Now House named ZERO HERO

(Toronto)- At a reception held on the eve of GreenBuild, the world’s biggest green building conference and expo The Now House Project Inc. was awarded Retrofit Project of the Year Award by the Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition and celebrated as one of the year’s Zero Heroes.

The Now House Windsor 5 project, which was completed in the Windsor community of Bridgeview in 2010, was recognized for achieving close to net-zero energy use in Model 2 of that project.

The Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition competition is an international competition with awards recognizing projects and builders responding to concerns about energy security, energy cost, health and climate change.

“Our aim is to encourage builders and renovators to strive to achieve net-zero energy use,” said Gary Hamer, from B.C. Hydro and current president of Net-Zero Energy Home Coalition. “We define a net-zero home as a house that produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis”.

The Now House Windsor 5 project retrofitted five homes for the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation in search of the most cost effective approach to energy savings for many similar houses in their portfolio. Now House was recognized for Model 2 — a home retrofit package that achieved savings of: 60% gas, 42% electricity, 63% water and reduced GHG emissions by 5.5 tonnes annually. This home also achieved zero energy cost by earning more in solar generation rebates under Ontario’s FIT program than it paid for post-retrofit energy costs.

The evening’s other Zero Heroes included:

Custom Project of the Year: Discovery 4 by Avalon Master Builder and SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta.
Production Project of the year: SunSmartPV (SM) St. Croix Home by LifeStyle Homes, Melbourne, Florida.
Product of the Year: PV Awning by Habitat Studio & Workshop Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta.
Champion of the Year: Peter Amerongen, Edmonton Alberta.
Now House Opens Windsor Near Zero Energy Home
Taking a significant step forward in energy-efficient and environmentally responsible housing, Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation and The Now House Project today opened the Now House Windsor 5. Five post-war bungalows in the Bridgeview North community have undergone deep energy retrofits to reduce energy bills, save carbon and create homes that are warm and environmentally healthy to live in. With the help of solar panels, two of the five houses are expected to have an annual energy cost of zero.

One of the five homes was open for viewing today and visitors were given the opportunity to see energy improvements from spray foam insulation on basement walls to a hydronic heating system that uses solar energy to produce heat and hot water for the home. A game for kids tests their watt IQ and history buffs and builders could watch a movie about how wartime houses were built in a matter of hours. Open houses will be scheduled over the next several months with the next one on Saturday, October 31, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We are committed to working with tenants and community partners to make our portfolio greener,” said Jim Steele, CEO Windsor Essex CHC. “The Now House Windsor 5 project gives us valuable experience with implementing energy conservation measures on our existing single-family homes. We are testing five different approaches and plan to use what we learn on future projects and share what we’ve done with the community through open houses like the one today.”

“Energy use in the residential sector has steadily increased over the past two decades,” said Lorraine Gauthier, President, The Now House Project. “For the sake of the planet and future generations we have to stop that trend. The energy improvements we’ve made to these five houses shows that it can be done even on older houses.”

The Now House Windsor 5 was carried out with the help of numerous Windsor trades and builders, local suppliers and manufacturers including: Meloche Windows and Doors, Rainbow Painting and Decorating, ProTrade Mechanical, BASF Canada, Spray Systems, Tiger Foam Canada and Advanced Solar Solutions.

The project had generous support from sponsors such as the Ontario Power Authority, Whirlpool Canada and JamesHardie.

Now House Wins Green Toronto Award
Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr. announced the winners of the Green Toronto Awards last night at the Direct Energy Centre. In a year with the largest number of nominations, Now House took home the Green Design Award which goes to a company or project working with infrastructure, architecture or industrial design.

Now House is the near zero energy retrofit of a 60-year-old wartime home in Toronto – a home that produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis. The retrofit reduced green house gas emissions for this home by 5.4 tonnes annually, reduced electricity use by 60% and will enable the home to produce enough energy to pay its own energy bills.

With the residential sector contributing 24% of Toronto’s green house gas emissions, a Now House retrofit of 5,000 similar wartime homes in Toronto would reduce emissions by 27,000 tonnes on an annual basis. The Now House team’s ambition is to inspire the deep energy retrofit of a million wartime houses across Canada.

Finalists in the Green Design category included Artscape Wychwood Barns and Monica E. Kuhn, Architect Inc. for green residential design. Green Toronto Awards recognize Torontonians for their contribution to greening our city.

Green Toronto Awards Press Release.

Come to our first community event in Windsor: Saturday November 1
Tour the Now House demo house: Friday October 17, Saturday, October 18, and Saturday, November 15 from 2 — 4 pm
Now House Grand Opening draws a crowd.
The first Now House was officially opened on Wednesday September 10. Read what treehugger had to say about it!