Built in the 1960s, the Ken Soble Tower is 18 stories high and home to 146 units of modernized affordable seniors’ housing. The apartment building is located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The renovated floor area is 7,500 m2 and it was completed in 2020.
It is one of the first and largest passive house retrofits in North America. Simply put, EnerPHIT certification is a slightly scaled-back version of the Passive House standard, intended specifically for existing building retrofits. Both are performance-based energy efficiency standards that emphasize careful design, detailed energy modelling, and intense quality assurance during construction.
“It has been exciting to be able to demonstrate that this type of important, low-energy outcome can indeed be achieved, even in challenging building archetype with a modest budget.” Said Chris Van Dongen, Associate and member of Entuitive’s Sustainable Performance Group.
The renovation project also provides residents with improved comfort and control of their indoor environments and with the ability to withstand extreme climate events into the future. Detailed dynamic simulations for both present-day and future 2050 Toronto climate zones were used to inform the design, securing resilience to temperatures that are projected to rise significantly over the next 30 years.
Graeme Stewart, ERA Architects stated: “Ultra-low energy retrofits that maintain affordability are not only possible, but critical to preserving and enhancing housing across the country.”
Presentation by Graeme Stewart and Ya’el Santopinto, 2020.
Goals for the project about linking housing quality outcomes to retrofits. With challenges such as tenant comfort, thermal controls, adequate ventilation, life safety measures, community connectivity and climate resilience.
Project details by ERA Architects describing the renovation goals.
Read more information in the case study about building structure at Ken Soble Tower – Affordable housing project generates valuable lessons.