Choosing materials / Guides

Permeable interlock pavers & paving stones
Permeable laneways and patios

Water-permeable landscaping surfaces

...materials that water can pass through, and enough of it that it can store water until it is absorbed into the ground below. This means clean stone of various sizes (bigger on the bottom, smaller on the top), leveled with a plate compactor. Some installers add a layer of sand at the top (1 to 1.5 inches) to help set a...

The Top Twelve Green Building Trends for 2020
Planning and Design

Find out what's trending in 2020 for Green Home Construction

...materials in the first place. The EC3 tool from Skanska is a free-to-use tool that has a data base of materials that allows architects and designers to calculate the embedded energy of a building design, which means materials can be swapped in the design phase to keep the footprint as low as possible. Until now this ...

Concept and design

How to stay on budget when building a home

...Choosing a contractor should be based on their reputation and competence, and not on who comes back with the lowest price once the plans are completed. Bring them into the design phase at the beginning rather than waiting until it is done. Also, unlike a designer, a contractor mandated to ensure compliance with you...

Real estate

Evaluating a home before purchase: how to recognize value and potential problems

...choosing exterior siding . Type and condition of roof: Shingles don't have a very long life span, so see how close they are to needing replacement. Metal roofs are far more durable and have a much longer lifespan. More here on choosing durable roof coverings. Windows: Quality is hard to judge by sight, but look to ...

Green cleaning products
Healthy indoor air quality

6 easy steps to detoxify your home

...materials, finishes, carpets, furniture and computers can all off-gas in our homes for years . Let fresh air circulate through your home as often as possible. If you live in a heavily trafficked area do so at low traffic times. 6.) Cultivate Houseplants. According to NASA not only do houseplants clean the air (but no...

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

...materials, more stages of construction and more labour with a crawlspace than a slab. Passive House slab on grade form kit ready to pour concrete © Ecohome The drawbacks of building on a slab on grade: Building your home on a slab on grade means you will have no basement storage, a mechanical room on the main...

Tesla Solar Roof shingles
Solar photovoltaic

The Tesla Solar Roof: we love the hype, but we'd like to see some actual facts.

...materials therefore shipping costs are reduced, and because they are much stronger, there is less loss due to breakage during transport. The skeptic in us says, sure, they may be lighter and break less than slate or terracotta, but metal roofs are probably the lightest by square foot and I've never seen a shingle or ...

Solariums in cold climates won't heat homes unless carefully designed and built
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

Solariums in cold climates won't heat your home

...choosing high-performance windows that would ideally be triple-paned. Additionally, including darker colored materials with significant thermal mass in the direct path of the sun can help optimize heat gain and keep interior temperatures balanced. The ideal design would absorb as much solar radiation as possible in t...

Eco-friendly & Healthy Flooring is best for Green Homes
Flooring and stairs

Eco-Friendly Flooring material options for Green-Homes

...Choosing FSC products promotes the market for responsible forestry management. Engineered hardwood floors: Engineered wood is comprised of several layers of plywood forming the core of your flooring, with a top layer of hardwood. When finished, engineered wood will look like any other hardwood floor. Pros: ...

Solar Air Heating Panels for Homes - How to Build DIY
Solar thermal collectors

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

...materials, you'll save a lot on labour and it looks neater. The end result is the same; air is heated as it passes through black tubes when the sun shines. Downspout solar heater © Builditsolar Solar screen or sheet metal heat absorber: The designs we found involved 3 layers of screen to ensure a unified blac...

High efficiency wood stoves
Wood stove and biomass heat

Heating with wood and biomass fuel

...choosing the best firewood for the highest heat output , or see our guide on choosing the best wood-buring stoves or fireplace inserts here , both from the EcoHome Green Building Guides