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Rolf Paloheimo

The Toronto Demonstration project

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 project involved two homes, one that was the official CMHC "Toronto Healthy House" and the other attached to it was the builders home. The two homes are identical in most respects.

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, the "Healthy House System" is the Water infrastructure built into each home.

The homes have solar passive and active heating systems as well as solar electric system. The Solar electrical systems were sponsored in part by Ontario Hydro, now Ontario Power Generation, and Toronto Hydro. The homes get a significant portion of their electrical power from sunlight through these systems. They also contribute excess energy to "the grid", in effect turning their meters backward while contributingt energy to the hydroelectric system.

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 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 Toronto Healthy House project was completed in late 1996, below is a photo taken for "Toronto Life" magazine just prior to completion.

The public tour period ended in mid 1997. Since that time both homes are private dwellings.

In late 2000 CMHC awarded a monitoring project to Homestead Engineering. The broad outlines of that project were to fund and oversee water quantity and quality monitoring using automated and manual methods.

Homestead Engineering asked Creative Communites Research, the homes builder to develop the on-line and automated portion of the project. The data from this project resides on this website

This website is a work in process, capabilities are still being added to it.

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