Efficient home design

Rendering of the Ecohome demonstration house
Efficient home design

Ecohome Demo House: High performance, affordable cost

Ecohome's Demonstration House will be used as a vehicle to launch a free online building guide series detailing best practices for high performance, cold climate home construction.… The guiding principles during the design of Ecohome’s demonstration home: Passive heating and cooling, healthy living space, affordable...

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 cons...

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...

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 the...

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, t...

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 I need & Where? Think of the heat in your home as if it were water behind a dam, and that...

Ecohome's passively heated Edelweiss House
Efficient home design

Are better insulated homes worth the money?

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 money. And we want both of those thin...

R values and insulation performance
Efficient home design

Understanding thermal 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 R-value, a metric which describes thermal res...

Resilient home construction - Kenogami House of the Year
Efficient home design

"The Most Resilient House in North America"

A case study by Alex Wilson of the Resilient Design Institute on Ecohome's Kenogami House in Northern Quebec… A resilient home for Sustainability Northern Quebec isn’t a place where one might expect to look for a model of resilience. It’s bone-chilling cold in the winter with 10,450 heating degree days per year (Fah...

Energy modeling simulation of heat loss through thermal bridging
Efficient home design

What is a thermal bridge and why is it so important to break it?

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 by framing materials and any d...

Naugler House: the most energy efficient Passive House design in New Brunswick
Efficient home design

New Brunswick's most energy efficient home is Passive House designed

With a $77 annual heating bill, the Naugler House has earned its bragging rights as a Passive House design for cold climates… 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 mone...

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