Efficient wall / Guides

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!"

...wall assembly, like your vapour barrier. The greater the differential in temperature between inside and out, the greater the concern. Negative air pressure in houses in winter will draw in cold air , making your house feel drafty and increase your heating costs. The issue isn't about durability but rather comfort and...

Building Climate Zones USA & Canada Maps Help with Specification of Homes
Planning and Design

Climate Zones in USA & Canada for Building Homes

...walls, whereas with air-conditioned homes in Florida, the vapor barrier goes on the outside of walls. If you assemble your wall in the wrong sequence in either climate, it will likely rot in fairly short order. Then you need to consider the actual building lot where the new home is going. Is it south or north facing,...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...wall. Compare that to a 40x50 foot house, which is also 2,000 square feet, but has only 180 feet of wall exterior wall. That translates into - less building materials to purchase, less labour, less exterior wall for heat loss and the same amount of living space. Take a look at Passive solar home design page to learn ho...

Choosing the right firewood
Wood stove and biomass heat

Burning the right firewood for maximum heat output and minimum environmental impact

...efficiently, too small and we jam them too full trying to get more heat out of them and cause smoking, pollution and an inefficient burn. Just like choosing, tuning and servicing a car - the looks are important, but so is the environmental impact - so think efficiency, then service and maintain to ensure your stove or ...

Tips for Urban Gardening and Gardening in Small Spaces
Food production

Grow food at home: 8 great tips for growing food in small spaces

...efficient as every ounce of soil in your container will count for fruit and vegetable production - no growing space will be wasted underfoot as you care for and harvest your plants. Container garden also has the added benefit of being a great back-saver, or they can be configured for those with reduced mobility, maki...

Zero Carbon Homes - The S1600 Prefab Eco Home is affordably Close
Planning and Design

Zero Carbon Homes - The S1600 Prefab Eco Home gets affordably Close

...walls instead of drywall: most of the interior surfaces, walls and cathedral ceiling are finished with plywood panels that are urea-formaldehyde free with zero VOC binders . Polished concrete floor: The decision to polish and seal the concrete slab as a finished floor means no additional wood flooring on the main flo...

How to Choose between an HRV and ERV system
HRV and ERV

Choosing between an HRV and an ERV

...efficient silent fans that last longer. When the fan does break, these established brands of HRV's are the ones who generally have good after sales service and stock replacement parts for a large number of years. Typical efficiencies range from 55% to 75%, but some extremely efficient models are rated as high as 93% ...

Wall assemblies - new construction

Wood framing

...efficient framing techniques: About wood frame construction Material efficient framing

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Crawl spaces

Should I Build on a Slab on Grade Foundation or a Crawl Space?

...wall, all the insulation on the walls and floor (or crawl-space ceiling), drainage, exterior damp-proofing membranes and weeping tile, then you need to build a floor over top of it. The comparable stages of slab-on-grade construction would be laying down insulated forms, adding rebar plus mesh and then pouring concrete...

Crawlspace radon barrier installation for radon mitigation
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from basements and crawlspaces

...wall (higher up the wall is better if it’s below grade) and all penetrations from plumbing or structural supports need to be well-sealed, including the intake that will pull the radon from below the membrane and exhaust the gas outside. Radon in Crawlspaces that will be insulated: The most effective technique for i...

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?
Foundation choices

Slab-on-grade vs foundation and crawlspace or basement

...walls are dry. Allow 2 years for concrete to shed excess moisture. All walls need to breath in one direction and since the exterior foundation walls are buried in wet ground, they must breathe to the inside. A vapour barrier prevents that from happening and you will inevitably trap moisture inside your walls. Depen...