High R-value building envelope / Guides

Thermal image showing where home heat loss is occurring.
Insulation and soundproofing

How insulation works

...higher. The cold emanating from exterior walls and windows can be so extreme at times that it causes a noticeable air convection, creating the sensation of a draft. How do we combat this? Again, we end up cranking the thermostat higher until we feel comfortable. RADIATION (in this non-nuclear case) refers to heat tra...

How to choose Triple pane, high performance windows
Windows and doors

Our top tips for buying high-performance windows

...highest R-value, period. On the east and west facades, a combination of a high R-value and low solar heat gain coefficient [SHGC¹] is best to prevent overheating in summer, unless the windows are well-shaded from direct sunlight, in which case treat them as you would on the north. On the south side of the house is wh...

Suspended-film insulating glass windows are high-performance windows
Windows and doors

Suspended-film insulating glass windows - A definitive guide for these high-performance windows

...high SHGC with the highest possible R-value, or its opposite, the lowest possible U value . There is never any solar heat gain on the north facade, so go with the highest R-value you can find, period. On the east and west facades, a combination of a high R-value and low solar heat gain coefficient [SHGC] is best to p...

Passive House wall system ; Larsen Trusses & dense-packed cellulose insulation
Wall assemblies - new construction

Larsen truss wall systems with double-stud construction & extra insulation for new homes & energy efficient home renovation

...high R-value building envelope without many of the problems associated with double-stud wall construction. Not only is it a great wall system for new green home building incorporating a double-stud wall design but it is also ideal for deep energy refit high-efficiency renovations of existing home walls. It is a popul...

Installing foam panel insulation, which is best?
Insulation and soundproofing

Rigid insulation panels: which ones to use for different applications

...building community for above-grade applications. For Additional Information on Insulation & Building High-Performance Walls: Be sure to read the EcoHome Guide to High Performance wall construction here And watch the Video Guide to high performance wall construction and insulation here Both from the EcoHome Gree...

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy
Concept and design

Building science for LEED v4 wall design made easy - video

...Building Science The wall we designed for the Edelweiss house, Canada's first LEED Platinum V4 Home is best categorized as a 'REMOTE' wall, a high performance building envelope developed by the Cold Climate Housing Research Centre in Alaska. REMOTE stands for 'Residential Exterior Membrane Outside-insulation TEch...

Off grid, passively heated and cooled house in the Gatineau Hills, Que
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off grid living blog, part 2: passively heated, this house in Quebec aims for LEED certification

...building codes. With framing materials factored in, energy modeling shows the effective or 'true' R value of the wall is 36.3. With heat gain from the sun and an airtight building envelope, the energy required to keep this house warm will be a fraction of what most houses use. Within the circle of high performance ho...

Dense-packed cellulose wall insulation
Wall assemblies - new construction

Dense-packed cellulose insulation wall systems

...high efficiency is your goal and you want to build with a significantly higher R-value than building to code, CFI is a particularly great option as it allows you to build a much larger wall cavity with no additional effort. A high efficiency wall design would be to build a double wall with a 10"+ cavity and at least ...

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

...R-value, so the kind folks in the window industry have come up with equivalent R-values to simplify things for us. So don't tax yourself by trying to figure out both. The higher the R-value number, the better insulated the product is. Keep in mind, neither the U-value nor the R-value account for passive solar heat ga...

Passive Solar Home design at it's best - Kenogami House - EcoHome
Passive solar home design

Ecohome Kenogami House wins Home of the Year Award

...high temperatures more bearable, while also reducing the load on air conditioning systems. In this case, the ERV in conjunction with the high R value building envelope and passive cooling design will likely make air conditioning unnecessary except in extended heat waves with high night time humidity levels. Life in t...

Air barriers are essential to a properly functioning wall system
Air and vapour barriers

What is an air barrier?

...building enclosures that are less forgiving than the air barrier. Where to install an air barrier: A building envelope should only ever have one vapour barrier, and it goes on the warm side of the insulation. Air barriers on the other hand, can be anywhere in the wall assembly and as plentiful as you like. It is hi...