Housing / Guides

Interior sheathing as air & vapor barriers in wood frame construction
Air and vapour barriers

Interior sheathing as an air and vapour or vapor barrier

...housing. One aspect of wall assemblies that is garnering some well deserved attention lately is how we control the migration of moisture. A polyethylene vapour barrier is one way to do it, but it's the old way to do it, and not necessarily the best for this climate, particularly with air conditioned homes. Whether ...

Wildfire Smoke & How to Keep it Outside Homes
Healthy indoor air quality

How to keep wildfire smoke out of Green Homes with mechanical ventilation systems?

...Housing Research Center Window-type air conditioners often have air leakage issues around their edges, and they are also inefficient. Ductless split-type units are much more efficient , while having no direct connection between indoor and outdoor air. Window air conditioners should not be used during wildfires, unl...

Fire retardants in furniture are intended to slow flames
Interior design and furnishing

Flame retardants in furnishings - an unnecessary and serious health risk

...housing industry, and they are full of fire retardants, even in applications where there is simply no way they will combust, such as when used for below-grade walls and floors. Change is slow but coming: An important advocacy voice in bringing this change comes from, of all people, firefighters. Contrary to their i...

Prefab & Modular Construction is Booming for Sustainable Homes
Planning and Design

Prefab & Modular Construction poised for dramatic growth in 2020

...housing and the shortage of skilled labor, coupled with chronic cost and schedule overruns are leading more people towards this process. ” The main benefits of prefab & modular builds? About 90% of builders report that they achieve improved productivity, improved quality and more accurate project scheduling when in...

Passive House in Quebec
Passive House

The Passive-Aggressive House - Our History of a Passivhaus Build

...housing, or something made by a structural engineer who’s never kissed another person on the lips. Change of plan - where art thou passivhaus architect? Extricating ourselves from arrangements with the engineer wasn’t costly, but we’d lost a lot of time and emotional investment. Any building project, let alone gree...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED Gold home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog part 6 - energy modeling projections and real performance

...housing envelope (see below - first document in English, followed by a more detailed one in French. Some of the text in the English is wrong in the columns but correct in the chart). To stay in kWh, I'll work with the numbers from the French document. The total amount of heat needed from the active heating systems is...

The birthplace of Passive House solar home design The Saskatchewan Conservation
Passive solar home design

Saskatchewan: The birthplace of Passive House and passive solar home design

...housing has a similar history - over 40 years ago ago a team of visionaries and construction engineers designed and built a house in Saskatchewan, Canada, that was able to operate using only a fraction of the energy other homes required. The premise was to rely as much as possible on the energy freely available from th...

Off-grid home with solar PV & Battery backup
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Thinking about renewable home energy and a battery backup?

Heating when the grid is down: Beyond lighting, cooking and general home operation, the biggest risk to home comfort and security in a power outage is not being able to heat your home. Lighting with candles and eating a cold dinner is manageable, but not being able to keep your house warm in winter is another matter...

Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum certified home - The Edelweiss House
LEED Homes

Canada's first LEED V4 Platinum house - An EcoHome project checklist

...housing a family of 4 comfortably in a sustainably sized home, without resorting to building a Tiny House . And best of all, it was done well within a conventional building budget. The premise of the Edelweiss House was to focus primarily on extreme performance, durability, healthy air quality and above all - afforda...

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...housing, smoke from fires is more able to dissipate without having the same impact on local human health as it can in dense urban areas. Smoke from wood stoves © Arboristsite.com A high concentration of woodstoves in an urban setting will have a more noticeable impact on the surrounding air quality and conseque...

ICF Block Construction - The Definitive History of ICFs from 1932 to 2022 © R j
Concrete and masonry

The definitive history of ICF blocks and ICF construction

...housing schemes. These types of modular buildings can also have load-bearing roofs to maximize space by stacking on top of one another. They can also be mounted on an existing flat roof concrete structure when constructed without a floor and lifted into place using a crane. Stay-In-Place Structural Concrete Formwork ...