The Government of Canada Celebrates Opening of CMHC EQuilibrium(TM) Demonstration House in Toronto



    TORONTO, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada today announced that
the Now House(TM) in Toronto will officially open on September 10, marking a
significant step forward in energy-efficient and environmentally responsible
housing. This project is part of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's
(CMHC) EQuilibrium(TM) Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative, which
encourages builders and developers to build the next generation of sustainable
housing in Canada.
    "The Government of Canada is proud to work with forward-looking builders
and developers to make existing homes energy-efficient, and congratulates the
team from The Now House(TM) Project Inc. on its demonstration home," said 
Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington, on behalf of Honourable
Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and
Minister responsible for CMHC. "As a renovation project, Now House(TM) gives
people in Toronto an opportunity to see first-hand how we can make changes in
our own homes to conserve energy and other resources, and reduce green house
gas emissions."
    The vision for EQuilibrium(TM) includes homes that are healthy to live
in, conserve natural resources, reduce environmental impact, and produce as
much energy as they consume on an annual basis. These homes will be a
blueprint for the next generation of sustainable housing in Canada.
    Now House(TM) is a 60-year old wartime home located in the Topham Park
community of Toronto. The retrofit house features sustainable building
technologies such as upgraded insulation, reduced air leakage, new windows,
radiant floor heating and the installation of solar panels and Energy
Star(R)-certified appliances. In addition, much of the hot water will be solar
heated. The result is a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and
a healthier, more energy-efficient home.
    "We've got to be bold and we've got to start now to improve the energy
efficiency of existing houses," said Lorraine Gauthier, President, The Now
House(TM) Project Inc. "Now House(TM) proves you can take an old house and
retrofit it to well above current new building standards. With 16 more Now
Houses already in the works and queries from several provinces, our ambition
to inspire the retrofit of one million wartime houses across Canada looks
possible."
    The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is the platinum sponsor of the Now
House(TM) retrofit project, demonstrating its commitment to helping homeowners
improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.
    "RBC has a long history of supporting environmental initiatives and is
proud to recognize the leadership of Now House(TM) in demonstrating how
existing homes can be retrofitted to become near zero energy consumers," said
Catherine Adams, Vice President of Home Equity Financing at RBC Royal Bank.
"We are excited to play a role in educating and enabling Canadians to invest
in energy and water efficient homes and home improvements."
    CMHC's EQuilibrium(TM) Sustainable Housing Demonstration Initiative
offers a new approach to housing in Canada, representing a fundamental change
in the way Canadians think about their homes. EQuilibrium(TM) strives to
balance our housing needs with those of the environment. Also, it brings
together - under one roof - the principles of occupant health and comfort,
energy efficiency, renewable energy production, resource and water
conservation, and reduced environmental impact.
    CMHC has also worked closely with many stakeholders on the
EQuilibrium(TM) Initiative. In particular, CMHC has collaborated closely with
Natural Resources Canada, which has contributed substantial research and
development expertise and resources to advancing the initiative.
    The Now House(TM) Project Inc. is one of 12 projects that won CMHC's
national EQuilibrium(TM) sustainable housing competition in 2007 and whose
members are now turning their design concepts into reality. All
EQuilibrium(TM) projects will be open for public and professional audiences
for demonstration, and then monitored for performance by CMHC for one year,
once occupied.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on more than 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.
    For more information, call 1-800-668-2642.





For further information:

For further information: Media inquiries: Lesley Harmer, Director of
Communications, Office of the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human
Resources and Social Development, (819) 994-2482; Lorraine Gauthier,
President, The Now House(TM) Project Inc., (416) 534-6609; Beth Bailey,
Consultant, Communications and Marketing, CMHC, (416) 218-3355; Jackie Braden,
RBC Media Relations, (416) 974-2124


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