High performance / Guides

Concept and design

How to stay on budget when building a home

...high-performance and durable home is appealing to everyone. © Belvedair JP - Do you have any tips for choosing between multiple bids from general contractors’ ? PR – Yes, the first thing to remember is not to approach this like you are comparing ‘apples to apples’. The components tha...

Electric Heaters - is heating with electric an eco-friendly option?
Heating with electricity

Heating with electricity

...high efficiency homes and when looking for heating zero energy homes , is that as the percentage of electricity generation by renewable sources increases, so does your heating system by default reduce it's carbon footprint. Electric heat sources: Heating with electricity is not defined by just noisy baseboard heate...

Naugler House: the most energy efficient Passive House design in New Brunswick
Efficient home design

New Brunswick's most energy efficient home is Passive House designed

...high performance homes don't pay off. As the owners , we enjoy the pleasant and spacious feel of the living space. Large windows on both levels not only provide free heat, but increase the spaciousness of the open design and provide natural light to the home for most of the day. Moreover, the house has excellent in...

Solar panels power the Kenogami House in Saguenay, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

The Kenogami House: Energy systems in Net Zero Energy Home Design

...high performance reversible air-to-air heat pump in hi Zero Enery Home , which also serves as an air conditioner. Technical Specifications: air/air 'Daikin quaternity' heat pump with a COP (Coefficient of Performance) of 4,51 as tested according to ARI 210/240 standard. Reminder: A COP of 4,51 means that with one k...

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

...performance and sustainability, with a focus also on maintaining healthy indoor air quality for occupants. Comfort and quality of life for residents should always be a top priority for home design, and the good news is that healthy, comfortable homes usually mean sustainable and efficient homes . This architect-desig...

Radiant floor heat in a bathroom
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

DIY radiant floor installation

There is some debate in performance building circles, particularly in the Passive House community as to whether or not you can add enough insulation below a concrete floor to eliminate the need for heating it. We have been on the fence about this and leaned to both sides at different times, but it seems we have now ...

Affordable Modern Prefab Eco Homes Available - The S1600
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

The S1600 - affordable modern prefab eco homes for families

...high level of energy efficiency that it is Passive House and LEED ready, meaning that when other prerequisite conditions are met, the energy performance of the building envelope meets the stringent requirements needed to achieve LEED V4 Platinum or Passive House certification . This also means it could also be specifie...

Preventing radon gas in homes starts with testing for radon - the only sure way
Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Radon Gas Awareness - Up to 10% of North American homes tested have unsafe radon levels

...higher concentrations, and as modern higher performance housing design provides a relatively airtight environment we are exposed to much higher levels than in the drafty homes of the past. In North America, combined figures from the EPA and Health Canada indicate that around 25000 people die directly from accumulative ...

Finished basements can lead to mold and mildew
Healthy indoor air quality

Why are basements moldy? How to fix or Prevent a Moldy Basement

...high R value per inch, acts as an air barrier and a vapour barrier. However, it has been known to shrink after application, leaving air gaps and a lack of thermal protection. Another downside to the original SPUF is that some blowing agents have a high global warming potential (GWP). For this reason, we like to explo...

Recycled barn beams and a refinished clawfoot bathtub
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Recycled & reclaimed materials

...performance record, even in their prime. And if they have seen some useful life already, they will have a reduced lifespan, so you may find yourself needing to change them sooner than you'd like. Money invested in high performance windows is money you will likely recoup in savings. However, building a seasonal out buil...

Alternative wall coverings to drywall
Walls and Roofs

The best alternatives to drywall for finishing interior walls

...higher humidity like bathrooms, kitchens and moldy basements , or under windows suffering from condensation problems - which is sub-optimal. When building in areas that may get wet, be certain to choose the improved drywall boards with humidity protection - usually green - or maybe go straight for a 100% recycled plast...