Insulated / Guides

Slab on grade or a foundation and basement?
Foundation choices

Slab-on-grade vs foundation and crawlspace or basement

Is an insulated slab on grade the best foundation choice? Or is a basement better? Traditionally, home construction often starts with a concrete basement foundation - But is that the best choice? The first factors to consider when designing the foundation system for a home are lot size and soil conditions. When sp...

Slab-on-grade for Ecohome's upcoming video building guide
Slab on Grade

how to build a slab-on-grade on standard soil

...insulated water pipes courtesy of Uponor for greater energy efficiency. Plumbing infrastructure © Ecohome You need to be very sure about the placement of plumbing at this point as concrete is not so forgiving when it comes to making changes afterwards. You will need to pour concrete right up to drains in the fl...

Geothermal Heating Systems
Heat pumps, geothermal and AC

Geothermal heating for Homes in North America - Does it work & will it save money?

...insulated to actually make it pay for itself in a reasonable time frame. In many cases, particularly with moderately-sized new homes being built, that large of a financial investment towards energy efficiency could offer much greater returns if put towards heat retention instead - better windows , additional home insul...

Real estate

Evaluating a home before purchase: how to recognize value and potential problems

...insulated, and how well? A good thing to know is when any upgrades were done; basements are almost always built poorly and will likely have a much shorter lifespan than above-grade walls. Sometimes walls in mechanical areas aren't finished so see if there is any place you can get a look at what might be going on behind...

Passive home designer Harold Orr, one of the original high performance homes
Passive solar home design

The principal designer of the house that inspired the global Passivhaus movement reflects on the project that started it all.

...insulated window frames. Exterior door units are now very well insulated with excellent weather strips. While we achieved a remarkable degree to tightness with the house, we have since developed changes that allows a much greater degree of air tightness with much less effort than it took with the SCH. Moving th...

Solar Radiant Heated Floor Slab Kit
Delivery: radiant, forced-air and decentralized

Solar heated radiant floor with radiant heated hot water for a site with problem soil - expansive clay

...insulated slab on grade form kits for problem soils like expansive clay see here , to read more about Passive House Certification see here , from the EcoHome Green Building Guides

Renovate, Remodel or Rebuild? How to choose which is Best for Homes
Wall assemblies - renovation

Should I be renovating my home or tearing it down & rebuilding?

...insulated slab-on-grade foundations are our favourite way to build, but old ones that are not properly built can be difficult and expensive to upgrade. Houses built on slabs are a fairly new concept so there are not that many out there done poorly, but they do exist. A minimally-insulated concrete slab be very uncomfor...

The Affordable Architect-Designed Modern Green prefab 2 Bed kit home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Le Refuge - An Architect-Designed modern Green prefab 2 bed kit home

...insulated with vapor-permeable wood fiber panels , and dense-packed cellulose insulation . Windows are triple-glazed with Low-e coatings for maximum performance and UV protection of interior finishes and furniture. If living in 750 square feet seems just a little too cozy for you, keep in mind that plans can be ...

Greenhouse Construction for Cold Climates
Greenhouses and Sunrooms / Solariums

How to build a greenhouse in a cold climate

...insulated greenhouse also has a thermostat-activated fan that removes heat when the building reaches a set temperature. Growing season: The heated greenhouse can produce for about three seasons starting as early as April. The uninsulated portion is limited to warmer months only. Type of crop & yield: The insulate...

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

...insulated glass windows do is increase window insulation levels by creating additional hermetically-sealed chambers of air within two exterior panes of glass with one or more polymer films in the interior under tension. The films act in much the same way as glass by separating chambers of air, but each ‘pane’ of a susp...

Is EPS foam eco-friendly? Exterior home insulation rigid foam panels
Insulation and soundproofing

Does plastic foam or Styrofoam insulation have a place in green building?

...insulated with foam. And I’m still open, so by all means please make your case for or against foam insulation in the comment section below and try to change my mind back. In 2002, when I started to design my own house, I bounced between various wall assemblies, but not based on any hard facts. I listened to the opini...