There are some simple modifications that can be made on existing homes to dramatically reduce waste, emissions, resource exploitation, and energy bills. The Canada-based Now House project has developed a replicable model for retrofitting World War II homes to near-zero net energy. Deterioration that comes with old age and the inferior quality of mid-century materials is the largest issue these homes face. As a rebuttal, the Now House focuses primarily on sealing the building envelope, replacing worn insulation, and installing solar panels. It’s a homeowner-friendly strategy that keeps costs and disruption down.
When not working in design, Sarah Rich writes, talks and forecasts about food and consumer culture.