Concepts & Design

 
Zero Carbon Building
Mark Hutchinson, Vice President of Green Building Programs at the CaGBC, speaks about the new Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative. Mark Hutchinson, CaGBC SAB: What does the CaGBC hope to achieve with the Zero Carbon Buildings...
Passive House
Follow owner/builders Sarah Cobb and William Murray as they build a home targeting both Passive House and LEED. This is the first in a series of owner blogs we will post following the personal experience of Sarah Cobb and William Murray of Rocket Construction Inc. as they build a...
How radiant floors work
Factors far beyond just air temperature affect how comfortable a home is, and if you design for comfort you will end up with a more durable and efficient home. . Have you ever noticed that at times you can feel cold in your home even though the air temperature is exactly where you...
Ssolar air heater
Solar air heaters are fairly easy to make or affordable to buy and offer a quick payback. How solar air heaters...
Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Dense materials hold more heat than light fluffy stuff does. This can work for or against you. . Materials in a home that act as thermal mass are things like concrete, masonry, ceramic tiles, even wood with timber frames for example. Intentionally adding greater amounts of thermal...
Flooded community in Alberta via Calgary Sun
The effects of our changing climate aren't just coming anymore, they are here. How and where we build has to change as well. . 'Future-proofing' homes: Anticipating future challenges and building to withstand them.  While it is impossible to know exactly what...
Tyvek home wrap left exposed to wind and UV rays
Weather barriers (or more accurately water-resistive barriers) keep bulk water away from vulnerable building components and allow walls to dry at the same time. .   A technical guide to understanding the role weather barriers and rainscreens play in a wall...
Skygarden House home renovation in Toronto earns Canadian Green Building Award
While keeping the existing footprint, the Skygarden House renovation brings a leaky old home close to Passive House levels of performance. . First published by our print partner SAB Magazine, the Skygarden House is a winner of the 2016 Canadian Green Building Awards and...
Mobile tiny house
Compact housing is a great trend but there are tiny house issues that should be considered before you commit to life in one. . Some things to think about before you join the Tiny House Movement and commit to life in an extremely small space.  We have featured a number of...
Shipping container home
Living in a recycled shipping container house is not all its cracked up to be. Here is a look at the ups and downs of this housing trend. . Shipping container houses are gaining popularity globally and are seductively attractive with their modern looking lines, colours and shape...
Aerial view of  BRE Innovation Park Living City Campus
The BRE Innovation Park will be expanding its facilities to conduct research into advanced building products and technologies. The BRE Innovation Park (Building Research Establishment) that lies 15km north of Toronto will soon build a new series of houses in which emerging...
The Fiction Factory Wikkelhouse tiny house made of carboard
The Cardboard Wikkelhouse from Fiction Factory falls under our 'too cool not to share' category. . Seriously, no pun intended - it's just hard not to describe the cardboard Wikkelhouse as anything other than an extreme case of thinking outside of the box. It's like there is some kind...
Earthship in Taos, New Mexico
Despite the good intentions, Earthships in cold climates come with a much heavier environmental cost than they claim and contradict the laws of physics. I'm not the Mike Reynolds who invented the Earthship, I'm the Mike Reynolds who thinks Earthships in Canada and other cold...
60 Minutes On This Bicycle Can Power Your Home For 24 Hours
Would you exercise for an hour every day if the workout powered your home for twenty-four hours? . The article below was written by Amanda Froelich and was originally published on Trueactivist. The only thing we might add is a caveat regarding consumption rates in North...
Off-grid LEED Gold house in Low, Quebec
Canada cements its status as a world leader in the international green building and environmental sustainability movement. Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, ON — (July 22, 2015) — Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that Canada ranks first on USGBC's second...
New ecoMetrics Tool Unveiled at CaGBC Conference
The firm's new ecoMetrics tool allows for a comprehensive analysis of data from energy simulation models across a wide range of the company’s building types. Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects is taking a leadership role in the development of a sustainable design databank...
Mountain Equipment Co-op Head Office
It's that time of year when the Canadian Green Building Awards are granted. Among this years winners: MEC's Head Office. Originally published on the Sab Mag blog, click through to see the rest of this years...
The Zoetrope DIY Vertical Wind Turbine Design
Are you adventurous and ready to increase your access to sustainable energy? This post is for you. The Zoeptrope is a vertical-axis wind turbine made from common materials. Many of the materials can be found at your local hardware store and the rest can purchased online or made at...
Canadian LEED certification shows strong growth in first four months of 2015
With 135 registrations and 202 certifications between January 1 and April 30, 2015, the Canada Green Building Council calls a strong start to the year in Green Building. Ottawa, ON – May 13, 2015 – The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) saw a very strong start to...
The LEED Platinum infill house in Toronto
Old ideas and new technologies merge in eco-friendly Toronto infill. This article was originally published in ecoHouse Canada, Winter 2014/15 issue. Kyle England is an architect with William Dewson Architects...
World's tallest skyscraper planned for Vienna Austria
Wood framed multi storey buildings are becoming more and more common; the one planned for Vienna, Austria next year would be the tallest in the world. The emotional impact of watching a tree fall can cloud the reality of what wood actually represents to us as a building material. It's...
Tiny Refuge : a tiny house in Montreal (Video Tour)
More and more people are finding great benefits from living in small spaces. Take a video tour of a tiny house in Montreal . Natalie Heron takes gives us a tour of her Tiny House in Montreal, Canada, and talks about how living large in a small space has been a liberating experience...
Resilient home construction - Kenogami House of the Year
A case study by Alex Wilson of the Resilient Design Institute on Ecohome's Kenogami House in Northern Quebec. Ecohome's Kenogami House in northern Quebec was described by Alex Wilson of the Resilient Design Institute based in Brattleboro, Vermont, as "The...
The Ufogel tiny house in Austria
Great living in small spaces -The Tiny House Movement seems to be very much alive in Austria. It should become as no surprise to any of our regulars that we are big fans of tiny house living. Living within a smaller than average space presents endless benefits to you and the world...
Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Quebec
When you're a long way from the amenities of civilization, employing both active and passive solar strategies can provide security, independence and just good living in general. . With their house about three kilometers from the nearest paved road and hydro pole, Craig Anderson...
Snohetta Zero Energy Building in Norway
Insulation saves heat and energy, but it takes energy to make it. A Zero Energy Building counts that embodied energy when determining its energy efficiency. We were really happy to see the following piece from Designboom. On the topic of  home energy efficiency, the...
net zero energy home
Soon to be riding along with the Natural Resources Canada R-2000 program will be a new pilot project that will recognize builders who achieve net zero energy performance in homes. From the Natural Resources Canada website: Overview: The R-2000 Net Zero Energy pilot aims to...
Jenine Alexander's homemade mobile tiny house
Built largely with reclaimed and salvaged materials, Jenine Alexander built this beautiful tiny home for less than $3,500. Using materials found on Craigslist and salvaged from the landfill, Jenine Alexander built herself this super affordable Tiny House. Since first building...
Canada one of the top 10 countries building LEED homes
The U.S. Green Building Council releases list of the top 10 countries building LEED outside of the United States, and Canada is # 1. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released its list of the top 10 countries for LEED® outside of the United States, on which Canada ranked...
Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
The practice of putting polyethylene vapour barriers in houses was intended to keep them dry, but it ends up keeping them wet. It's time to explore alternatives. Much of the following was inspired by a lecture given in Barrie, Ontario, April 2014 by Joe Lstiburek of Building Science...