Foundations & Structures

 
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...
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...
Radiant floor heat in a bathroom
Radiant heated floors add comfort to a home and can help you heat more efficiently. ...
All lumber for interior and exterior framing is FSC certified. All framing materials for the Demo House are FSC certified, and provided by our sponsor Kott Lumber. Kott engineered the plans for us , supplying detailed framing documents including a cut list for each framing member...
Snowboarder, Mike, Basich's, off-grid cabin in the woods with hot tub
With a hot tub, personal chairlift and the mountainous playground in his back yard, snowboarding pioneer Mike Basich re-defines what a truly rich life looks like. Snowboarding pioneer and photographer Mike Basich built himself an epic Tiny off-grid cabin. Without a bedroom or...
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...
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...
Dense-packed cellulose wall insulation
Dense-packed cellulose insulation in double stud walls offers high performance while maintaining a low carbon footprint. Here we bust some of the unfortunate myths and misunderstandings surrounding this type of wall construction. . In 2005, Metric Homes of Carp, Ontario designed and...
Exterior damp proofing and drainage mat to protect basements from water damage
Basements in Canada face serious challenges: fluctuating water tables, surface floods, thermal shock, radon gas infiltration, condensation, mold, mildew, rotting walls and heat loss. Better basements manage these issues. . The most common practices currently employed for finishing...
Spray polyurethane foam on basement walls prevents mold and midlew
Why are basements moldy? Because we build walls so they can't dry. Simple changes in wall design will result in mold-free durable basements. . Basements don't have to be moldy, that is the first thing to realize. It's easy to build them better but we have resigned ourselves to the...
Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Basement mold and mildew can easily be avoided with better designed walls. Common building practices trap moisture in wall assemblies preventing them from drying. The musty basement smell that we have come to accept as unavoidable, is actually quite avoidable. The solution is really...