Concept and design

How to reduce gas, electricity, and grocery bills easily this winter
Efficient home design

How to Reduce Energy Bills this Winter to Help Reduce the Cost of Living...

Faced with the rise in the cost of living that is hitting Canada and North America, reducing energy use and bills has become a necessity. To stay positive, the Ecohome team explores ways to save money while living better and greener. The current economic situation is pushing many Canadians and North Americans to…

How to Build Homes & Protect Homes to Stop Wildfires
Concept and design

How to protect your home from fire - a burning need to know.

Home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames control as the main thing to help prevent homes igniting in wildfires. Here are some tips for homeowners & builders to prepare homes to withstand wildfires. Let’s start by pointing out that this post is mostly about fire coming from…

Can I legally put a Tiny House on my Property?
Tiny house

How can I put a Tiny House on my property legally in the USA ?

In relation to Tiny Homes, the question we are asked most often is "Can I park a Tiny House on my property legally?" - Often fueled by needing an additional living unit for family members, or even for visitors during these strange times. Getting Tiny houses approved as habitatable dwelling units on your…

Smart homes: Remotely control and monitor your energy consumption
Efficient home design

Smart homes: efficiency, comfort & convenience at our fingertips

Intelligent home devices allow you to control your home remotely, and send you notices of problems. So what is a smart home? When paired with intelligent and connected home devices, the phones that most of us carry in our pockets can make our homes safer, more comfortable and durable, and reduce our home energy…

Concept and design

How to stay on budget when building a home

Advice from a green building project manager: how to develop a construction budget and stick to it. The following is an interview with Patrick Ranger, General Manager at Belvedair, a construction company specializing in the design and construction of green homes. Patrick is trained in business administration and…

Tiny House living in cold climates - one of the best tiny homes on wheels
Tiny house

Tiny Houses - Living in Cold Climates

Are you wondering how to build a Tiny House for living in cold climates? How much insulation does a tiny house need? See plans for the best tiny house on wheels that we've ever seen. Are tiny houses a good investment? That depends on how you want to live and how well they are built. Small homes are more affordable…

Ottawa Coach Houses with prefab modern tiny house kit homes are available here
Tiny house

Ottawa now allows backyard coach homes & high-end tiny house kits

Tiny houses, accessory dwelling units, coach homes; whatever you like to call them, we will soon see more of them popping up in Ottawa back yards. In the fall of 2015, the City of Ottawa conducted a public-consultation survey to gauge interest in a change of bylaws to allow secondary dwellings (Coach Houses or Tiny…

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

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 a large volume of wood like timber frames. All materials inside the insulated building envelope will store and release…

Efficient home design

Phase change building materials - natural heat storage in buildings

When a substance melts or solidifies, it absorbs or releases energy. Materials that do that at room temperature can help regulate temperatures in homes.   This article was inspired by a podcast I heard at Positive Energy, where I have yet to hear a podcast that I didn't want to listen to a second time, so check them…

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

Just as a regular battery stores electrical energy, a thermal battery stores heat. Solar heat can be collected, stored and distributed later as needed. What is a thermal battery? Thermal mass of any kind can by definition be called a thermal battery, as it has the ability to store heat. In the context of a house…

Balanced insulation levels in a green home
Efficient home design

Insulation in green home building, a balanced approach to putting it where it does the most good

Homes are often over-insulated in some parts and relatively under-insulated others. Balanced insulation when building a green home means applying your insulation dollars where they are most needed. Home insulation - how much do you need and where to put it: Think of the heat in your home as if it were water behind a…