Planning & Designing Sustainable Green Homes

Passive House certification - PHI or PHIUS? The Spring House Passive House
Passive House

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

A certified Passive House in North America & Canada can be certified by the Passive House Institute PHI or PHIUS, the US certification system. Discover the differences to decide which Passive House certification is best for you… What is Passive House certification? The term “Passive House” was once obscure jargon used…

Net Zero Energy Home ZNE in Edmonton Alberta
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Award winning Net Zero house in Edmonton Alberta Leads the Way

The Windsor Park Net Zero House in Edmonton won 2017 Canadian Green Building Award in the Technical category, proving that Green Building a home is both possible and Beautiful… As owners of this project, we acted as both the designer and general contractor. The objective for the new home (to replace a 1950’s bungalow…

Lockeport Beach House
Real estate

Lockeport Beach House wins Canadian Green Building award

The Lockeport Beach house in Nova Scotia is the Residential winner of the 2017 Canadian Green Building Awards… Originally published by our print affiliate SAB Magazine Jury comments: This house has a light environmental footprint that derives from the philosophical approach taken by both the client and the architect…

Zero Carbon Building
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

CaGBC's Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative explained

Mark Hutchinson, Vice President of Green Building Programs at the CaGBC, speaks about the new Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative…   SAB: What does the CaGBC hope to achieve with the Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative? Mark Hutchinson: The CaGBC launched the zero carbon building initiative in 2016 to champion the move to l…

Building a Passive House that's LEED Certified too - an Owner's Tale
Passive House

An owner/builder's account of building a Passive House

Follow owner/builders Sarah Cobb and William Murray as they build a home targeting both Passive House and LEED Certification… Building a Passive House that's also LEED certified This is an owner blog EcoHome posted following the personal experience of Sarah Cobb and William Murray of Rocket Construction Inc. as they b…

Ottawa Coach Houses with prefab modern tiny house kit homes are available here
Tiny house

Ottawa now allows backyard coach homes & high-end tiny house kits

Tiny houses, accessory dwelling units, coach homes; whatever you like to call them, we will soon see more of 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 Ho…

Healthy indoor air quality

The impact of ambient fragrances on our health

Adding insult to injury - trying to mask the smell of airborne contaminants with more airborne contaminants… Given that we spend about three quarters of our time indoors (counting both home and work), it is essential that we work to ensure clear indoor air quality. Contrary to what many people believe, indoor air is o…

Passive House design Vancouver
Passive House

The city of Vancouver is actively promoting Passive House construction

As a part of their Greenest City Action Plan, Vancouver is helping builders get homes certified under the Passive House Standard… Vancouver has set a goal of being the greenest city in the world by the year 2020. Some of the policies included in that plan are expanded public transportation, bike lanes, encouraging lan…

Real estate

Are you selling a house? Here are the top 10 things homebuyers look for

Don't leave your house sitting on the market, learn the top things homebuyers look for to make a quick sale… A market study by AVID Ratings Canada for the Canadian Home Builders' Association (CHBA) surveyed 12,000 homebuyers across Canada to see what Canadians are looking for when they go house shopping. We were plea…

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 adva…

Real estate

Evaluating a home before purchase: how to recognize value and potential problems

A simple checklist for home buyers - visual clues that can help indicate the quality and durability of a home… The following are some things to think about while evaluating a home before making an offer. If you're a driver: Check the route from the house to your place of work on Google traffic maps to estimate how muc…