Creating a home budget / Guides

The Hemloft, Joel Allen's secret treehouse near Whistler, BC
Tiny house

This Cool treehouse near Whistler, BC became a global sensation because it used recycled materials off Craigslist!

...and to the quarter inch is a product of the modern age and an exploding global population, and arguably necessary in many cases. But it's still hard not to long for a time when you could find a suitable spot, build a big egg in a tree and get a little peace. Watch videos and read the full story of this amazing tiny h...

Affordable green prefab homes - contemporary rancher style - Abri 1850 BV
Architecture and plan design

Prefab Homes for Sale - Beautiful & Sustainable - Available Now

...As soon as the very experienced and award winning team at Montreal based Ecohabitation began talking to the team at Architects Studio MMA and the manufacturers Bâtiment Pré-Fab, they had one goal - to establish a range of exceptionally sustainable green homes with healthy and high-performance materials and to standardi...

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

...ater" - ensure that all openings are flashed and taped appropriately and to code so that water that wants to run downhill can do so rather than accumulate and that it is directed towards the exterior of the wall. Depending on local climatic conditions, you then have to seal around openings to allow for capillary action...

Wood frame Triple-glazed, argon-filled windows in the Ecohome Demo House
Windows and doors

Choosing windows - which window frame? wood v aluminum v vinyl

...as well as with a wood laminate interior for a more traditional look. Fibreglass frames are the preferred material of the LEED for Homes rating system due to performance and a more moderate environmental impact than other window frames. Fibreglass is made from silica sand which is readily available and recyclable. ...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...aterials within a wall assembly may serve more than one function, air barriers in particular. Many materials within a wall assembly can slow air flow without trapping vapour. Option 1) Dense-packed cellulose wall: Dense-packed cellulose wall © Gergana Gatina, Ecohome This is a wall of offset 2x4s (interior th...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area

...all is the polyethylene air/vapour barrier. Inside of that is a 2x4 utility wall, holding all of the electrical, plumbing, and data cabling. This wall is also insulated with Roxul batts. Finally, a standard layer of sheetrock covers the interior walls. A big advantage of the utility wall is that all of the openings tha...

Building a Passive House that's LEED Certified too - an Owner's Tale
Passive House

An owner/builder's account of building a Passive House

...act that we don’t all live in temperate, gray central Europe. Germany’s standards are tailored to their location - remaining stringent while allowing for the fact that, for example, Canada’s temperature range is 65°C compared to Germany’s 30°C range. Also, PHIUS’s total allowable energy load, rather than being evalua...

Why basements flood and how to prevent that with a sump pump
Basements improvements

Why Basements Flood & How to Prevent Flooded Basements

...a valuable and affordable addition that can alert you to a problem that you may be able to solve easily in time to possibly prevent a basement flood. Many of the smart home automation technologies on the market are very much about convenience, but receiving a smart phone notice of a leak is invaluable, and may afford y...

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

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

...ar air heaters work: Solar air heater diagram © Ecohome The above diagram indicates the basic concept of a solar air heater, and while there are many designs, the basic principle is the same - a small fan feeds interior air into a south-facing wall-mounted panel. Air is heated as it passes behind a black surfac...

Swimming Pool Heating - Save energy & money & be Eco-friendly as possible Tips
Natural swimming pools and ponds

Heating a Swimming Pool - Top 10 Cost-Efficient & Eco-friendly ways to heat a pool

...aporation, and if they are colored and stabilized against UV appropriately, they can accelerate solar gain of a lighter colored pool. However, they are not safety blankets and actually carry a safety risk should a child enter the pool area with a floating blanket in place. The blanket can become an entrapment hazard du...

Ecohome's passively heated Edelweiss House
Efficient home design

Are better insulated homes worth the money?

...assumes baseboards and includes taxes. The cost of borrowing is assumed to be a mortgage at a rate of 3.94% for a down payment of $70,000 and a 25 year amortization. A lower interest rate or higher energy costs will have the effect of improving the economic advantage of a better-insulated home, higher mortgage rates wi...