Mechanical systems

Drumi the foot pedalled washing machine that makes laundry off-grid oh
Appliances

This foot pedalled washing machine doesn't need electricity and uses very little water.

Powered by foot, this compact and easy to maneuver machine is an excellent alternative to a normal home washing machine or trip to the dreaded laundromat. A typical washing machine can use up to 87 litres of water per load, not to mention its ability to eat up electricity. An efficient Energy Star machine can cut wate…

Radiant floor tube installation
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

DIY radiant floor tubing installation video

Installing a hydronic radiant floor system in a slab-on-grade floor. Here is our DIY video of  how to lay down tubing for our radiant floor in the Edelweiss House. We have a 10 zone system, allowing floor temperatures in each room to be controlled independently. HePex tubing was provided by Uponor, who also use build…

Transparent solar power producing windows
Renewable energy

transparent solar panels

Transparent laminate solar cells put the fossil fuel industry on notice. When considering solar cells as thin as laminate and completely transparent, the possibilities seem endless. Imagine every glass or laminant surface in our built environment and all of our devices, large and small, harvesting solar energy. In a w…

Ecodrain greywater heat recovery unit
Greywater Heat Recovery

A new design in greywater heat recovery

Ecodrain is the first company we've seen to turn greywater heat recovery units on their side, making heat recovery option where it might not have been before. Sustainable construction is on the move! It seems almost every day a new and innovative product shows up on the market that is more efficient, more effective, g…

What is a heat pump
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Heat pumps: what they are and how they work

What is a heat pump? An energy efficient home heating system that can save you some money. Read on to find out how they work and if it makes sense for you. When it comes to residential heating and cooling systems, few types of systems are as energy efficient as heat pumps. But what exactly are they and how do they wor…

Reduce water consumption with residential gray water recycling systems
Plumbing and water heaters

Gray water recycling

Recycling gray water is becoming more and more commonplace. It reduces the burden on urban sewage treatment along with protecting a quickly dwindling natural resource. What is gray water? Or indeed grey water! The term “gray water” refers to all domestic waste water that is drained from sinks, showers, bathtubs and wa…

Trinity portable wind turbine for charging devices
Wind power

The Trinity portable wind turbine will charge your gadgets on the go.

Micro power generation such as wind turbines and other renewable energy generators are a small step towards stopping climate change. We've seen portable charging devices for personal gadgets, we've seen vertical axis wind turbines and now we have seen a marriage of the two. That's right, appropriate technology enthusi…

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system
HRV and ERV

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

A modern airtight home needs mechanical ventilation. The choices are Heat Recovery Ventilation or Energy Recovery Ventilation & this page explains the difference between an HRV & ERV to help choose which one you need. All homes need ventilation, whether natural or mechanical with an ERV or HRV system. Buildings and ho…

The Methane Midden compost water heater that surpassed its goal on kic
Plumbing and water heaters

Compost pile hot tub water heater

This is a great little video that illustrates how we are surrounded by potential energy, we just have to put a little thought into how to harness it. We found this video at Whole Systems Design, a New England based company who identify, design, and develop human habitats. In their own words from their website : "We de…

Gas powered tankless water heaters
Plumbing and water heaters

Are tankless water heaters good?

Choosing a water heater - tank or tankless. Tankless water heaters , on demand water heaters and  instantaneous water heaters are different names for the same thing - domestic hot water systems that do not include the storage tank that comes with traditional water heaters.  This type of water heating system can be adv…

High efficiency appliances
Appliances

Efficient appliances and electronics

Most home electronics and appliances use energy even while in standby mode, and it is estimated that more than half the overall power consumed can happen when they aren't even in use. Even when sitting idle, almost all TVs, computers and stereos etc., will still be using power. So any added cost for high efficiency ap…