Off-grid heating / Guides

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.

While developing pages on passive heating and cooling for Ecohome, and writing about Passive House, we were in contact with Harold Orr, a world-renowned environmental engineer, pioneer of the very concept of 'green building'. and who was recently awarded the Order of Canada for his pioneering contribution to energy-ef...

The passive solar home in Lac Kenogami, Quebec
Passive solar home design

Ecohome design wins House of the Year Award from Green Builder® Magazine

...heating strategy involves an air-to-water heat pump powered by photovoltaic solar panels that extracts heat from the interior air and transfers it to his water heater, from where it is distributed through his radiant floors. Along with providing air conditioning in summer, this system prevents the home from overheating...

Affordable Modern Prefab Eco Homes Available - The S1600
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

The S1600 - affordable modern prefab eco homes for families

...heating, water heating, lighting and all interior electrical loads. At Quebec hydro rates of only 7.13 cents /kWh, the entire heating and electrical load would amount to approximately $665.00 CAD per year or just under $42 US per month (check your local utility rates to get a more accurate cost estimate for your locati...

Alex and Jerelyn Wilson's Vermont farm
Lifestyle, location and commuting

Creating a farm and building a resilient lifestyle

...heating, water heating, cooking, and almost everything else, powered by a 12 kW solar-electric system—we can heat the place just fine with our small wood stove if we need to. Moving our focus outdoors As the cold of winter gradually ceded control to the sunshine of spring, I was only too ready to turn my attention ...

Photovoltaic solar panels
Renewable energy

Solar heating and energy generation

...heating Passive solar heating is the concept of using home design and orientation to collect heat directly from the sun. No panels, no wires, no tubes, that’s why it’s called ‘passive’. By having 60% of your windows facing south and building your house within 15 degrees of the east/west axis, you can reduce your he...

Thermal batteries for passive solar design
Efficient home design

Thermal batteries: how to passively store heat

...heating system was built In 1939 on the MIT campus (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and sat on top of a huge water reservoir that was heated by thermal solar panels. MIT Solar House thermal battery via Wikimedia What are phase change thermal batteries? Taking advantage of a 'phase change' raises the b...