Home solar / Guides

R values and insulation performance
Efficient home design

Understanding thermal performance

...solar reflectance] of the surface of an assembly can have a significant impact on the surface temperature, which in turn can impact the amount and direction of heat flow. For example, dark roofs typically absorb more solar energy than do lighter roofs. On a sunny day with 25°C [77°F] ambient air temperature, three adja...

Wall assemblies - new construction

Wood framing

All framing materials for the Demo House are FSC certified, and provided by our sponsor Kott Lumber . Kott engineered the plans for us , supplying detailed framing documents including a cut list for each framing member. We were also provided with a wood order to match, along with pre-cut lengths whenever possible. T...

Skylights can be problematic in a high performance home
Windows and doors

Are skylights an asset or a liability?

...home but I don't want one in mine. The problem with a skylight is that it presents an entirely new series of challenges for a building envelope. New homes have ceiling insulation starting around R40, and finding them as high as R60 and R70 is not that unusual anymore, nor is that much insulation overkill in a really ...

Snowboarder, Mike, Basich's, off-grid cabin in the woods with hot tub
Tiny house

Off-grid tiny house in the heart of the Sierras.

...home and expensive car, but ultimately it left him feeling unsatisfied. He bailed out of competitive snowboarding and integrated his passion for photography with his love of the sport. Long before the days of GoPro cameras, Basich would hook up rigs for full-sized cameras so he could film while riding. Eventually h...

Wind turbine © Jinterwas, Flickr
Lifestyle and environment

Clean energy infrastructure and efficient-housing for Canada's Indigenous communities

Representatives from 18 communities across Canada attended three week-long intensive sessions last summer as part of the clean energy capacity-building 20/20 Catalysts Program , sharing knowledge and experience in the development of clean energy infrastructure. Riding on that success, this summer the focus will be on ...

Efficient home design

Phase change building materials - natural heat storage in buildings

...home design, how to design for thermal comfort , and learn how fun building science can be in the pages of the Ecohome green building guide, North America's trusted online resource for sustainable and healthy home design advice.