Queen Victoria House

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Type of Project: Residential Renovation

Location: 4 Queen Victoria Street Toronto, ON

Size of Installation: Deep Green Retrofit, 5 kW photovoltaic array, solar thermal hot water

Ownership Model: Home owner Owner: Paul Dowsett & Ron Lambert

Total Energy Consumption Per Year: 46,397 ekWh (electricity + natural gas equivalent)

Total Energy Cost Per Year: $2,419 Generation

Output Per Year: 4,946 kWh Generation

Revenue Per Year: $2,649 (+10%, Net-positive cost of energy)

Tested Air Leakage Rate: 14 ACH50 pre-retrofit improved to 5.5 ACH50 post-retrofit

Estimated Emissions Reductions to date: 6.7 tonnes eCO2 using Bullfrog Power (equivalent to 171 trees saved)

Builder(s)/Equipment Supplier(s)/Developer(s):

  • Design by Paul Dowsett, Principal Architect, SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture + Building
  • Solar Panels (photovoltaic and thermal) supplied by Generation Solar

Description: This resource and energy-efficient, phased addition and deep green retrofit to a century-old, working-class, single-family home takes advantage of the existing site orientation for natural lighting and shading, and enjoys calming views and breezes from the densely wooded back yard. In addition to the added highly-effective insulation, Queen Victoria House makes use of self-venting, recyclable Galvalume reflective roofing; energy-efficient doors and windows; a 5kW solar photovoltaic array; solar thermal panel to pre-heat water from the municipal main; hybrid hydronic radiant heating strategies; highly-efficient ceiling fans; direction of rainwater to rains gardens rather than into the storm sewer; permeable driveway paving of recycled crushed bricks; and optimal re-use of the existing building’s structure to create an urban oasis fit for a 21st century home. As a sustainable architect, I was drawn to the challenge of retrofitting an existing, 100 year old, poorly built and poorly maintained home into a model of the maximum energy-conservation achievable on a modest budget. We set Net-Zero Energy as a lofty goal. That, with the benefit of the microFIT program, we were able to achieve Net-Zero Cost of Energy is in itself, remarkable. I believe that we have proven that energy-efficiency is possible in any building on any budget.

Paul Dowsett,Principal Architect, SUSTAINABLE.TO Architecture and Building