Efficient home design

Why Building Affordable Eco Homes is Important
Efficient home design

Why building an affordable family home today means choosing to build a Green Home

When having a home built, making better choices in design and materials is a wise choice. Even if unconvinced about climate change, green homes are proven to last longer, are healthier and more valuable. As the effects of climate change become more pronounced every year, it is becoming virtually impossible for the…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…