is an architect with integrity, imagination, wisdom and courage. That is a total winning combination for any project!
Julie B, Architect & Planner
I first met Andy during architecture school. He really stood out and brought years of experience to the studio, which we all learned from. His experience in Germany, I think was invaluable as they are the culture that cares the most about quality, timeless buildings and they are at the forefront of sustainability. He applies this experience and knowledge to his Canadian projects. Andy truly practices what he preaches and has a ton of experience living a sustainable lifestyle. I rely on Andy whenever I have a question about architecture, details, or if I just want to toss around ideas. He’s the best. He’s literally an encyclopedia and his energy and excitement for what he does is infectious. Andy is hungry for knowledge and is constantly seeking out best practices and innovation. His mastery of technology and cad programs also ensures that he works efficiently. I strongly recommend Andy for any scale of project and clients are lucky to have access to his creative and rigorous approach.
Violet Shearer, Toronto, Ontario
Andy Thomson is a forward thinking innovator in building design. His work causes you to expand your notion of sustainable living, while simultaneously still ‘thinking inside the box’. Andy is an indispensable resource as an architect for anyone wishing to consider their environmental impact in new builds in our Canadian climate.
Mike Crawford, Maine Residence
Andy is intense and passionate about going low-impact with a strong sense of design. He has lived his own creed, experimenting with his own dwellings, and knows what he’s talking about on an experiential level. Yet Andy is also adept at listening to his clients and finding ways to implement their goals, even if they don’t share all his passions. That’s a combination we’ve appreciated while working with Andy on a number of designs.
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We are currently booking new projects for the 2024 Construction Season - with Design starting from August 2023 for Permit Applications in January 2024. If you are interested in constructing a version of one of our pre-completed designs, visit our project gallery Our web store has design packages here. To book a 1hr. Consult please click here.