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Now House opens zero energy 60-year-old wartime home

Wednesday, September 10th 2008 11:14:24am

Now House opens zero energy 60-year-old wartime home

Retrofit project transforms decades old home into a leading example of how to make your house environmentally friendly


TORONTO, September 10, 2008 - Now House officially opened a 60-year-old wartime home in Toronto that has been retrofitted to require almost no energy and to produce enough energy from renewable sources to pay its own energy bills.

Now House™ is one of 12 winning teams in Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, and the only project among the winners focused on the renovation and retrofit of existing houses.

"The residential sector in Toronto accounts for 25% of our energy use and 25% of the city's green house gas emissions," said Lorraine Gauthier, President of The Now House Project Inc.  "Improving the energy efficiency of existing houses is a big environmental challenge. With Now House we will prove you can take an old house and improve its energy efficiency beyond the standards currently required of new buildings."

Now House is a 60-year-old post WWII home located in the Topham Park community of Toronto. The retrofit features sustainable building technologies such as upgraded insulation, new windows, radiant floor heating, ENERGY STAR® appliances, solar hot water system and solar panels. There are 200 similar wartime homes in this community and an estimated million wartime homes across Canada.

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the platinum sponsor of the Now House™ retrofit project, demonstrating its commitment to helping homeowners improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.

"The Now House Project proves that impressive reductions in energy use and green house gas emissions can result by adding insulation, using ENERGY STAR® rated windows and appliances, and switching to energy-efficient lighting," said Peter Love, Chief Conservation Officer of Ontario. "The Now House's EnerGuide rating is expected to be much better than that of a new high-efficiency home."

"The quality of the environment is a major concern of residents in my ward and across the City," said Janet Davis, Councilor for Ward 31, Beaches - East York. "We support projects like Now House that are engaging local residents of Topham Park in finding ways to reduce the impact of their homes on the environment."

"Our first Now House will build much needed knowledge about options and costs of sustainable building practices in a home retrofit," said Gauthier. "Our real interest is in a community model in which we will retrofit between five and ten wartime houses to assist us in finding the least cost, best result ratio. With a million similar wartime homes across Canada, developing a number of affordable models makes sense."

The Now House Project Inc. promotes the energy efficiency improvement of existing houses in Canada. Now House™ was the brainchild of Work Worth Doing a design consultancy that works in collaboration with a variety of experts to initiate social and environmental change. The first Now House is located in the wartime housing community of Topham Park, Toronto with additional houses coming soon.

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For more information contact:

Jonathan Laderoute
e|c|o          
416-972-7401
laderoutej@huffstrategy.com

Lorraine Gauthier
Now House
416-534-6609
lorraine@workworthdoing.com
www.nowhouseproject.com