Concept, design and architecture

Concept, design and architecture

Resilient design features for new home construction

Design ideas and home-durability measures to help families and homes withstand a changing climate.… Future-proofing homes: Our society has a collective trust in its commercial building industry to provide us with homes that we assume meet some realistic standard of resilience. They do to an extent, but a very min...

Concept, design and architecture

Important tips for a successful build or renovation

Planning and budget tips for home building and renovating… 1. Make a realistic budget and schedule: This is, without a doubt, the starting point to a successful build - don’t underestimate the time and money it will take to complete a build or renovation. Even professional contractors tend to underestimate the co...

Concept, design and architecture

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 in...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico
Concept, design and architecture

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

Despite the good intentions, Earthships in cold climates can't work because they 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 climates are a bad idea. A coincidence of names; just putting that out there so ...

Concept, design and architecture

Building science made easy - video

Understanding building science basics will help you design and build durable and efficient wall systems.… Watch more videos   The wall we designed for this house is best categorized as a 'REMOTE' wall, a high performance building envelope developed by the Cold Climate Housing Research Centre in Alask...

MIBOP energy modeling software from Mindscape Innovations
Concept, design and architecture

Free online energy modeling from Mindscape Innovations

Professional energy raters use HOT2000, an energy modeling program designed to determine the energy consumption of buildings. Mindscape Innovations is a sustainable design firm from Kitchener, Ontario that has developed a free online version for the rest… Energy modeling is a process for determining the approximate ...

Concept, design and architecture

Efficient home design

All about energy efficient home design - building enclosures, product selection and energy efficiency strategies.… The  principles of green building: A high performance, energy efficient home may include features like geothermal heating, wind power and solar panels, but these are not the defining features of gree...

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

Smart homes: efficiency, comfort and convenience

Intelligent home devices allow you to control your home remotely, and send you notices of problems… When paired with intelligent 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 consumption by as much as 30% in some cases...

Tiny house

The best tiny house we've seen so far

DIY tiny houses move to the next level as an architecture student introduces digital design and fabrication into the mix.… Ben Hayward is a Carleton University Architecture grad student who has broken the typical mold of tiny houses, and designed something that in our opinion takes a big step closer to achieving one...

Ottawa Coach House
Tiny house

Ottawa now allows backyard coach homes

Tiny houses, accessory dwelling units, coach homes; whatever you like to call them, we will soon see 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 Houses)...

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. Intentionally adding greater amounts of thermal mass in a building can be an a...

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