Our Envelope

A high performance building envelope system that is pre-fabricated with MgO SIP panels.

Solar Energy

Designed to take advantage of solar energy and solar heat with a passive design approach.

High Effiency

Highly efficient appliances and LED lighting.

Mechanical Systems

Highly efficient HVAC system that responds dynamically to demand.

Prototype and Research

The demonstration home on the UBC Point Grey campus in Vancouver serves as a research platform to provide us with the data and information to optimize the building’s design. The demonstration home is a two-storey, 1620 sq. ft home that is fully functional in order to mimic the requirements of an actual home.

The key research goals include:

  • Study and document the design, code compliance, cost estimating, prefabrication, construction and commissioning process of Smart Home Prototype
  • Design network of sensors to monitor Smart Home energy, water and indoor air quality performance
  • Energy efficient design and building envelope
  • Innovative building materials
  • Design and construction strategies and processes
  • Energy management technologies
  • Building information systems and smart controls
  • Indoor environment quality
  • Occupant satisfaction and well-being

So far there are six design and BIM studies, eighteen construction, cost, supply chain and facilities management studies, eight studies on technical performance, three studies on building controls, interfaces, big data and sensors and four studies on occupant behaviour.


Key sustainability features of Magnesium Oxide (MgO) panels:

  • They are highly mould resistant
  • They are stronger and lighter than conventional alternatives
  • They improve fire resistance
  • They can be recycled, reused and repurposed as soil amendments for germination and photosynthesis
  • They can be ground for use in manufacturing new boards
  • They do not create hydrogen sulphide as gypsum does

Building Envelope

Our home consists of a highly efficient building envelope that is designed with prefabricated Structura Insulated Panels (SIPs) that utilize Magnesium Oxide boards (MgO boards) as its main component. The SIP composite is an effective moisture and vapour barrier, as well as an extremely light system that is easy to transport and install. Intervening between the MgO panels is rigid insulation, which can be dimensioned to attain different levels of insulation, depending on the occupant’s needs. Our panel connection design also gives our envelope a high R-value and an air tight envelope to prevent heat loss.

Building Components


  • Panel Connection Design, allowing for reduced thermal bridging, ease of construction and disassembly
  • R-40 walls or higher
  • 0.6-0.8 ACH @50 Pa, the most air tight as possible
  • Efficient windows, triple glazed argon filled low-e coating, frames with thermal break
  • Insulated, air tight doors, R-4~5
  • Thermal mass energy storage to drive heating and cooling loads to a minimum
  • Temporary foundations for ease of installation and removal
  • Interest on reusability of the foundations to reduce costs and enable relocation of the house

Electrical System

  • Lighting: LED lights
  • Appliances: High efficiency, Energy Star

Mechanical System

  • HVAC: ~15kW/m² (1.4kW/ft²) per year
  • Heating: Electrical heating system, high efficiency
  • Cooling: Natural Cooling
  • Ventilation: HRV system
  • Hot Water System: Electric water heater and solar water heating

Renewable Systems

  • Total energy consumption: ~120kW/m² (11.15kW/ft²) per year
  • PV panels: PV array connected to the grid, allowing for energy storage

We Achieve


  • by utilizing prefabricated panels to reduce construction time, cost of labour, and skilled work required on site

Modularity & Reusability

  • by using modular panels and other building components integrated together which are easy to assemble, disassemble, and relocate
  • building the home on a precast foundation system will enable the home to be relocated to other sites


  • by using mould, moisture, and fire resistant panels which leads to the envelope being extremely durable

Energy Efficiency

  • by utilizing a highly insulated, air tight envelope and energy management technologies

Renewable Energy Generation

  • by using Photo Voltaic solar panels integrated into the homes


Download the AYO Smart Home Brochure

Click Here