The Twin Test Houses research facility

The Twin Test Houses offer the construction and energy industries a robust testing facility to assess whole-house performance of innovative technologies and control strategies used in single-family residential construction. The Twin Test Houses also have built-in occupancy simulation features to assess technologies under real-life conditions before going to market. The houses are fully monitored, with over 500 sensors and several meters.

Built in 1998, the Twin Test Houses are a unique research facility of the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology and are jointly managed by the National Research Council, Natural Resources Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Our capabilities

The Twin Test Houses, which consist of a Reference House and a Test House, are side by side and identical in orientation, size and construction. Built to the R-2000 specification in effect at the time of construction, these single-detached houses with attached garages reflect the current residential housing stock in Canada and provide a convenient platform to assess the effectiveness of products and/or solutions to improve performance of existing residential stock.

The Reference House serves as a control unit, while the Test House can be modified according to the particular technology testing requirements of manufacturers, public utilities and housing technology innovators. Components such as windows, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and energy management controls can be altered or replaced in the Test House, depending on needs, allowing for a rigorous assessment of a technology to improve house performance.

The Twin Test Houses have built-in, automated systems that simulate the energy-consuming activities of a family of four. Schedule and frequency of simulated human activities can be easily modified to accommodate your testing requirements.

Please contact us if you wish to receive more information on the technical features and research opportunities of the Twin Test Houses.