Houses are too airtight / Guides

BC Energy Step Code - Builder Design Guide &  Requirements explained
Building codes

The new BC energy step code: builder design guide & requirements explained - Vancouver

...houses and small buildings that are three storeys with a footprint about 6,500 square feet (600 square metres) or smaller. This category includes single-family homes, town homes, duplexes, small apartment buildings, stores, offices, and industrial shops. BC step code part 3 – this refers to larger and more complex bu...

How radiant floors work
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

How to design for thermal comfort in a home

...houses that have in-floor heat could be a case of people leaving thermostats where they always have and just basking in the greater comfort of a warm floor and balanced heat. If they aren't saving energy and money then at least they are probably happier, and that's a good thing too. If building design prioritized therm...

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare? How could it be optimized?

...too optimistic. However, even at about $1,000 a year in operational cost (more than triple the estimate), it still represents a 2/3rd reduction compared to a conventional house of the same size. Off-grid living in the city - does it make sense? Houses built on land that does not have access to municipal services su...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED house in Low, Quebec
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog: a firsthand account of building and living in a remote area

...area with our solar panels tucked onto the north side of the clearing to reduce the shading from the trees. Unlike most of the homes built along the waterfront in our area, we did not clear sightlines towards the water, nor did we square the house with the shoreline. We have a screened view of the water, which actually...

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

Everything you need to know about Passive House certification

...are metre of living space (Treated Floor Area) in heating and cooling OR a peak demand of ≤10 W per square metre of living space (TFA) Primary Energy: Annual consumption in Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh per square metre of living space (TFA) Primary Energy: Annual consumption in Primary Energy ≤ 120 kWh per square metre o...

Solar Air Heating Panels for Homes - How to Build DIY
Solar thermal collectors

All about solar air heaters - DIY or purchased

...airtight a house is will be a deciding factor on how big the passive solar air heatr needs to be to make a difference. Cloud coverage: In areas that are regularly overcast, like Vancouver noth shore in Canada or Pescadero in California for example, it may not be worth the cost and hassle to either buy or build one. C...

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?

...are correctly vented to outside and that joints are duct taped up properly too – because venting into the roof void simply creates condensation, mold and wood rot problems up there instead of in the home itself. Make sure too to use a decent size bathmat to avoid saturating bathroom floors when getting a bath or shower...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...are 'comfortable in all climates' and there is endless talk about how they are built with natural and recycled materials, have no energy bills, use no fossil fuels, are passively heated and cooled and occupants live in harmony and balance with the earths natural cycles. This is nothing near to how they are actually bei...

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

What is an air barrier?

...are too busy talking about vapor barriers. An air barrier is not something you walk into a building supply store and buy; it is a design concept, and arguably a commitment. Products that can act as air barriers are drywall, sheathing, insulation, house wrap, even the polyethylene we normally install as a vapour barrier...