Nature Built / Guides

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.

Snowboarding pioneer and photographer Mike Basich built himself an epic Tiny off-grid cabin. Without a bedroom or bathroom per se, but equipped with a hot tub and chairlift, this gorgeous Tiny House is most perfectly situated in the heart of the Sierras. © Mike Basich Basich began his career ...

Resilient home construction - Kenogami House of the Year
Efficient home design

"The Most Resilient House in North America"

...nature threw at it. He sought the input of Ecohome and its Quebec counterpart, Ecohabitation , and together they set out to create a net-zero-energy home in this harsh climate. Along with engineer Denis Boyer, architect Lucie Langlois, and the director of Ecohome and Ecohabitation Emmanuel Cosgrove, they designed and b...

Gabion walls can be used for building homes
Concrete and masonry

Gabion Walls - what is a gabion cage & how to build with them?

Gabion walls are retaining walls built by stacking stone in a gabion cage or gabion basket that can serve many purposes but are most often used to create tiered or leveled ground in gardens. They are rectangular baskets of metallic lattice filled with stones and their origin dates back to war times when they were er...

Keyhole Garden
Landscaping

The Keyhole Garden: An Introduction

...nature of the keyhole garden, the area need not have good soil, or even any soil at all. 2.) Collect: Keyhole gardens and the compost baskets they house can be constructed with any number of available materials. I've seen the body of beds built from bricks, cinderblocks, landscaping stones, corrugated metal, even ced...

The Fun Box
Tiny house

The Fun Box! Solar, wind and human powered luxury living

...nature, which can also be enjoyed from the large bath on wheels rolled out on the terrace. It comes equipped with an entertainment system, pedal away on the stationary bike and watch all you want. Multi-use spaces that can convert from one use to another with little effort are paramount to condensed living. We see th...

Resilient Homes, why they're important in dealing with Climate Change
Lifestyle and environment

Resilient Homes; Why we need to build to withstand climate change events

...Built to Code" means "Built to Minimum Code" It is easy to believe that a brand new house that has met a provincial building code is ready to face climate challenges, but that is far from the truth . Building code continues to improve minimum performance requirements (albeit slowly) as it is being driven by innovatio...

Trinity portable wind turbine for charging devices
Wind power

The Trinity portable wind turbine will charge your gadgets on the go.

...nature. To that end, they have designed Trinity, the portable vertical axis wind turbine and have launched a Kickstarter campaign with the intention of bringing it to the masses. Yes, that's right, Trinity is a portable wind turbine. It can charge any USB device like a smart phone or tablet. It folds together into a ...

Crawl Spaces or Slab on Grade Foundations?
Foundations and Basements

Slab on grade or crawlspaces, which is better?

...built on a crawlspace; full stop. • EPS foam can be used as a vapour barrier when installed with multiple layers and offset joints as it will not absorb moisture from the ground. • Building on high ground eliminates any risk of flooding. • A slab on grade with a frost-protection skirt designed for its specific cl...

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

...nature no matter the season. But when you look past the initial attraction and instead evaluate them based on their energy footprint, durability and comfort, they are unfortunately not well-suited to cold climates such as we have across most of Canada. Prefab kit solariums: Some solariums are bought as kits and u...

HEPA filters & SMART Air Filters catch airborne dust, pollen, allergens, virus
Healthy indoor air quality

Buying guide for home air filters in furnaces - HEPA, SMART or Regular?

...nature of the web, it continues to get passed around like a bag of Doritos from one well-intentioned but poorly-informed home décor website to another. Do air purifiers work? It depends on what you want them to do. If you’re looking to spend a few hundred bucks on a machine that will drown out background soun...

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?

...built environment using only organic bio-based building products? At the moment there is not a huge demand for alternative natural home insulation , so by all means go buy them if they're in your budget. But when we take a critical look to the future - will there be enough cellulose to insulate every house built over...