Build walls to dry / Guides

Basement Design for walls prevents mold & midlew when renovating & finishing
Healthy indoor air quality

Basement renovations: How to prevent mold when finishing basements

...to be moldy, that is the first thing to realize. It's easy to build a basement better, or to finish an existing basement correctly , we just need to realize that they behave differently than above grade walls and to build accordingly to effectively deal with the humidity found underground - and by doing so, stop the ...

Installing Siding Correctly
Exterior cladding

How to install siding

...to allow interior control layers (ie. the building envelope) to do their jobs without being assaulted by wind, precipitation and UV rays. Walls in heating/cooling climates like Canada need to be designed to dry during all seasons, not just winter, which is how we most often build them now. Moisture will always flow...

Gabion walls can be used for building homes
Concrete and masonry

Gabion Walls - what is a gabion cage & how to build with them?

...to lose their advantage because of measures that would need to be taken to ensure stability, which makes it a more complicated construction process. For a free tool to calculate the carbon footprint in building materials see here . How to build a gabion wall The principle is quite simple: stones are dropped into we...

Building Climate Zones USA & Canada Maps Help with Specification of Homes
Planning and Design

Climate Zones in USA & Canada for Building Homes

...building homes But the principles of building science remain the same in all climate zones ; in relation to moisture movement though walls, and thermal dynamics (meaning how heat moves from one place to another). To better understand the basics of how to build an energy-efficient and durable home , see our building s...

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?
Foundation choices

Slab-on-grade vs foundation and crawlspace or basement

...tons. It will also account for between 10 to 15 percent of the total building costs, which does not include finishing the inside basement walls, or building a floor on top of it. And if you remember the 'One-Tonne Challenge ' that asked Canadians to reduce thier carbon emissions by one tonne in a year, well this one ...

Slab-on-grade construction technical guide
Slab on Grade

Slab-on-grade technical guide

...to rot and mold. Case in point: walls need to be able to dry in at least one direction. In a cold climate, the walls above ground should be designed to dry predominantly to the outside. But, since soil is for all intents and purposes 'water', basement walls need to dry to the inside. Common building practice does...

Poly vapour barriers in air conditioned houses can cause mold and rot
Healthy indoor air quality

Why you should Never Install Air-Con in a Home with a Vapor Barrier

...Building code has often failed to keep up with that. Vapor control measures that were originally intended to prevent walls from getting wet are now preventing them from drying. We know how to build walls better, but in a lot of cases we are prevented from doing so by regulatory bodies that have not updated codes to ref...

How to Insulate Exterior Walls from the Outside US Canada Ecohome
Walls and Roofs

The easiest way to insulate walls from the exterior in older homes

...tor, and when you have metal that passes from one side of a wall to the other, you have a thermal bridge, which is a path for heat to leave your home, and money to leave your wallet. To those of you living in Toronto or New York in older homes, this also applies to the elegant brownstone rowhouses, townhouses, and tene...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...walls below grade can possibly dry is to the inside. We have to stop trying to prevent that by wrapping them with an impervious layer of plastic. We also have to realize that building below grade is a different beast that building above grade, and to start respecting the laws of physics when we design, build and choose...

Dense-packed cellulose wall insulation
Wall assemblies - new construction

Dense-packed cellulose insulation wall systems

...builders and inspectors to change or appreciate alternative options. Building inspectors need to be educated on CFI for it to be accepted. This problem is quickly made more obvious with a visit to the Cellulose Manufacturers Association of Canada website, www.cellulose.ca , which provides virtually no information on ...

How to Build With Less Wood for Best Performance
Wood and organic materials

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

...building a house today simply to meet code could be a costly decision in the long-term if you ever want to sell your home, as you may need to perform energy efficiency upgrades (like adding more insulation) before doing so. Better to just do it now! Now you know how to save money by building homes with less l...