Home energy efficiency / Guides

Concrete floors and timber frame as thermal mass
Efficient home design

The pros and cons of thermal mass in buildings

...energy: A lot of us grew up watching our parents turn thermostats down for the day and back up when returning home in the evening. This saved energy for one main reason - older houses weren't built anywhere close to the energy-efficiency standards of today, so maintaining a lower constant temperature during the day d...

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare?

...energy collection A successful strategy to power a home with solar energy begins like the water system, with the core principle of first reducing demand. To that end, the appliances and systems of this house were designed and chosen for their reduced operational demand of energy. On the roof are eight photovoltaic ...

Solariums in cold climates won't heat homes unless carefully designed and built
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

Solariums in cold climates won't heat your home

...home’s engineer Denis Boyer is an expert in thermodynamics and energy efficiency and, conveniently for us, used to live in a house in a cold climate with a solarium. This makes him uniquely positioned to report on their performance. Living in an open concept home with a four-season solarium overlooking the living roo...

Off-grid leed home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog post 5: appliances, mechanical and other systems

...home for a manageable cost. The second trend is large increases in efficiency of all of the electronics used in our homes. The normal, high-efficiency, often ENERGY STAR approved appliances and other electronics of today use just a fraction of the power of their predecessors. Put all of these trends together, and...

The LEED rating system
LEED Homes

The LEED rating system

...home and out. Points are earned for water conscious home design including efficient appliances, fixtures and fittings; and reducing outdoor irrigation needs through rain water collection and water recycling. Energy & Atmosphere (38 points) Our homes are an enormous consumer of energy. This LEED category aims to red...

The passive solar home in Lac Kenogami, Quebec
Passive solar home design

Ecohome design wins House of the Year Award from Green Builder® Magazine

...energy efficiency during the design process of his new home. Alain enlisted the help of Ecohome (and Quebec counterpart Écohabitation), and together they set their sights on a target at the top end of building performance - Net Zero Energy - which refers to the ability of a building to produce as much energy as it co...

Wood pellet stoves that don't need electric ideal for off grid operation
Wood stove and biomass heat

These wood pellet stoves for off-grid heating don't need electric to operate

...home does not make you an eco-terrorist, let's get that one point out of the way first. Trees are a renewable resource and they are, in effect, solar energy batteries whose energy is accessed when we burn them. After the 1998 Eastern Canada ice storm, wood pellet stove sales in that area went through the roof with pe...

How solar panels work
Solar photovoltaic

All about solar panels - the different options and how they work

...ENERGY program, funded and run by Natural Resources Canada , focuses on introducing and developing renewable energy sources both across the country and internationally. Their current projects include research into net zero energy solar buildings and homes (like the EcoTerra Project in Alouette, Québec), building integr...

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

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...homes will perform, and where improvements are best made to save money and energy - a balanced approach to building better homes accessible to all. A typical home in Canada or colder climate zones in the USA will consume over 100 kWh per square meter. To encourage energy efficiency, any home that achieves below 50 kWh ...

First Passive House in BC Whistler

B.C.’s First Passive House was built in Whistler in 2012.

...homes can be both energy efficient and affordable.” “We’re very excited to see the continued growth of Passive House construction in Whistler,” said Mayor Wilhelm-Morden. “Affordability and energy efficiency are both core to our long-term sustainability strategy in Whistler.” Now you've seen more about The Rainbow ...

Condensation on windows in our homes - why is it there? - how to stop it?
Walls and Roofs

Condensation on windows is a pain but is it a problem & how to stop it?

...homes – but first off, here’s a point to think about in connection with condensation on windows that we haven’t seen specifically mentioned anywhere. As a key element of Passive House , Net Zero Energy and high-performance homes is consistently making the most of Passive Solar Gain , having a home where each day star...