Airtight house / 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!"

...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 and, despite your ef...

The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers
Air and vapour barriers

The Difference between air barriers and vapor barriers

...house be too airtight? No it cannot. Unfortunately, air barriers are really not given the attention they should be in regards to the building envelope. In large residential developments, air barriers are often not even on the radar. Crews come and go, and in the interest of mass production, some standard practices ca...

Exterior air barrier membrane © Ecohome
Air and vapour barriers

How to install an air barrier for reduced air leakage

...airtight than the average new home. Air leakage can be responsible for up to 1/3 of the total heat loss of a home and cause significant moisture damage in walls, as one small hole can be responsible for depositing countless litres of water inside walls. Houses should always be built as airtight as possible, don't let a...

Naugler House: the most energy efficient Passive House design in New Brunswick
Efficient home design

New Brunswick's most energy efficient home is Passive House designed

...house we set out several goals: To build a certifiable Passive House To build the best house possible and use it to demonstrate the benefits of Passive House to Atlantic Canada To heat the house only through post-heating of the HRV fresh air To build the most airtight structure possible To use as many local...

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

...airtightness requires the use of some fairly high-tech materials but the result is a house that uses next to no energy. Passive House framing details © Construction Rocket Inc. PHI vs. PHIUS Passive House Certification PHI (Germany’s Passive House Institute) and PHIUS (Passive House Institute U.S.) have the s...

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

What is an air barrier?

...house wrap, even the polyethylene we normally install as a vapour barrier can act as an effective air barrier, but only if you set out with that in mind and properly seal it. The difference between air barriers and vapor barriers © Ecohome What the above diagram attempts to illustrate, is how ...

Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Que
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off grid living blog, part 2: passively heated, this house in Quebec aims for LEED certification

...airtight building envelope, the energy required to keep this house warm will be a fraction of what most houses use. Within the circle of high performance home construction, an effective R36 wall falls pretty much into what is known as the 'sweet spot' of design, meaning the optimum balance of energy efficiency and co...

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...house large, medium or small? Is it pretty airtight or pretty drafty? Will your wood stove be the main heat source or just supplementary? Is your house poorly, moderately or super-insulated? Since there is no way for a wood stove manufacturer to know how well-insulated or airtight your house is, square footage and BT...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area

...House rules require .6 ACH or lower. Our house, with the polyethylene barrier mentioned multiple times above, measured at 1.47 ACH when the house was half done, with only the outer 2x8 wall and air barrier in place. The house is probably much more airtight now that now that the utility wall is up, caulking is in plac...

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

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...house builders in North America. To further complicate matters is the fact there are not one but two certification bodies in the US, PHI (Passive House Institute) and PHIUS (Passive House Institute US) and for Canada there is Passive House Canada and the Canadian Passive House Institute . This guide aims to describe th...

Blower Door Tests - What's the Cost & Who Does Them?
Air and vapour barriers

What is a blower door test? What's the cost? How do you find a company to do one?

...House air leakage rate has to be 0.6ACH or lower , which is several times more airtight than the average home and that is partly why a Passive House consumes several times less energy in heating. Even at 3 air changes per hour, which is much better than most older homes, the entire volume of air in your home will lea...