Concepts & Design

 
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...