CityHousing Hamilton looked at several options to renew the tower. These ranged from making capital repairs to selling the landmark building.
After extensive consultation, CityHousing Hamilton chose a top to bottom building renewal. Their main goals were to:
- return the building to habitability by modernizing with select upgrades to energy, accessibility, life safety, and social amenities
- create net-zero-ready housing through Passive House EnerPHit Certification
- address capital repair backlog
- maintaining affordability
- create 146 affordable homes for vulnerable seniors
Built in 1967, the tower has long been in serious decline. Problems ranged from lack of ventilation to building envelope issues and outdated systems. In 2017, the tower sat 70% vacant and had a large capital deficit.
Instead of demolishing the tower, CityHousing Hamilton has seized the opportunity to turn it into one of Ontario’s most cutting-edge tower renewals. A Passive House design strategy was adopted to:
- improve tenant comfort
- increase energy efficiency performance
- reduce operating costs
Ken Soble Tower is striving to be North America’s largest EnerPHit project, supported by Passive House International. EnerPHit is the Passive House retrofit standard.
The Passive House approach focuses on design strategies that increase:
- climate resilience
- indoor air quality
- thermal comfort
It also reduces building operating costs and targets greenhouse gas reductions.
To support the project, the federal government invested $17 million in the retrofit. This included:
- $13.3 million from the National Housing Co-Investment Fund
- $3.65 million through the Affordable Housing Innovation Fund
The project will feature a variety of energy-efficient construction techniques and technologies, consider tenant well-being and include key innovations.
About National Housing Strategy Case Studies
The research presented in this series explore topics in the National Housing Strategy priority areas of:
- Housing for those in Greatest Need
- Community Housing Sustainability
- Indigenous Housing
- Northern Housing
- Sustainable Housing and Communities
- Balanced Supply of Housing
Get more information about the National Housing Strategy.