High / Guides

How to Build With Less Wood for Best Performance
Wood and organic materials

How to build high performance homes with less lumber

...high, and because of that fact, other wall assemblies are showing themselves to be more affordable in comparison. So it’s a great time to highlight a few alternatives. Standard residential home construction in most colder climates now involves 2x6s and fiberglass insulation batts. The reasoning behind that is less ab...

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

Our top tips for buying high-performance windows

...High SHGC. 2. Choice of a High quality double pane or mid-level triple pane glazing. SHGC > 0,6. 3. The Difference choosing a Very high quality triple pane glazing and frame, entry-level Passivhaus certified. 0,3 ≤ SHGC ≤ 0,6. Choosing windows based on home orientation When you start shopping in the a...

Rendering of the Ecohome demonstration house
Efficient home design

Ecohome Demo House: High performance, affordable cost

...higher, as can be the misconception) when a construction budget is weighted more towards reducing heat loss rather than complex and expensive heating systems and the utility bills that come with them. When a design team focuses on heat retention rather than heat generation, the net result can be a home that is cheape...

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...

Why Electric Heating Systems are Best for Sustainable Homes
Heating with electricity

Heating with Electricity - The Best Choice for High Efficiency & Zero Energy Homes?

...higher the demand, the more green electricity will be produced. Choosing a high efficiency home with electric heat now is the surest way to both future-proof a sustainable home and to reduce ongoing maintenance and replacement costs. Electricity is versatile so it's an easy option We also like electric heating be...

The high performance almost ZNE Warburg house by bioi - built for under $100,00
Efficient home design

A High Performance Home on a Shoe String Budget (Almost ZNE!)

...high performance mechanical systems and radiant heat in the polished concrete floor, this modest-sized one bedroom house earned the highest EnerGuide rating possible for a home that is not net-zero, a considerable achievement on such a small budget. By incorporating emerging technologies and innovative construction m...

Correctly installed Triple pane south facing windows on Ecohome's Demo House
Windows and doors

Installing doors & windows for the best performance in high efficiency homes, LEED & Passive House

...High Efficiency buildings like LEED certified, Passive House, ZNE , Passive Solar, Zero Energy Homes or even Positive Energy Homes all rely on the building envelope having a high level of insulation, and a managed level of Air Transfer Rate, preferably via an HRV or ERV unit to control the energy losses from essential ...

Radon in Homes - Mitigation

Removing radon gas from well water

...high levels of radon gas. Health Canada has identified exposure to radon gas as the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, estimated to be the cause of 16% of diagnosed cases in the country. A high reading may come, not from having a uranium source under your basement floor or behind your foundation walls...

Passive solar heating & cooling in Homes has a long history in USA
Passive solar home design

Passive house and passive solar - free heat for homes

...high overhead and easy to keep out. Passive heating and cooling of a home is down to orientation & sun angles throughout the year © Ecohome The first thing to understand is that there are two kinds of solar collection in home design - active and passive. An active solar home has an expensive array of panels; ei...

Roxul mineral wool batt insulation in LEED Homes
Insulation and soundproofing

Choosing the right insulation: the pros, cons and applications for walls, slabs & basements

...highly susceptible to moisture damage and must be kept completely dry during construction. We really want to stress this, because this is a sensitive building technique and the stakes are pretty high if you don't do it right. Bale walls have a very high R-value (around R40) and make for about as environmentally r...

Prefab frost-protected shallow foundation insulated form kit
Slab on Grade

Raft slabs - How to build Insulated Frost Protected shallow foundations (FPSF) on problem soils

...high water table. Images courtesy of Yanni Milon. Drain placement for slab on grade with high water table Drain placing with gravel and geotextile under a slab on grade foundation Placing gravel for draining slab on grade with high water table A raft slab acts a bit like a snowshoe in the way it dis...