Sustainable Living Project

North House is a new and innovative green housing model that produces more energy than it consumes and makes sustainable living attractive and rewarding. More »

Attractive Solar Design Home

An attractive high performance home that sets a new standard for solar design in Canada’s northern climate. More »

Constructed in Layers for Engergy Efficiency

In Canada, anyone who spends time in the outdoors camping, canoeing, or hiking, knows that the best way to prepare for unpredictable weather is to dress in layers. Similarly, the North House will be structured and constructed in layers. More »

High Performace Green Housing Model

Team North will design and deliver North House, a compelling, marketable solar powered home that makes use of the latest in high-performance architecture and mobile communication technology. More »



The original North House Website originated from the partnership between the University of Waterloo,
Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University. This website has been resumed from archives in order to continue the exploration of an innovative green housing model that produces more energy than it consumes and makes sustainable living attractive and rewarding. With the combination of passive and active solar design, integrated energy production, customized components and mobile interactive technologies, an attractive high performance home has been built. It is our hope to set a new standard for solar design in Canada’s northern climate.

Our team is comprised of a unique and unparallelled group of academic, government agency, industry, and professional partners to partake in the advanced research, design, and overall construction of the North House. Through the interactive and integrated design process, every one of our member’s contribution has optimized and refined the elements of the house.

In Canada, anyone who spends time in the outdoors camping, canoeing, or hiking, knows that the best way to prepare for unpredictable weather is to dress in layers. With this in mind, we constructed the North House in layers. The outermost layer combines flexible thin-film photovoltaic technology with passive solar heat management in the dynamic shading textile. The second layer is a high-performance, highly insulated glazing system with an unusually high solar heat gain coefficient to maximize solar gain. Inboard of the glazing system, is an interior shade to moderate privacy and view, without compromising thermal performance. The interior layers, called the Adaptive Living Interface System (ALIS), is conceived of as a ‘thin’ skin of information systems, responsive to touch, capable of subtle display, and able to measure interactions between the occupants and the building systems. This fascinating project has involved countless hours and collaboration. Thank you Team North for allowing us to continue exploring the ideas of eco living through this website. Learn more about BC’s unique culture and history at

Why Vancouver and Toronto are Nationwide Real Estate Phenomenon’s

Even with the news that the Vancouver real estate market has topped an average of $1 million per home for a detached house, the market was incredibly busy last month. Multiple Listing Service sales increased 32.6 percent from the previous month and were a stunning 53.7 percent higher than they were during the same month last year with a total number of homes sold reaching 4,060. When you look back longer in the data, it is still very promising with last month’s figure signifying a 26.8 percent increase from the 10-year sales average. In addition, there is a very strong competition at this time as there are fewer homes on the market than are normally available at this time of year. That means more bidding wars with multiple offers for the same property making now an optimum time to list a home. It isn’t just detached homes that are selling well at this time. Although those properties were up 53.3 percent over the same month last year, apartments were also up 47.1 percent and attached properties were up 72.3 percent. All it takes at this time is the appropriate selling price to move a home quickly.

Although this phenomenon is limited, it is not just about moving to Vancouver. Ask any of the vancouver moving companies what they think – If anything, this has become a “two-city phenomenon” centered in both Vancouver and Toronto. These are the only Canadian cities with home prices rising above the average. Other areas are seeing prices below average with a “hard” landing in Alberta and Saskatchewan as the prices drop well below the norm. The price increase in Toronto and Vancouver have been driven by “new baby boomers” who are entering their mid-30s and are buying their first single-family homes as opposed to condominiums. Since condos have been the focus for years from the developmental standpoint, this leaves a smaller supply for the relatively larger demand, driving up prices accordingly.

As Vancouver has had a record-breaking month, Toronto is preparing for a similar April with new listings expected to surge this month. Many families are going to be listing their properties now so that the deals will be closed and they can then move into their new homes once the school year ends and the summer begins. Those homeowners that list their properties in January and February do not get as many viewings as those who list their homes in March and April.


Climate Change in BC

Concern for BC’s Climate Change

Its very clear the climate has changed over the last century. Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has acknowledge more and more people will die or become ill due to extreme weather events. Its a scary thing to say the least. Evidence now shows climate change in BC will not only affect biological systems but physical systems as well. Annual temperatures have now risen by as much as 1.7 degrees Celsius in different parts of the region. As a matter of fact, there are parts of British Columbia that have been heating up so quickly its twice as much as the global average.

Over the last 100 years 50 percent of the snow pack in British Columbia has been lost. Add that to the fact annual precipitation is up by 20 percent and you can see why this is a serious problem. This basically means the snow is melting at a very rapid pace all while more snow and rain is falling to the ground. This results in flooding all throughout British Columbia.

Climate Change & Residences of BC

But climate change doesn’t just affect the winter months. It can also affect the summer months by causing longer than usual summer droughts. This is because weather patterns are becoming more and more erratic. By 2050 the sea levels on the north coast of British Columbia are expected to rise up to 30cm. On the north Yukon cost it is expected to rise up to 50cm. With so much water making its way above sea level the chances of flooding are greatly increased. This could spell disaster as everything from the freshwater supply, to the fish, to tourism can be affected by these changes. The bad news is this isn’t just happening in British Columbia. It is happening all over the world. And with so many negative effects lets hope we all start to take global warming and climate change a little more seriously. British Columbia has long been known as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

New Housing & Over Population Contributions:

Many people fall in love with the north shore mountains surrounding the blue pacific – in fact many people are so taken by BC, that they move here from all over the world. With the help of our friends at Team-North focusing on creating a an eco friendly home sustained primarily on solar power – it is our hope that as more people are long distance moving to BC, and relocating to Vancouver, we will see a greater interest in sustainable living as a model for environmental change.