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Can An Old House Be Taught New Tricks?

Posted on August 11, 2011 by

Now House 5

Retrofitting post-war homes into net zero energy homes is an important addition to the renovation and retrofit market. Net Zero energy homes produce as much energy as they use on an annual basis. This is what Jim Steele, CEO of Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) wanted to bring to his post-war bungalow housing stock – creating the Now House Windsor 5 project.


Windsor Essex CHC Creates the Now House Windsor 5

5 post-war bungalows in Windsor Essex CHC’s portfolio received an energy audit to determine which energy reduction method was best suited for it. A base model was applied to each home, which included:


  • Air sealing and insulation
  • Fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Solar technology


The Now House Windsor 5 project was accomplished with the assistance of Lorraine Gauthier, President of Work Worth Doing. Her Now House Project was one of 12 winners in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) EQilibriumTM Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative.


“Frankly, we’ve got a few years left where we have the option to make some kind of change. The home is a fantastic place to start.” – Lorraine Gauthier

The Results

The base model improvements on each model home are expected to result in a 58% energy reduction alone. Also, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were dramatically reduced and the EnerGuide measurement, a measurement for home energy efficiency, was also greatly improved. The results have been a great way to measure the amount of energy savings the retrofits have brought to the post-war bungalows.


The Windsor 5 Models


2 Responses to Can An Old House Be Taught New Tricks?

  1. Posted By: (@Buildingwell) on August 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

    The Now House Windsor 5 project is a great example of the ability to retrofit single family homes to be net zero. With a large amount of existing buildings, it’s important to focus on making those buildings more efficient rather than just building new. It will be interesting to see what type of ripple effect this has for other Windsor Essex CHC properties as well as other buildings in the community.

  2. Posted By: Home Renovator on August 29, 2011 at 12:12 am

    I think this is really great news and represents homes for the future.

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