Airtight homes / Guides

Problem areas of air leakage in a home and blower door test being cond
Air and vapour barriers

Airtight Construction of Homes is Essential: "Your house sucks." "Oh yeah? your house blows!"

Air Tightness in Houses - All about Balancing Air Pressure in the Home We go on incessantly here about the importance of air barriers in home construction to reduce air leakage , but no matter how hard you worked to make a house airtight, if the pressure isn't balanced you will be sucking air in or forcing it out an...

Condensation on windows leads to mold & mildew in homes, ERV & HRV systems help
Ventilation

Ventilation & air exchangers

...homes, and condensation on windows was common place and hard to stop . This led to a build up of mould and mildew in homes. Modern day airtight homes need mechanical assistance to stop moisture damage and protect indoor air quality, especially true in basements where ventilation is essential to stop mold forming . Th...

Net Zero Homes - Canada's first certified Net Zero House in BC
Green building certifications

The first Net Zero-labelled homes in Canada

...homes, as well as deliver the required training for building significantly more energy efficient homes. Building science training is mandatory for participation in the Canadian Home Builders' Association Net Zero Homes Labelling Program. This training introduces the concept of treating the building as an integrated s...

Wildfire Smoke & How to Keep it Outside Homes
Healthy indoor air quality

How to keep wildfire smoke out of Green Homes with mechanical ventilation systems?

...airtight building envelope Buildings benefit from an airtight envelope, since it allows better control over indoor air quality . Airtightness also improves energy efficiency; indoor air leaks waste cooling power during summer and heating power during winter - which is why using HRV and ERV systems is recommended to r...

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes
Heating with electricity

Heating with Electricity - The Best Choice for High Efficiency & Zero Energy Homes?

...homes. And since these homes have minimal amounts of insulation and high levels or air leakage, occupants are left with almost no affordable option in some cases other than to heat with gas. So, what if homes were built better? What if new homes were so well-insulated and airtight that they use very little heat? Wh...

Leed platinum plaque
Green building certifications

All about green home certification programs & rating systems for USA & Canada

...homes, very poor performance 51 to 65 Older homes that have had upgrades 66 to 74 Homes built to provincial building codes 75 to 79 Energy efficient new homes 8 0 to 90 New homes built for extremely high performance and energy efficiency 91 to 100 Homes that use little or no energy at all Novoclimat (Quebec...

Pre-fabricated straw bale SIPS panels, an environmental choice
Wall assemblies - new construction

Modern straw bale SIPS construction: high performance, durable, affordable & interesting

...homes that include an impermeable barrier of polyethylene that prevents drying to the interior during our hot, humid summer months, which can cause condensation and hence excessive vapor & mold in the house walls . Straw bale built homes can be beautiful! While loose, dry straw would easily ig...

Radon Mitigation - Installing a radon evacuation stack in a slab floor
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Mitigating radon gas in homes

...homes far more airtight than in previous decades for reasons of durability (condensation in wall assemblies), and also for energy efficiency, as air leakage used to account for about 1/3 the total heat loss of a home. The lack of fresh air leaking in and out when building green homes means radon now collects in homes a...

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

Award winning Net Zero Energy house in Edmonton Alberta Leads the Way

...Homes here Or Take a Tour of other Green Homes here Project Credits: Architects The design is a collaboration between De Waal Developments and Designex Consulting Owner Koen de Waal Landscape Architect De Waal Developments General Contractor De Waal Developments Photos Cooper and O’Hara Photography, Merle...

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...homes can: Increase heating and cooling costs Cause moisture damage in walls Allow pollutants and debris to collect in wall interiors provide openings for insects and rodents to enter Carelessly installing your choice of air barrier products pretty much ensures that you won't have one, as there are few as...

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...airtight pot lights . Existing buildings - build a drywall box above pot lights (done from above). We recommend using drywall because it's airtight when sealed, but also because the light can build up heat and drywall is fire resistant. Swap out incandescent and halogen bulbs for LED bulbs so less heat will be gene...