Can a house be too airtight / Guides

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

The Difference between air barriers and vapor barriers

...a perforated vapor barrier would actually not be a problem if you have a tight air seal. Like that gypsum board box, the amount of water vapor that can pass through a ripped and torn vapor barrier is insignificant as long as the air seal is intact. Can a house be too airtight? No it cannot. Unfortunately, air barri...

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

What is an air barrier?

...alking about vapor barriers. An air barrier is not something you walk into a building supply store and buy; it is a design concept, and arguably a commitment. Products that can act as air barriers are drywall, sheathing, insulation, house wrap, even the polyethylene we normally install as a vapour barrier can act as an...

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

Ventilation & air exchangers

...air. © Van EE The core of an HRV has small separated channels that air passes through, allowing incoming air to be preheated by exhaust air. There are no heating coils, you are simply operating fans, so they are relatively cheap to run. And you will certainly save money overall, as heating moist air eats up a l...

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

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

...are foot. And at those prices, you are lucky to see a wall that performs half as well as straw. Normal walls have a 'true' R value of approximately R13 to R16 when you factor in all the wood that makes up the frame . In comparison, a straw bale wall will be a true R36. SIPS also lend themselves well to creating an ai...

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 that are fairly air tight and that have negative air pressure may cause flue gases to backdraft into your house, which can be of major concern. Poorly balanced HRVs: Heat recovery ventilators (HRV's) need to be professionally balanced in order to keep an even air pressure. Odds are if you haven't had it bala...

Air and vapour barriers

Aerobarrier home and attic air-sealing spray

...alants, tapes and gaskets is time consuming, and materials can cost a small fortune. The company doesn’t like to give any false impression on price, as there are too many variables to be able to do that accurately. But to give a reasonable ballpark cost, according to Patrick Rouleau, "we are talking about a likely ra...

Natural Building Insulation Made of Grass - Eco-friendly, Green
Insulation and soundproofing

Non-toxic natural building insulation made of grass

...aterials have a ‘carbon footprint’, meaning the amount of embodied energy required to extract raw materials and manufacture products , some natural building materials, like the grass insulation from Gramitherm that we just came across, actually have a negative carbon footprint due to the carbon absorbed and sequestered...

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

...ascadia Clips from Cascadia Windows in Vancouver are the biggest name in fiberglass thermal spacers you will find across Canada and the U.S. so the concept has in a way adopted the brand name, but there are others brands of wall insulation thermal spacers such as Armatherm Z Girt available, pictured below. Fibergla...

Tips for finding a reliable green home builder
How to Find Qualified Green Building Professionals

How to choose a home-building contractor

...arantee quality and experience, but it will narrow the search a bit because the 'green' builders will for sure market themselves that way (as will some shady ones unfortunately, so still proceed with caution). Aside from that, you can make some calls to local builders to see what types of homes they construct and ask a...

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

...around these areas creating moisture that can be hidden within the wall framing or insulation and causing problems later. Moisture & more specifically humidity is the number one cause of degredation in North American homes , because as timber is a hygroscopic material, once the lumber in a typical house wall reaches ...

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

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...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 the origins of Passive House certification , which can be accredited to a very futuristic Passive Solar heating design home built in the 1970's in Saskatchewan by a ...