Insulation & Soundproofing

 
4th generation blowing agents for spray foam
Foam blowing agents long ago stopped harming ozone, that switch had a huge impact on climate. That problem has now been solved. . New blowing agents for spray foam coming by the end of 2017 Foam insulation is a petroleum-based product and nothing will change that. But that was...
North Park Passive House Vancouver Island
The North Park Passive House is a six-unit urban-infill condominium . First published by our print affiliate Ecohouse Magazine. The author, Rob Bernhardt, is with Bernhardt Contracting in...
The Edelweiss House, Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum
Canada Green Building Council President Thomas Mueller calls Ecohome's Edelweiss House "A phenomenal achievement". We are pleased to announce that the Edelweiss House in Wakefield, QC has just received final certification of Platinum under the recently released LEED V4 for Homes...
Ecohome's passively heated Edelweiss House
Better houses can be cheaper to live in from day one. Why build a less comfortable, and less efficient home if it actually costs more. There are probably only two general desires we share when imagining a dream house - we all want the nicest one possible for the least amount of...
R values and insulation performance
Study shows there are more factors at play beyond simply the R value of materials in determining the thermal performance of buildings. First published in ecoHouse Canada   The thermal performance of wall assemblies and insulation products has long been characterized using...
Installing foam panels in ceiling
Rigid foam boards are not all the same. You will need to choose between polyisocyanurate, EPS and XPS. Choosing wrong may lead to premature failure of your building envelope. . There are really three kinds of rigid foam panels you are going to have to choose from -...
Energy modeling simulation of heat loss through thermal bridging
Thermal bridges in walls can reduce the overall performance of a home. Thermal breaks are the answer to this problem. It is easy to look at the R value rating of a material and assume that our entire wall assembly matches it uniformly. But when you factor in the thermal bridges caused...
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...
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...
Basement wall insulation
The importance of properly insulating basements cannot be stressed enough. Uninsulated basements and poorly insulated basements can be responsible for as much as 1/3 of the total heat loss of a home. . Technical edit and thermal images by Denis Boyer Before we began insulating...
Techniques for reducing sound transmission in buildings
Before attempting to improve a wall or floor, it is essential to assess the situation to try to identify the major cause of the inadequate sound isolation. Unnecessary alterations can be a waste effort and money. The first step to controlling sound transmission in buildings is...
Understanding sound transmission in homes
Sound transmission in multi-unit dwellings and single family homes can affect quality of life. Learn how to prevent it. . Before embarking on any structural changes, it is most important to understand that the sound isolation between two homes is not determined only by the common wall...
Thermal image showing where home heat loss is occurring.
Understanding how insulation works is best achieved by first understanding the way heat loss occurs in homes. . Insulation slows the rate of heat transfer, helping keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer. How well-insulated your home is will determine how comfortable it is...
Naugler House: the most energy efficient home in New Brunswick
With a $77 annual heating bill, the Naugler House has earned its bragging rights. With a heating bill of $77 for an entire winter, the Naugler House is without a doubt the most energy-efficient home in New Brunswick. Not only will it save money long-term, it is saving money right now...
BioSIPS Pre-fabricated straw bale panels
Straw bale SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels) have all the benefits of traditional straw bale homes, but address all the risks. Traditional straw bale home construction can be a low-tech and affordable route to a very ecologically responsible home. There are, however, some legitimate...
Interior sheathing wood frame construction
3/4 inch OSB sheathing on the interior can be an excellent air barrier and a great vapour barrier as well. We are currently in an evolutionary period of home construction. The old standby wall recipe of 2x6s, glass fiber insulation and polyethylene saw us through the last few decades...
Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Approximately 100 times more water vapour is carried into our walls by air leakage than is carried by vapour diffusion. That makes air barriers 100 times more important than vapour barriers, so why is no one talking about them. Approximately 100 times more water vapour is carried into...
Vapor retarder primer
Vapour retarder primers can be twice as effective as the requirements laid out in our national building code regarding vapour barriers. . It would probably surprise many home builders to hear what really causes moisture accumulation in walls, and what to do to prevent it. An...
Installing soundproofing batts in interior partition walls
How to reduce sound transmission through interior partition walls . The key to building smaller homes which don't sacrifice quality of life is ensuring that they are designed to make the best use of their space no matter how limited. However, you must also ensure that there...
Air leakage is responsible for a lot of heat loss and moisture damage in walls. Our Demo House has an exterior air barrier and is 5 times more airtight than the average new home being built. . Watch more videos The Ecohome Demo House has a vapour permeable exterior air barrier and...
Mineral wool batts being installed in roof for a total of R95.   Watch more videos Our Demo House roof is a 2/12 pitch insulated to R95 with Roxul mineral wool batts. R95 far exceeds the most rigorous Canadian building codes, and is a key component to us achieving an...
Installing a 10 mil polyethylene barrier below a concrete slab floor to prevent moisture wicking and create a radon gas barrier .   WATCH MORE VIDEOS   Polyethylene barriers below slab floors serve two purposes - to prevent moisture from wicking into concrete and...
Mushroom insulation is being developed by the firm Ecovative as a natural alternative to plastic insulation like polystyrene and spray foam. This cutting edge, high-performance insulation material and method has been called the most sustainable option available today. Mushroom...
Blown cellulose insulation in a ceiling
The energy efficiency and sound transmission of a home is determined largely by the construction and insulation of the building envelope. These pages will help you chart a path towards a well-insulated and quiet home. Insulation The healthiest, most energy-efficient and durable...
The instatation of a SIPs roof
SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) most commonly include a styrofoam core. The panels themselves are generally airtight, but the joints often are not. This can lead to a lot of damage to homes for lack of a proper air barrier. Any time warm interior air can find a path to the cold...
The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers
Can a house be too airtight? No it cannot. The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers is often confused. Also confused, is which one is more important. . The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers The job of a vapour barrier is to prevent vapour diffusion...
A building made from K-Tect’s foam and steel structural insulated panels
With the help of The Healthiest Home in Ottawa, a couple in Aylmer, Quebec are the first in the National Capital Region to build a home with an innovative wall panel system from a U.S. company called K-Tect. Brian Allemekinders and Deidre Yukich say that despite their new home being...
Choosing a building envelope
When it comes to choosing a building envelope there are many variables to consider: performance, durability, health, comfort, and of course, cost. . What is the best wall system? I don't know - what is the best way to get from here to there? That depends on what are you looking...
Roxul mineral wool batt insulation
Build a home that lasts: choosing the wrong insulation for a particular application can lead to energy loss and premature failures of building enclosures. Get it right the first time. . Not all insulation materials are the same, and they are not always interchangeable. A...