West House, the 610-square-foot laneway home featured at the Yaletown Live Site during the 2010 Winter Olympics, has settled permanently in East Vancouver and has its first tenants.

Event manager Ura Jones and her husband Michael Higgins, a carpenter in the film industry, are the first residents of this sustainable living home.

The couple was chosen from a number of applicants for their interest in green technologies and their less than perfect history of energy conservation, according to Simon Fraser University professor Robert Woodbery.

The home, which was built by Smallworks Studios in 2009 from a federal grant given to SFU, features an adaptive-living interface system (ALIS) designed by SFU professor Lyn Bartram's team of interaction-design graduate students and an engineering consultant.

"It's going to fit a niche here that's necessary," said Jones of the laneway house, adding that she and her husband will be looking at a similar type of home when their tenancy is over.

The interactive web-based ALIS system allows tenants to track and adjust their energy consumption via portable devices such as the iPhone. This will allow Jones and Higgins to remotely adjust one of the three wall panels in the house to regulate their energy use.

The home is designed to produce more energy that it consumes, which will be accomplished through insulation, a heat recovery ventilation system and solar energy.

The couple will maintain detailed logs of their consumption, which will be reviewed by Bartram and Woodbery after eight months.

"At the end of the day, I don't think living in a smaller house is a bad idea," said Higgins.

There are currently 200 laneway houses under construction in Vancouver, and must have separate sewer, hydro and sprinkler hookups, which can add tens of thousands of dollars to the price.

It may be environmentally-friendly, but West House required a $347,700 research grant from the federal government to be completed. Jones and Higgins are currently negotiating a monthly rent price.