Building science / Guides

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

What is an air barrier?

...building enclosures that are less forgiving than the air barrier. Where to install an air barrier: A building envelope should only ever have one vapour barr...

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

...building can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on a lot of factors, and there is no right answer as to whether or not it will benefit you specifically...

Gas powered tankless water heaters
Plumbing and water heaters

Are tankless water heaters good?

...building guide pages of Ecohome, North America's online source for Green building guidance. Information for this article was compiled from the following sourc...

How radiant floors work
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

How to design for thermal comfort in a home

...building envelope, air-tightness, and then design a system to meet those needs. Radiant heating: There is seemingly endless debate in green-building circles...

Thermal image showing where home heat loss is occurring.
Insulation and soundproofing

How insulation works

...building codes. That covers the insulation material, but there is more at play to determine the actual or 'true' R value of a complete wall system. Insulation...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

...building materials with thermal mass benefits is concrete. In contrast to paraffin, 1 kg of concrete (Cp = 0.88 kJ/kg·K) would need 15.8 kJ to do the same. For ...

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!"

...building, forcing air in on some sides and forcing it out on others. Aside from being blocked by other buildings or planting a stand of evergreen trees, the onl...

Choosing between OSB or Plywood for house sheathing for Roofs, Walls & Floors.
Wood and organic materials

Which is better, OSB or Plywood for Roofs, Walls & Floors?

...Building Codes, changes were made to the Canadian National Building Code in the last few years to add the requirement of a seamless thermal break to building en...

Correctly installed Triple pane south facing windows on Ecohome's Demo House
Windows and doors

Installing doors & windows for the best performance in high efficiency homes, LEED & Passive House

...buildings like LEED certified, Passive House, ZNE , Passive Solar, Zero Energy Homes or even Positive Energy Homes all rely on the building envelope having a hi...

Balanced insulation levels in a green home
Efficient home design

Insulation in Green Home Building, a balanced approach to putting it where it does the most good

...building codes might save you money not only in the future, but immediately . The purchase and installation of greater levels of insulation will increase buildi...

Tyvek home wrap left exposed to wind and UV rays
Air and vapour barriers

Choosing the right house wrap / weather barrier, which is best?

...building scientists say as little as 1/16th gap provides a capillary break, that will let liquid water drain out. Building walls that can dr...