Cost / Guides

Passive House on a Budget - The Damn Near Passive house
Passive House

The Un-certified but 'Damn Near' Passive House.

...cost efficient. Assemble a team of highly skilled journeyman trades craftsmen and women that appreciate the value of doing it right and want to participate. Work with suppliers in achieving our budget while maximizing awareness of how we selected their products in regards to merit and cost benefit analysis. Wit...

Geothermal Heating Systems
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Geothermal heating for Homes in North America - Does it work & will it save money?

...costs, depending on the fuel being compared to. In summer months, geothermal cooling functions in a similar way to standard air conditioning, only heat is not simply ejected into the outside air, but rather deposited deep in the ground for future use. The result is guilt-free air conditioning because the heat extract...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...cost a little more, but they install quickly and accurately with no shimming, compared to solid floor joists which can vary as much as ¼ inch in height. They also facilitate longer spans, allowing for more versatility in floor plan designs. Like many green building practices, the extra cost upfront for engineered joi...

When should you replace windows
Windows and doors

When should you replace old windows?

...cost of replacing windows is pretty high and predominantly labour based; partly in manufacturing, but you have to factor in the cost of installation and finishing as well. So if you're going to replace old leaky windows, you might as well get good ones. To go to all that effort and install a low-quality double-pane win...

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

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

The cost of lumber is at an all time high, and because of that fact, other wall assemblies are showing themselves to be more affordable in comparison. So it’s a great time to highlight a few alternatives. Standard residential home construction in most colder climates now involves 2x6s and fiberglass insulation batts...

How much is Too Much Insulation in my Attic or Walls?
Insulation and soundproofing

How much insulation is too much in attics and walls?

...cost $2,000 to buy and install the insulation and it will save $400 a year on heating (and/or cooling costs). In 5 years the investment is paid and you will keep an extra $400 a month in your jeans for as long as you live in the home. That is a simple equation to answer one simple question of when the actual money sp...

Suspended-film insulating glass windows are high-performance windows
Windows and doors

Suspended-film insulating glass windows - A definitive guide for these high-performance windows

...cost less, and be easier to transport and frame. And you can add more insulation by adding more film layers: the Canadian manufacturer of suspended-film glazed units, LiteZone Glass Inc , claims an R value of 17 for 8 layers, which is very practical for high-humidity rooms. such as bathrooms and kitchens. This can al...

Saving Energy in Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs - Our Top Tips to Save Money
Natural swimming pools and ponds

Top tips for energy efficient swimming pools - reduce pool cleaning & running costs

...costs will be – one for calculating swimming pool energy costs here , and one for working out hot tub energy costs here . As most of you reading are not in Quebec where power is very cheap, the differential cost of electricity will have to be factored in. But these are still a useful point of comparison for some of t...

HERD Home energy rating disclosure
Grants and incentives

Ontario's Home Energy Rating and Disclosure plan (HERD) is great news for home buyers

...costs it is impossible to predict with any accuracy what your monthly expenditures will be. This will no doubt create many jobs in the energy auditing field (which currently has little hope of meeting such demand), it will also inject life into the construction industry as home upgrades are carried out, encouraging h...

Ductless mini-split air source heat pump installed in a LEED certified PH Home
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

How heat pumps work in a LEED or Passive House high efficiency zero net energy home - video

How well does a heat pump work in a LEED or Passive House certified home? Really well as it happens, see a great example of a split system heatpump installation in the Edelweiss LEED Platinum V4 Home below: The Edelweiss House has a radiant floor to keep our feet comfortable but we rely on a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim du...

Passive solar house design
Passive solar home design

Passive solar home design

...costs, which will negate a lot of the energy savings from the free passive solar heating. In the design phase you can determine which parts of your floors and walls will be exposed to the sun in winter, and place materials there that will absorb thermal radiation. Darker materials with heavy mass like concrete, stone...