City seeks new retrofit for Ken Soble Tower on Hamilton Harbour

The city, with the help of 10 million dollars from the federal government, has announced 146 new affordable housing units inside the old Ken Soble tower by the Hamilton Yacht Club. It will be the first ever retrofit in North America meeting what’s called passive standards with the goal to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ken Soble tower, built in the 60’s, has sat vacant for over a year. The piece of real estate overlooks the Hamilton Harbour, and the 18 storey tower won’t be torn down, instead it is set to get a massive make over.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger and MP Bob Bratina took a tour today with MP Adam Vaughan, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Social Development, and the architects behind the ultra low energy retrofit.

Using what’s called passive house standards, focused on energy efficiency, from windows and ventilation, this will be the first retrofit of its kind in North America.

The new design of the building will cut green house gas emissions by 94% compared to the way it used to be operated and in turn there will be more cost savings for the renters.

While the exact cost of the units aren’t known at this time, we are assured they will be at least 20% lower than the median market rent. The federal government announcing 10 million dollars for the project from the 55 billion its allotted for the national housing strategy. The 21 million dollar housing project is slated to be complete by the fall of 2020. Of the 146 units, 30 will meet national housing accessibility requirements.