about the Windsor 5

In the fall of 2007, Jim Steele, the CEO of Windsor Essex CHC, contacted Lorraine Gauthier, President of Work Worth Doing asking for more information about Now House their near zero energy retrofit of a wartime home in East York, Toronto.

The Now House Windsor 5 project was conceptualized and was a natural fit with CHC’s focus on the sustainability and sound energy management practices.

Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) is the largest social housing provider in Windsor and Essex County, and the fourth largest in Ontario.

It provides 4,708 homes to about 12,000 seniors, parents, children, singles and persons with special needs.

Their portfolio includes high rise apartments, low rise apartment buildings, town homes row housing and detached homes in the City of Windsor and the County of Essex. About 130 post-war bungalows are part of their portfolio.

Previously, the CHC had retrofitted a high rise apartment adding a solar wall in 1994, partnered with SHSC GLOBE initiatives, carried out a lighting campaign to encourage tenants to switch to energy efficient lighting, participated in multi residential recycling programs with the Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority, and created community gardens and greenhouse neighbourhood projects.

The Now House Project was the inspiration of the design firm Work Worth Doing. They were one of the 12 winning teams from across Canada in the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's net zero energy healthy house competition, later called EQuilibrium Sustainable Housing Initiative. Now House designed the zero energy retrofit of a wartime bungalow and was theonly winning team addressing the urgent issue of retrofitting Canada's aging housing stock. Three years after the competition, Now House is one of six teams to have completed their project.

Since then, the Now House team has completed nine near zero energy houses in four cities. They are currently planning zero energy retrofit projects in Hamilton, St. Catherine’s, Vancouver and Mexico. Their ambition is to inspire the zero energy retrofit of one million houses across Canada.