Net-Zero in Downtown Toronto

By: Craig Stephens (York Sustainable Enterprise Consultants)

When was your home built? What rating is your insulation? Do you have single or double-pane windows? How old is your furnace and other HVAC equipment? These are some of the common questions that get asked when a homeowner wants to improve their home efficiency.

Chances are if you live in downtown Toronto and your house was built prior to the 1980’s, your house is not operating at ideal efficiency. This could be for many reasons including but not limited to: poor insulation, leaky walls and windows, old inefficient HVAC equipment and lighting.

Ontario’s climate action plan looks to improve the energy efficiency and performance of all buildings in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The province has identified that all buildings need to become Net-Zero or near Net-Zero energy use. This means buildings must consume zero (or near to zero) energy by producing as much as it consumes and releasing zero carbon emissions annually. Not an easy task. However, there are firms that are here to help accomplish this goal.

One of these is Coolearth Architecture Inc, a firm whose mandate is to provide environmentally sound and sustainable architecture solutions on all projects where practical.

One of their current projects is making a semi-detached home in downtown Toronto Net-Zero by adding external insulation, making the home airtight with their infrared scope, replacing the original single-pane windows with high performance windows and doors, installing efficient heating and ventilation equipment, and mounting solar panels on the roof. The firm states, “the upgrades to the home will make it more comfortable, improve the appearance of the home, reduce energy consumption and therefore lower greenhouse gas emissions”.

Coolearth Architecture will be hosting an event at their office (386 Pacific Avenue, Toronto) as part of the 2016 Green Energy Doors Open sustainable energy showcase on Saturday September 10th from 11am to 5pm. There, they will be sharing their progress on making Toronto semi-detached homes Net-Zero buildings. With two, one-hour, seminars at 11am and 4pm, the general public can learn about the retrofit process and ask questions about sustainable architecture and Net-Zero design.

For more information on Coolearth Architecture inc. check out www.coolearth.ca


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