Damage / Guides

Built to ENDURE: the Net Zero Heat Kenogami House
Efficient home design

The Kenogami House: designed to ENDURE

...damage Envelope design eliminating interstitial condensation Polished concrete floors, stairs, window sills, doors, showers and countertops LED lighting (LED bulbs have an extremely long lifespan as well as being energy efficient) Triple pane fiberglass windows Stainless steel exterior door thresholds Aspha...

How Much do Sustainable Green Kitchen Countertops Cost?

Pricing green kitchen countertops - there's never been a bigger choice of sustainable kitchen counters

...damage. Granite must be sealed periodically, and being a natural stone, colours will vary by region and quarry. Also beware "cheap" laminated granite counters - they are much more prone to cracking and staining with red wine or hot oils. Quartz $2500-$6000 Similar in price and durability to granite, quartz ...

Interior sheathing as air & vapor barriers in wood frame construction
Air and vapour barriers

Interior sheathing as an air and vapour or vapor barrier

...damage that comes with it. In summer however, with the combination of hot, humid days and air-conditioned, dry interiors, the vapour drive reverses and can force moist air inwards through your insulation where it can condense on a cold and impermeable vapour barrier. Ideally we'd have no vapour barrier in summer; but...

Passive home designer Harold Orr, one of the original high performance homes
Passive solar home design

The principal designer of the house that inspired the global Passivhaus movement reflects on the project that started it all.

...damage to concrete foundations. In order to avoid foundation problems in the SCH, we decided to use a concrete grade beam and concrete pile foundation. At the time it was considered that insulating the basement walls all the way to the footings and insulating the basement floor would result in frost damage to the fou...

Which wood is best for framing timber frame construction in homes?
Wall assemblies - new construction

Lumber choices for wood frame construction - choosing timber for framing & building homes

...damage than solid timber used for framing and structural elements, for example Polyethylene vapor barriers in combination with OSB & air conditioning in homes can rot walls learn more here. Before deciding which lumber to use when framing a house, learn which is better OSB or plywood for walls, roofs & Floors here ...

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

...damage parts of the structure or furnishings. Solariums; The experience of an expert: Ecohome’s engineer Denis Boyer is an expert in thermodynamics and energy efficiency and, conveniently for us, used to live in a house in a cold climate with a solarium. This makes him uniquely positioned to report on their perform...

Exterior compresssor heat pump water heater
Plumbing and water heaters

Heat pump water heater with exterior compressor

...damage. In warmer climates like southern Ontario or the southern coastal regions of BC, you don't have as great a concern with outdoor winter temperatures, but in northern climates heat pumps may need to be accompanied by backup heating coils for when the temperature drops below their functional operational levels. T...

Choosing a building envelope
Wall assemblies - new construction

Choosing a building envelope - starting with the perfect wall

...damage caused by precipitation and groundwater. An air control layer, or air barrier membrane: To slow the movement of air through wall assemblies, preventing heat loss and moisture damage caused by condensation in walls. A thermal control layer, or insulation: To slow the movement of heat from inside to out in...

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

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

...damage caused by wind pressure. Since a conventional housewrap is usually held on by staples, the back and forth ballooning of those loose weather barriers can over time enlarge staple and nail holes and reduce their ability to prevent air leakage. With no stapling needed and being fully adhered to the sheathing, win...

Decentralized Energy Generation for LEED, Passive House & Green Homes
Renewable energy

Which is the Best Type of Home Energy Generation for Green Homes?

...damage often outweighs the benefits. And in the absence of a sizeable reservoir, water flow and power output will be quite unpredictable, so you may be relying on grid power more than you might wish. Personal wind turbines: Zoetrope home wind turbine by Applied Sciences The problem here is trees! It's recom...

Are Laminate Countertops Good for Sustainable Green Counters in Homes?

Are laminate countertops good for a sustainable green home?

...damage a high pressure laminate countertop in a kitchen or bathroom - imagine what it's doing to you, the user, and your family - and go find an eco-friendly alternative! Now you've learned about how to choose the best laminate countertops, for more help in choosing other types of sustainable & green countertops fo...