Planning & Designing Sustainable Green Homes

Real estate

Downsizing your home: buying tips for seniors

Things to look for when downsizing from a home to a smaller apartment or retirement home… Buying a house in retirement Are you planning to downsize, move closer to family, or relocate to your dream retirement destination? While changing homes is typically associated with younger adults, many seniors are making the dec…

Tips for finding a reliable green home builder
How to Find Qualified Green Building Professionals

How to choose a home-building contractor

How to find reliable green home builders in your region and what questions to ask them… How to find a certified Green Builder? It’s not common to find a reliable ‘green home listing’ or ‘green pages’ in specific regions, so choosing a quality general contractor with experience building efficient homes can be tricky. H…

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare?

The Toronto Healthy House was built in 1996, completely independent of municipal water, sewer and electricity systems. Here is a look back at it… In 1996, this off-grid house designed by architect Martin Liefhebber was one of two concept homes selected by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as part of t…

Green building certifications

Powerhouse: the new standard for positive energy design

The new Powerhouse standard factors the entire energy consumption and life cycle of buildings from cradle to grave… Powerhouse is a new building standard that originated in Norway, one that certifies buildings that produce more energy over their lifetime than they will use. There are already many positive-production b…

Lifestyle and environment

Emergency preparedness guide for homes

How to prepare for emergencies and power outages… We are seeing more frequent and more severe weather events as our climate changes, and all evidence points to that trend continuing. Here we have a list of ways to prepare yourself in the event of grid failure or absence of municipal services.  Storing emergency food a…

Ecohome's Kenogami House 'The Most Resilient Home in North America'
Concept and design

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 minor ext…

Lifestyle, location and commuting

Home-buying tips for seniors looking to downsize

Are you a senior citizen looking to move to a smaller home? Here are some easy tips for downsizing and things to look for in a new home… More and more seniors are buying homes now as the downsizing trend is in full effect. If you’re on the fence about relocating to a new home and dread the thought of house hunting, pa…

Waste management

How to dispose of Construction waste responsibly

Sensible design, material re-use and using recycling centers can reduce what you send to a landfill… The best way to reduce waste is to plan ahead to keep it at a minimum; here are some suggestions on how you can do that: Design your house with reduced waste in mind by keeping the plans at sensible dimensions. If you…

Passive House in Quebec
Passive House

The Passive-Aggressive House - Our History of a Passivhaus Build

Recounting the trials — and joys — of building a Canadian home to meets the "Passivhaus" standard… First, the background to this Passivhaus My partner and I are geeks. Our idea of a romantic dream was to build a house so well insulated you could heat it with a hairdryer. For added fun, we wanted to do this on a tight…

Patio stones with very low greenhouse gas emissions
Concrete and masonry

Reducing emissions with CO² cured-concrete

This type of concrete reduces the carbon emissions by 70%, fuel consumption by 30% and water use by 80%… A new cement block manufacturing process developed by an American company named Solidia Technologies® produces 40% fewer emissions during manufacturing than conventional concrete, resulting in a dramatically lower…

Non-toxic food safe wood finishing oil for counters, floors, decks and toys
Healthy indoor air quality

Naturally made non-toxic wood finishing oil

Kunos oil from Livos is a natural oil for floors, counters, furniture & decks - enrich wood surfaces safely, protect them from stains & water ingress… Livos is a Quebec manufacturer of natural wood finishing oils, and they are very transparent about the composition of their products which are mainly plants and some ot…