City Program

The Now House: Retrofitting for Zero Energy

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 7:00 PM

A lot of focus has been placed on how to build homes that are increasingly more energy efficient and sustainable. But what about the existing stock of older homes across the country? In 50 years, two thirds of our housing stock will still be here, and housing is responsible for 15 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Join Lorraine Gauthier as she explores the vision and approach behind the Now House®—the retrofit of a 60-year-old post-war house in an established neighbourhood in Toronto and its transformation into a net zero energy home. Just like a typical city house, the Now House® is connected to, and uses energy from, the local utility. However, unlike typical homes, the Now House® produces energy to send to the utility company. On an annual basis, the home produces as much energy as it consumes, resulting in a net-zero energy bill.

Based on this success, the The Now House™ project team teamed up with Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation to bring sustainable thinking and design to five similar wartime houses in Windsor.

Come and discover how the Now House® offers a vision and a practical, affordable approach that can be applied to homes across the country.

Date: Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012, 7 pm

Location: Room 1400, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver | Map

Admission: Free but reservations are required. Reserve

Related topic(s): Community Development


As president of The Now House project, Lorraine Gauthier led Canada’s first net-zero energy home retrofit project, which was completed in 2008, won national and international awards, and was recognized by CMHC as an EQuilibriumTM Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative. Her team continued with eight Now House® home retrofits in four cities by 2011, resulting in a proved, cost-effective model that was applied to 95 homes in one community. Lorraine has consulted on NZE residential projects in Canada, US and Mexico, and is currently working with a multi-disciplinary group on a replicable model for community-scale retrofits.

Lorraine is co-founder of Work Worth Doing, a design firm with a mission to use design to create social and environmental change. She has served on the design faculty of OCAD University and the Institute without Boundaries. She is also a director on the board of Homes First, an organization supporting homeless individuals and families in Toronto. She has a BA from the University of Toronto and an MS from the University of Kansas.

Panelists include Michael Geller, architect, planner, and developer; and Dr. Guido Wimmers, director, Canadian Passive House Institute.

Professional Learning Units:

  • 2 PIBC Organized LU
  • 2 AIBC Core LU




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