Efficient wall / Guides

Exterior air barrier membrane © Ecohome
Air and vapour barriers

How to install an air barrier for reduced air leakage

...walls, as one small hole can be responsible for depositing countless litres of water inside walls. Houses should always be built as airtight as possible, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers: The job of a vapour barrier is to prevent vapour diffusion and the j...

R values and insulation performance
Efficient home design

Understanding thermal performance

...wall assemblies and insulation products has long been characterized using R-value, a metric which describes thermal resistance. While R-value is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story about heat flow through building enclosures such as walls and roofs. Recently, a study by RDH Building Engineering Ltd . h as shown t...

Yukon's first LEED certified home
LEED Homes

The Yukon's First LEED Certified Home

...wall significantly reduces heat loss and on top of that this home has walls insulated to R-60 and the ceiling to R-100. Hyper-insulating a home will add cost of course, up until a certain point. With such extreme insulation , builder Forest Pearson was able to avoid the cost of installing a furnace and ductwork, inst...

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

...efficient (SHGC): The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is a scale from 0 to 100 that indicates the amount of solar gain you will get through a pane of glass. The higher the number, the better the solar gain. Energy Rating (ER): After U-value, SHGC and the various designs and materials listed above, you will be thankfu...

Slab-on-grade for Ecohome's upcoming video building guide
Slab on Grade

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...

Balanced insulation levels in a green home
Efficient home design

Insulation in Green Home Building, a balanced approach to putting it where it does the most good

...wall of the dam. Would you choose the height of that concrete wall randomly, or would want an even level of concrete to hold back as much water as possible? You certainly wouldn't want an extremely high wall on one side and lower on another; the relationship between heat movement and insulation is a bit like that. Th...

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...

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 ...

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...