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Rolf Paloheimo

How did the Healthy House System come about?

The Healthy House Water System was developed as part of the winning entry of a Canada-wide competition initiated by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the "Healthy Housing Design Competition." The goal of the competition was, in broad terms, to design healthy and environmentally sensitive dwellings suitable for the next century. There were 700 entries from across the country. Architect Martin Liefhebber designed "The Toronto Healthy House" and was the winner of that competition. The Toronto Healthy House was the winner of that competition.

CMHC rented one of the built homes and conducted tours for a period of ten months. The Toronto Healthy House has an extensive website maintained by CMHC.

Many new (and old) technologies are demonstrated by the Toronto House, however the most significant new technology is the Water infrastructure built into each home.

The Toronto houses have no connection to the municipal water and sewage infrastructure. They are on small inner city lots (6 metres by 22 metres) and collect rainwater from their roofs. They rely on rain and recycling for their entire water supply.

The project was developed by Creative Communities Research Inc. who were primary developers of the Healthy House System. Other contributors include the Architect Martin Liefhebber, and to the water system include RAL Engineering Ltd., Waterloo Biofilter Inc., Mr. Al Townshend P. Eng. and Dr. Don Waller of Daltech at Dalhousie in Halifax.

Since the project was built it has received extensive media coverage in addition, it was featured on a postage stamp in 1998, the stamp can be purchased here.

The project has spawned many imitations, one is here.