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