Efficient wall / Guides

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

...efficient - in the neighbourhood of 90% more efficient than most Canadian homes. The key is to have almost perfect airtightness and super-insulation along with very high-performance windows . Achieving airtightness requires the use of some fairly high-tech materials but the result is a house that uses next to no energy...

Real estate

Real estate

...wall damage and proper stormwater management - (eaves troughs, ground sloping away from the house, etc.) Interior design and functionality of space Soundproofing from the exterior and interior noise transmission Interior air quality does it smell fresh, stale, or like chemicals or tobacco smoke? Good quality wi...

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

...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...

Ice dams on roofs & how to fix them
Roof assemblies - renovation

What causes ice dams and how to fix them

...wall where the roof and wall meet. The inside of kitchen cupboards can be a tell-tale sign as well – since the air in kitchens is often more humid and cupboards are closed with little air movement, condensation can form on the walls in the back of cupboards. Whether or not you have indentified an ice damming problem,...

Resilient home construction - Kenogami House of the Year
Efficient home design

"The Most Resilient House in North America"

A resilient home for Sustainability Northern Quebec isn’t a place where one might expect to look for a model of resilience . It’s bone-chilling cold in the winter with 10,450 heating degree days per year (Fahrenheit degree-days, base 65°F); there isn’t all that much sunlight in the winter, and Quebec—let alone north...

Passive House certification - PHI or PHIUS? The Spring House Passive House
Passive House

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...efficient house - one that could radically reduce home energy bills by being built efficiently enough to create huge energy savings compared to a standard "code built" house? Especially if it is possible to build comfortable and super-efficient homes to Passive House standard at around the same cost of those currently ...

Slab-on-grade for Ecohome's upcoming video building guide
Passive solar home design

how to build a slab-on-grade on standard soil

...walls would bear, we installed EPS foam. Slab floors are often built in a way that requires footings and sometimes frost walls to be poured first, with the interior slab floor being poured later once the footing has set. Insulation underneath the footing is often omitted with this technique, which leads to thermal br...

Choosing where to live

What makes a home livable to you?

...efficient living. If we must live smarter and smaller in our changing urban environment, as an architect, I ask myself, how do we design spaces to support people through this shift? Well, we start by asking the question: What makes a home livable? This query sparked the Livable Homes initiative launched by Perkin...

Frost in Attics: What causes Attic Ice? How to Fix it?
Roof assemblies - renovation

Why is there frost in my attic? Is ice in roofs a problem & How do I stop it?

...wall on the edge of ceilings or the top of walls during the spring thaw. Most homeowners assume they have a roof problem like a leak, that maybe their roof covering has been damaged over winter, but it probably isn't if the problem wasn't there before. Ironically, in our experience, ice often forms in the attic after D...

How radiant floors work
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

How to design for thermal comfort in a home

...wall assemblies. Air leakage causes uncomfortable drafts , but it also allows moisture to pass through walls and condense on cold surfaces inside the walls. Airtight homes are more thermally comfortable, more durable and they cost less to operate. Floors are the contact point between us and our house, so additional...

Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum certified home - The Edelweiss House
LEED Homes

Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum house - An EcoHome project checklist

...walls Lightweight synthetic gypsum drywall with high recycled content Mineral-wool insulation , including the insulation used under the slab LED lighting fixtures and bulbs Interior paints and floor adhesives with zero volatile organic compounds A DIY Green living roof Under-slab high performance radon barr...