What is the Now House Project?
A process and service
Now House is a process for retrofitting existing older houses into net zero energy homes – homes that produce as much energy as they use on an annual basis. Just like a typical city house, a Now House is connected to and uses energy from the local utility. However, unlike typical homes, a Now House produces energy to send to the utility company. Annually, zero energy homes produce enough energy to offset the amount purchased from the utility provider, resulting in a net zero energy bill.
The first application of the Now House process was to a 60-year-old wartime house. We chose a wartime house because they have a similar layout and footprint, and with a million such houses in Canada, they provide opportunities to replicate our process. Current applications include community projects involving 10 wartime homeowners in one community and a group of 5 homes owned by a social housing agency. The first application of the process to a typical two-storey brick home in Toronto is under consideration.
A demonstration project in Toronto
The first Now House is a demonstration project in which we turned a 60-year-old WWII house into a near zero energy home. Now House is one of 12 winning home designs from across Canada in Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. Now House is the only project among the winning teams focused on the renovation and retrofit market.
Other Now Houses
We launched the first Now House as a demonstration project on September 10, 2008. We are in the early phases of 16 additional Now Houses. Now House 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 will be in the City of Windsor. Ten additional applications of our net zero energy design process are planned for the Toronto community of Topham Park.